McALLEN — The McAllen High Bulldogs entered the week with the top offense in District 16-5A Division I.

Against La Joya Palmview on Wednesday night, the Bulldogs flexed their offensive muscle as McHi ripped off four consecutive touchdowns to beat the Lobos 28-21 at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium. The win improved McHi to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in 16-5A DI competition.

It was the response McHi head coach Patrick Shelby wanted to see from his group after the Bulldogs lost a 34-28 heartbreaker to McAllen Memorial just five nights ago.

“We feel good about (the win). We had to bounce back from last week, so we feel real good about it,” Shelby said. “Talking to the kids and trying to get them going again, they came out and they performed tonight. They played hard for us like they always do.”

McHi’s Caleb Killian (20) squirts past PalmView’s Pablo Guerrero (30) during the first half of a high school game at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 4,2020. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com

While the game was McHi’s third of the year, it was La Joya Palmview’s 2020 debut.

On the Lobos’ first drive, APSE All-State running back Carlos Peña looked to be in mid-season form as he accounted for 37 rushing yards and converted a touchdown from 2 yards out to put Palmview up 7-0 early.

But the Bulldogs’ offense, led by quarterback Hunter Curl, found its rhythm. Curl led the Bulldogs to four unanswered touchdowns as he finished the game with 214 passing yards, 75 rushing yards, one passing and one rushing touchdown. Receivers Caleb Killian, Felipe Magana and Noah Barboza came through with big grabs and gains for the Bulldogs, while running back Daniel Cazares also added two touchdowns on the ground.

“We just executed. It’s not that we haven’t been doing that every week, but we challenged our guys throughout the course of the week to go out there and execute and compete against yourself. Have a vision of how good you want to be and compete against it and I think they did that tonight,” Shelby said.

The McHi defense also went three quarters without allowing Palmview back in the end zone. Junior linebacker Steven Garza was shooting gaps in Palmview’s offense line and was rewarded with multiple tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble.

But late in the fourth quarter, Palmview’s offense finally regained its form.

PalmView’s Carlos Peña (21) scampers for yardage past McHi’s defenders during the first half of a high school game at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 4,2020. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com

Trailing 28-7 with time running out in the fourth, the Lobos roared back. Peña broke loose for two late touchdowns to make it a one-score game, but it wasn’t enough as Palmview failed to recover an onside kick with 30 seconds left in the game. Still, Peña finished with more than 150 rushing yards and all three Palmview touchdowns for the Lobos.

Due to a reshuffled District 16-5A Division I West Zone schedule, Palmview (0-1, 0-1) will be back in action at 6 p.m. Monday, hosting Donna High (0-1, 0-1).

Next up for the Bulldogs (1-2, 1-1) is another rivalry game against McAllen Rowe (1-2, 1-0) slated for 7 p.m. Monday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.

bramos@themonitor.com