By Pete Banda
Last year, the San Benito Greyhounds traveled to McAllen to finish off their non-district schedule against the Memorial Mustangs in a battle of unbeaten teams. From start to finish, that was one of the most exciting games of the season for both teams. The ’Hounds ultimately fell to the Mustangs 63-44 behind a historic performance by Memorial All-American running back Trevor Speights.
In that game, Speights rumbled for a whopping 373 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Despite the best efforts from senior quarterback J.R. Gaitan, who ran for 260 yards and four touchdowns of his own, Memorial was able to outlast the Greyhounds, outscoring San Benito 21-6 in the final quarter.
As the ’Hounds enter this year’s matchup, they look ready to avenge their first loss from a season ago.
The Mustangs boast a highly explosive running game, with three dynamic players splitting carries. First off is senior back Emilio Mendez, number 28. So far this season, Mendez has turned his 40 carries into 287 yards rushing with one fumble. The younger, and perhaps more explosive option, would have to be freshman phenom Campbell Speights, the younger brother of Trevor. Speights has accounted for 290 yards and a touchdown off just 35 carries, he will be wearing jersey number 5 on Friday. JoJo Williams should see some action as well, as he averages 11 yards per carry.
With a combined 42 passing yards and no touchdowns through the air, the Mustangs will no doubt be leaning on a punishing running game to pull off the upset over San Benito.
Memorial’s defense has allowed 35 points per game this season and over 217 rushing yards per contest. Still, two players stick out as solid playmakers for the Mustangs. Middle Linebacker Jaryd Lara, who will be wearing jersey number 44, has accounted for 35 tackles, including 5 tackles for loss in just two games. Free Safety Joey Delgado, jersey number 25, has also proven to be a reliable playmaker, with 24 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.
If San Benito is clicking on all cylinders, this could turn into another blowout victory for the War Dogs.
San Benito- 56
McAllen Memorial- 24