The Calallen Wildcats faced off against the Mercedes Tigers and won 43-0 on Friday, but not before paying their respects to Mercedes.
Recently, Mercedes had one of their players, quarterback Isaiah Garza, involved in a car accident that caused extensive damage to his back. The two teams huddled together at the 50-yard line and gave a quick prayer to Garza.
The game began with the Wildcats receiving the ball but quickly fumbling, allowing the Tigers to possess it. The two teams struggled for yardage, each pushing the other back throughout the quarter. It wasn't until Mercedes kicked the ball did Wildcat Chase Whetsel manage to rush from the end zone to the 17 yard line and again to the 11 yard line give the Wildcats the opportunity to score. Derek Scheible managed to get the ball to the 3-yard line and finally Austin Revels managed to take it all the way for the Wildcats first touchdown but missing the extra point, making the score 6-0.
"There's a lot of things we need to improve on. I was real happy the way we responded physically. I think emotionally we have to step up our game a little bit. I feel there's a lot of things we can build off of this game," Mercedes coach Michael Uribe said. "Calallen is a great team and obviously we were tested and challenged. We're going to take this experience and build on for our next games"
The teams were back again pushing for yardage when Mercedes had possession of the ball on a fourth down dilemma. Mercedes Tiger Roel Garcia faked a kick and attempted to run the ball for the first down but didn't make it, giving Calallen possession.
Wildcat Robert Maldonado rushed eight yards from the 39 to the 32. The Wildcats managed to get the ball to the 26 yard line where Maldonado managed to give the Wildcats their second touchdown. They attempted the two point score but didn't make it, making the score 12-0.
Mercedes had possession of the ball, but not for long as Conner Lowrance intercepted the ball for the Wildcats at the 38 yard line. The Wildcats kept pushing Mercedes back with Wildcat Miguel Cantu scoring a touchdown and Joseph Cantu kicking a field goal with the score coming to 19-0.
Mercedes had possession of the ball but was unable to get any real yardage, having to kick the ball to Calallen. Lowrance managed to catch the ball and run down the end zone giving the Wildcats their fourth touchdown ending the first half of the game with a score of 26-0.
Mercedes tried to come back in the second half, but Calallen wouldn't let up. In the beginning of the third quarter, Calallen was able to score a touchdown with the score being 33-0.
On turnovers, Lowrance managed to catch the ball after Mercedes kicks it off and scored a touchdown, bringing the score to 40-0. Mercedes tried to push Calallen back but with conversions and turnovers, they weren't able to. Once Calallen managed to get the ball to the end zone, they kicked for a field goal bringing the score to 43-0.
Mercedes didn't let up on their endurance but it wasn't enough to get a win.
"I thought we played real well for a first game. First time we got the ball, offensively we didn't look real good, we weren't executing our time and our timing was off but once we got everything adjusted they played real well," Calallen coach Phil Danaher said. "Defense was outstanding, got a shut out and the wind was a good factor. We got them in the hole, played great defense and we didn't have to go far for touchdowns."
The Wildcats' next test will be on the road against Weslaco East on Friday night.
Weslaco East is coming off a 28-21 win over Eagle Pass in Week 0. East is under the direction of a new head coach, but the team won District 31-5A last year and returns eleven total starters.
Calallen won last year's meeting 21-7.