BROWNSVILLE–Just call them the Cardiac Kids.
For the second time in two weeks in the playoffs, the Rivera Raiders battled back, this time in overtime and they beat the McAllen High Bulldogs, 36-29, in a classic playoffgame at Sams Stadium. It marked the second time in two years Rivera knocked out McHigh in playoffs.
Rivera was behind most of the game, but they went ahead when it counted in overtime with a run by QB Danny Elizondo. The Raiders then turned up the heat on defense and stopped the Bulldogs on four plays to secure the win and move onto to the third round of the playoffs.
McHigh had their chances to win and put the game out of reach in fourth quarter. Kicker Adrian Rodriguez came up short on a 40 yard field goal with 4 minutes left in the game to extend the McAllen lead to 11 points.
Rivera drove the length of the field on two plays and hit a two point conversion to tie the game at 29.
McAllen then drove down the field, using passing plays and running behind Ricky Rodriguez who scored three touchdowns in the game. Adrian Rodriguez then lined up for a 22 yard field goal to win the game, but the kick went wide right.
Rivera got off to a bad start in the game by stepping out of bounds on the opening kickoff at the two yard line. They punted away and Ricky Rodriguez returned it to Rivera’s 18 yard line. Two plays later, they scored a TD and got a two point conversion to go up 8-0. From there, it was a back and forth game. Rivera used its passing game to tie the game at Half at 15.
McHigh seemed to have the momentum in the 2nd Half and made some key stops on defense. They led 22-15 after three quarters. Just when you thought Rivera was down for the count, they came back early in the 4th quarter to score, but missed the PAT and trailed by one. It was eerily similar to what happened one week before against PSJA North when they used a last minute drive to beat the Raiders after trailing by one point.
McHigh drove and scored and they were up 29-21. On the next drive, Elizondo threw an interception, but the Bulldogs couldn’t score a touchdown and the kicker missed the field goal, opening the door for the Raiders.
Rivera will play San Antonio Brandeis Friday night at Texas A&M Kingsville. Rivera hopes it can continue its magic and keep winning in the playoffs.
For Photo Gallery of McAllen vs. Rivera, go to my Twitter Page at mannydelarosa68 or Facebook Page at mannydelarosa
SHARYLAND 28 CALALLEN 0–The Sharyland Rattlers ended the Calallen legacy of domination over Valley teams. They shut out the Wildcats 28-0, giving them their first loss in the playoffs to a Valley team at Texas A&M Kingsville on Friday.
Sharyland shut down Calallen’s running attack, holding them to 167 yards on the ground. That tough defense set up the Rattlers offense who scored behind QB Lance Madden. He passed for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
Calallen was shut out for the first time in the playoffs since 2006. The loss left a bad taste in the mouth of legendary Coach Phil Danaher as he lost after winning 27 straight games to Valley teams in the playoffs.
Sharyland will play Cedar Park at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio next Friday night.
LOS FRESNOS 13 DEL RIO 12
WESLACO EAST 56 LA JOYA PALMVIEW 6
FLOUR BLUFF 55 MISSION VETERANS 28
GREGORY-PORTLAND 28 ROMA 24
VICTORIA WEST 61 EDINBURG VELA 45
LAREDO UNITED 40 WESLACO 28
REGION SEMI FINALS
SAN ANTONIO BRANDEIS VS. RIVERA Friday at 7 @TAMUK
WESLACO EAST VS. SAN ANTONIO CIBOLO STEELE Friday at 7 @Buc Stadium in Corpus Christi
SHARYLAND VS. CEDAR PARK Friday at 7:30 pm @ Heroes Stadium in San Antonio
LOS FRESNOS VS. SAN ANTONIO REAGAN Saturday 2 pm @TAMUK
Manuel De La Rosa works for High School Sports Magazine and covers football teams in Cameron and Willacy County. If you want to see his Twitter feed, go to mannydelarosa68 or Manuel De La Rosa on Facebook and Instagram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org