This Friday, two undefeated teams will meet at Rattler Stadium. Only one will retain its unblemished record. McAllen Memorial (6-0, 3-0) will be taking their perfect record into enemy territory when they face the Sharyland Rattlers (6-0, 3-0).
Unblemished records aren’t the only similarity between the two 30-5A schools. Both are coming off impressive wins last week.
McAllen Memorial racked up 42 points in their game last week against La Joya. They did it last week the same way they’ve done it all year, on the back of their slippery quarterback, Matthew Kaufmann. Kaufmann, an efficient passer, finished that game with 10 completions on 14 attempts for a total of 163 passing yards and two touchdowns. But Kaufmann’s contributions don’t end behind the line of scrimmage. Kaufmann also poured in 137 yards on 16 rushing carries to bolster an already effective running game featuring Emmanuel Aguilera who rushed for 129 yards on just eight carries and punched the ball in the end-zone twice. This season, the Mustangs have averaged over 300 yards rushing per game.
The Rattlers have their own versatile weapon at quarterback in junior Tres Barrera. A week ago Barrera threw for 190 yards and three touchdowns with 10 completions on 17 passing attempts while also leading the team in rushing with 94 yards and another touchdown. Barrera has a slew of sure-handed receivers, all who pitched in last week. Estefan Castillo has proven to be a great deep-threat for the Rattlers. Last week he notched two touchdowns on two receptions for a total of 74 yards.
With all this offensive firepower packed into one stadium on one night, the irony is that this game may come down to defense. The Rattlers looked downright impenetrable holding La Joya to only nine points, all of which came on field goals. In much the same way the Mustangs held their last opponent to just 14 points on two touchdowns. The Mustang defense will be looking to senior middle linebacker Bryant Stites who has averaged 10 tackles per game so far this season and caused two fumbles. Joining Stites to make up an impressive linebacking core is another senior Erick Meckel who is averaging just above 10 tackles per game.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.