By PETE BANDA
The San Benito Greyhounds collected another impressive win in their homecoming game against the Brownsville Rivera Raiders last Friday, October 7, at Bobby Morrow Stadium. While normally beating a team with one victory to their name wouldn’t qualify as impressive, the ’Hounds earned some style points, blasting the Raiders 70-6. San Benito will be hoping to carry over some of that momentum when they visit the Harlingen South Hawks (4-2) this Friday as they continue their quest for perfection.
On paper, it may look like the ’Hounds are looking at another blowout victory as they average 20 points and 130 yards more per game than the Hawks. However, it was just two years ago that Harlingen South ruined San Benito’s bid at an outright district championship, all while sporting a 2-6 record.
“We all understand that we can’t take any game for granted because anybody can be beaten in this district,” said senior linebacker Richard Moreno. “It’s an important game for us because it’s the next game on the schedule and we want to win every game we play.”
San Benito’s major advantage is on the offensive side of the ball, where they score more points per half than the Hawks do per game. One thing that the Hawks do have in their favor is a dual threat star under center. Senior quarterback Brandon Villarreal has put together a solid season and is the main threat to San Benito.
Villarreal has compiled 428 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to his 370 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. While Villarreal is the team’s leading rusher, there are plenty of rushing yards to go around in the Hawks run-centric offense. Running backs Matthew Zavala (#22) and Gilbert Montemayor (#42) have combined for 478 yards and six touchdowns on 98 carries this season.
Although San Benito has a solid defense in terms of points allowed and generating turnovers, they have been vulnerable against teams that rely on the run game. The Greyhounds have surprisingly allowed more than 180 yards rushing in three of their last four games. For San Benito to win their 12th straight regular season game, they will have to step up on the defensive side of the ball. South may seem beatable, but don’t forget they started the season 3-0 and have a victory over Los Fresnos under their belt.
If the Greyhound offense can maintain their explosiveness, it might not matter what the Greyhound offense does anyway. San Benito can put up points in bunches and Erick Retta has proven to be just as much of a threat through the air as on the ground. In what could be a shootout, look for the superior talent of San Benito to be the difference. Prediction: Greyhounds: 47 Hawks: 27