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20130906 Football Veterans vs Palmview lg-79It will be Huskies vs Lobos: Part Two tonight at La Joya Stadium as the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies and the Palmview Lobos take to the gridiron and face off for a rematch of last season’s 17-15 Juarez-Lincoln victory. The game had increased significance since it was the Huskies first year in District 30-5A, making it the first district matchup between two of the three La Joya football teams.

As the season played out last year, both teams fell short of qualifying for the state playoffs. As a result, both teams are even more determined to break into post-season play this year. The victor of tonight’s intra-city clash will take a major step towards that goal.

With the Huskies falling to Rio Hondo, 19-13, and the Lobos losing to Veterans Memorial, 56-7, last week, neither team is entering the first round of district play with any kind of momentum. While both coaches would’ve preferred to be coming off of victories as they head into district action, neither is dwelling on what could’ve been.

“We fell behind 19-0 early in the second half against Rio Hondo, but I really like the way we responded after that,” explained Huskies head coach Tomas Garcia. “The kids showed a lot of character in scoring two touchdowns and we were on the verge of scoring a third when we fumbled the ball on the Bobcats’ five-yard-line and we couldn’t punch it in. Then on the final series of the game we moved the ball down the field and reached the 20-yard-line where we had a couple of penalties and a quarterback sack that kept us from scoring again.”

As for Palmview’s loss to the Patriots, Coach Manuel Flores attributed the lopsided score to losing the turnover battle 7-1.

“Obviously one of the factors that contributed to our loss last week was the turnovers,” said Flores. “You just can’t afford to turn the ball over period, especially not to a good team like Veterans. That caused us to dig ourselves into a hole we just couldn’t climb out of.”

CLICK HERE to view an entire gallery of photos from the Palmview vs. Veterans game held September 6, 2013

“As far as positives that we can take from that game, I was very proud of the way the kids came back in the second half and battled,” added Flores. “We made some adjustments at halftime and we limited the turnovers in the second half, but obviously by that time the damage had been done already.”

As for who will be starting at quarterback for Palmview tonight, that will most likely be a game time decision. Lobos’ starter Ezequiel Huaracha was injured against the Patriots and back-up signal caller Chris Zieske finished the game for Flores’ squad.

“Mookie (Huaracha) is on a day-to-day basis right now, so it’ll be a game time decision for us,” explained Flores. “But I like the fact that Chris came in and did a good job of moving the ball for us. So I know that if Mookie can’t play Friday, Chris will do a good job.”

In what is now Garcia’s second season as the Huskies’ head coach, his squad is 6-0 at home and 0-6 on the road. While tonight’s game is being played at La Joya Stadium, Juarez-Lincoln is officially the visiting team. Whether the Huskies will be able to break that streak remains to be seen but Flores is relying on having his team prepared, and not on his opponent’s road losing streak, to bring his squad a win tonight.

“The game still has to be played regardless of what people hope for,” said Flores with a chuckle.

The fact that tonight’s game is not only a match-up of cross-town rivals but is also both teams’ district opener makes securing a victory all that much more important. Not only will the winner take a step in the right direction towards a possible playoff berth but there is also the matter of bragging rights involved.

“Anytime you have an intra-city rivalry, the records go out the door,” explained Garcia. “We were able to be city champs last year by beating the Coyotes and the Lobos but we want to make sure that we’re not a one year wonder. We want to prove to the Valley that we’re the best team coming out of La Joya.”

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