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October 5, 2013

Defense Leads Harlingen to Key District Win

LOS FRESNOS - The Harlingen Cardinals (4-1, 3-0) took a huge step towards contention for the 32-5A district title with a 31-14 win over the Los Fresnos Falcons (4-2, 3-1) Friday night at Aguilar Stadium.

A big defensive effort from Harlingen contained the normally potent Los Fresnos attack which had been averaging over 35 points per game going into the contest.

The game started out as a defensive struggle with the two teams feeling each other out, Harlingen after a three and out would be forced to punt. Los Fresnos got a 24 yard punt return by Brandon Colon to set the Falcons up in Harlingen territory, but they'd be unable to cash in as a a 37 yard field goal was no good. Harlingen would move the ball well on their second drive, but like Los Fresnos they'd miss a field goal and after one quarter it was scoreless.

Harlingen would force a Los Fresnos punt and finally get things rolling as they went to the air. QB Brandon Garza hooked up with Brandon Vasquez on a perfectly thrown 44 yard touchdown pass to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead. Los Fresnos would fumble the ensuing kickoff and Harlingen would capitalize with a 40 yard field goal from Samuel Bazan making it 10-0.

Harlingen would appear to be en route to making the game a rout as Fidencio Gonzalez would score on a six yard run putting the Cardinals up 17-0. Los Fresnos would have an answer as Colon would return the ensuing kickoff 65 yards deep into Harlingen territory. The Falcons would score on a one yard run by Eli Cruz to make it 17-7 Harlingen at the half.

Los Fresnos would open the second half with an impressive drive to cut the Harlingen lead to 17-14. The Falcons would get most of it done behind the strong running of QB Javier Cruz as he'd cap the drive with a one yard run.

Harlingen would have a big time answer on the ensuing drive as Gonzalez would score from six yards out to put the Cards back up 24-14. Los Fresnos would threaten a couple of more times, but the Falcons would not get back on the board the remainder of the night. Any hopes of a comeback would officially end with a 60 yard run from Rene Medina for the final margin of 31-14.

"Our kids knew this would be a tough game, Los Fresnos is a good team so this is a big win," said Harlingen HC Manny Gomez. "Our defense didn't blitz much in the first half and I think that confused them some. We turned up the pressure in the second half and it paid off."

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