That was the motto of the Rivera Raiders. When they were 0-5, they rattled off seven straight wins to an Area Championship.
Trailing San Antonio Brandeis 42-7, they managed to come up with a long touchdown score from QB Danny Elizondo to WR Sammy Orive with :28 left in the game to pull them a little bit closer in their 42-14 loss in the 3rd round.
The magic that got the Raiders to the Region Semis wasn’t good enough against Brandeis. They were too big and had too much speed to the outside in the game against Rivera. The Raiders couldn’t match the Broncos for four quarters.
Rivera’s defense kept up with Brandeis during the first two drives, stopping them twice. In the last minute of the first quarter, Brandeis QB Paul Lozano hit WR Peyton Hall who was too tall for the Rivera defender. Rivera came back and Elizondo hit his favorite WR Edward Rubio to tie up the game at 7.
Brandeis drove on its next drive and RB Jaylon Dukes scored on a 30 yard run. Rivera had the ball and it was their turn to match the score before half, but that’s when the speed and class of Brandeis became a factor. Elizondo threw an interception and Driton Salihu returned it for a touchdown, putting the Broncos up 21-7 at half.
The second half was all Brandeis until the late touchdown scored by Rivera in the end. They scored three times on two running touchdowns and a passing td. They made half time adjustments that showed they were ready to move onto the state quarterfinals.
Rivera played tough and showed the grit of their Coach Tom Chavez. In the end, the third round proved to be a lot harder than the first two rounds in which they played Valley teams. They couldn’t come back and win. The Raiders ended the season 7-6 and it was the first time Rivera had made it to the third round since 1999. It was only the second time in school history they made this far.
Cibolo Steele 48 Weslaco East 17–Cibolo Steele is no stranger to the state playoffs. For the fifth consecutive year, they advanced to the state quarterfinals by beating up on a Valley team.
This year it was Weslaco East. They jumped out to a 34-0 at half, then coasted from there, winning 48-17. They dominated the first half, gaining 393 yards and ran the ball as they wanted. The Wildcats had no answer for them in the first half and barely made it past the 50 towards the end of the 2nd quarter.
The only bright spot for Weslaco East was RB Lupe Moron who ran for 98 yards on 24 carries, including a 15 yard TD run. Weslaco East also scored on a Darren Rivas 8 yard pass to Ciro Rojas. Other than that, it was all Cibolo Steele.
Weslaco East ends the year 10-3. Cibolo Steele moves on to play San Antonio Brandeis next Saturday for the right to move onto the State Seminfinals.
CEDAR PARK 52 SHARYLAND 24–At Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Sharyland ran into another team they couldn’t beat and the third round, ending the most successful class in school history.
The score was 14-10 after one quarter and the Rattlers looked to be in striking distance of Cedar Park. Then the Timberwolves opened up, outscoring Sharyland 24-0 in the second quarter. They scored three times and had a safety.
The Rattlers never rebounded from that and were playing for pride in the second half. Players said it hurt to get this far and not be able to win in the third round. The previous two years it was San Antonio Madison. This year Cedar Park. They thought after beating Calallen they had a chance to play in December, but it wasn’t meant to be for the Rattlers. Not this year.
Sharyland ends the year 11-2. Cedar Park will play Kerrville-Tivy in the State Quarerfinals who beat Gregory-Portland 54-30 on Friday night.
SAN ANTONIO REAGAN 50 LOS FRESNOS 19–Los Fresnos fell behind early and could never catch up to San Antonio Reagan as they won easily over the Falcons 50-19.
Reagan scored two touchdowns and returned an interception for a td to go up 21-0 in the first quarter. Los Fresnos couldn’t respond and they were trailing by three touchdowns at half.
The Falcons scored three times in the second half, but Reagan continue to score as they won the game and are headed to the Region Finals. They will play Converse Judson. Los Fresnos ends the year 9-4.