Not only are bragging rights on the line when crosstown rivals McAllen Memorial and McAllen Rowe meet on the gridiron Friday night — the lead in District 16-5A Division I’s West Zone is also up for grabs.
The Mustangs (3-1, 2-0) and Warriors (3-2, 2-0) are tied atop the West Zone in 16-5A DI and will settle the score at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium as both teams hope to stay in district title contention.
Rowe owns the top ranked offense in District 16-5A DI with 435 yards per game led by a versatile set of skill players. Running back Nicolas Meehan leads the district with 592 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, while quarterback James Gamez is the No. 2-ranked passer with 580 passing yards and seven touchdown throws.
The Mustangs have won three straight by riding their three-headed monster of a backfield with Andrew Salinas (301 yards, 4 TDs), Michael Lewis (293 yards, 3 TDs) and Ethan Garcia (247 yards, 2 TDs).
The Mustangs and Warriors are set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.
MISSION VETERANS VS. SHARYLAND PIONEER
Expect a fast-paced, high-flying affair between the Sharyland Pioneer Diamondbacks and Mission Veterans Patriots — two teams in the hunt for the lead in the District 16-5A DII West Zone.
This marquee matchup has stars on each offense in Sharyland Pioneer quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger and Mission Veterans wide receiver AJ Gonzaque, both of whom have earned APSE All-State honors during their careers.
Marburger leads the Diamondbacks with 702 passing yards, 226 rushing yards, eight touchdown throws and four more scores on the ground. Meanwhile, Mission Veterans WR AJ Gonzaque has produced highlight reel plays this season as the Patriots leading receiver with 270 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.
Kickoff between the Patriots (1-2, 1-00 and Diamondbacks (2-0, 1-0) is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tom Landry Stadium in Mission.
SHARYLAND HIGH VS. ROMA
Roma needs a victory to keep its playoff hopes alive, but standing in their way is a hungry Sharyland High Rattlers team.
The Gladiators dropped to 0-2 after losses to prolific offenses in Sharyland Pioneer and Mission Veterans. Roma will lean on its ground game to pick up its first win of the season against Sharyland High.
On the other sideline is a Sharyland team that hasn’t played a game since Oct. 23.
Now, nearly one month later, the Rattlers (1-0, 0-0) will look to get back in the win column against the Gladiators.
Sharyland running back Rolando Saenz led the Rattlers to a 34-24 win over McAllen Rowe in their only game this season, and the Rattlers will look to feed him on the way to a victory against Roma.
The Gladiators and Rattlers will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gladiator Arena in Roma.
EDCOUCH-ELSA VS. PSJA SOUTHWEST
The Edcouch-Elsa Yellow Jackets (2-1, 0-1) and PSJA Southwest Javelinas (1-1, 0-0) are set to engage in a four-quarter slugfest tonight as the District 16-5A Division II East Zone matchup pits two tough teams head-to-head.
The two are nearly a mirror of each other — a run-based offense who loves to grit and grind while playing stingy defense. Look for Yellow Jackets backs Justin Galan and Shawn Alvarado to lead the way for Edcouch-Elsa, while Angel Hernandez and Cesar Bocanegra provide big-play ability in the Javelinas ground game.
Both teams are coming off a bye week, but it’ll be the first district contest for Southwest, while the Yellow Jackets have one 16-5A DI game under their belt — a 34-21 loss to Mercedes.
The Yellow Jackets and Javelinas will kick things off at 7 tonight at PSJA ISD Stadium in Pharr.
WESLACO EAST VS. BROWNSVILLE VETERANS
The Weslaco East Wildcats (2-0, 2-0) will look to build their lead in District 16-5A Division I’s East Zone by staying undefeated against Brownsville Veterans.
The Wildcats offense has been near unstoppable with runners Gio Guerra (301 yards, 5 TDs) and Avery Bowen (242 yards, 3 TDs) playing bully ball behind the East offensive line.
After picking up a 42-3 win over Brownsville Porter last week, the Wildcats are set to take on a Chargers team searching for its footing. Brownsville Veterans (2-2, 1-1) brings in the No. 9 ranked offense in 16-5A DI, while the Wildcats roll out the No. 1 defensive unit and No. 2 offense in the district.
Kickoff between the Wildcats and Chargers is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bobby Lackey Stadium.
McALLEN HIGH VS. DONNA
The winner of tonight’s matchup between McHi and Donna will take the inside track to the No. 3 seed in the East Zone of District 16-5A Division I. With that No. 3 seed comes a spot in a play-in game — and a shot at the playoffs.
With both teams facing must-win scenarios, Donna (1-2, 1-1) and McHi (1-3, 1-2) is an intriguing matchup of two teams trying to get into the playoffs.
Donna’s Adan Reyes, the second-leading rusher in 16-5A Division I with 526 yards, will shoulder the load as the Redskins lean on the senior running back to keep the chains moving.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have plenty of offensive weapons across the field, and with quarterback Hunter Curl leading the show, McHi’s spread offense has a chance to get going against a Donna team that just surrendered 44 points to McAllen Rowe.
Kickoff between Donna and McHi is scheduled for 7 tonight at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.