By JUAN ESTEVE
Special to the NEWS
The San Benito High School Varsity Greyhounds kicked-off their 2019 season at the Bobby Morrow Stadium Friday night. in a non-conference game against a familiar rival: the Calallen High Wildcats from Corpus Christi.
These two teams are completing a back-back game series that started last year (2018), where The Calallen Wildcats were victorious by a 28-21 score. Despite that tough loss in last year’s calendar, the Greyhounds reached the playoffs in 2018.
Fast-forward to Friday’s action where Coach Dan Gomez decided to give his senior quarterback Smiley Silva a confidence vote, who showed good substance despite the 28-20 defeat.
Things started well for the San Benito Greyhounds with a 7-7 tie heading to halftime. Smiley Silva and company were mixing plays and fighting toe-to-toe with a higher rank team: the Wildcats are ranked 70 in the Lone Star State and 595 nationally, compared to the ’Hounds who are ranked 433 in the state and 3814 nationally.
Still, the Greyhounds hung in a “dog fight” kind of ball-game all the way until the third-quarter when the score was a tie. One of the turning points on this game was a fumble recovered by the Wildcats’ defense that catapulted them to a connection that Jarrett Garza (QB) did with one of his Tight-ends Colten Calloway, giving Calallen the lead which they never lost again. The Greyhounds tried to come from behind with a couple of nice carries by Smily Silva and running back Kyler Castilleja.
In some of Coach Gomez’ words, ”Coaches and players did a great job according to the game-plan and I just need to do a better job to get them ready. I let them down, I need to do a better job.” The ’Hounds tried to manufacture a comeback; however, Callalen made defensive adjustments and only allowed the ’Hounds to limited plays by the air: one of those plays was the connection between Smiley Silva and wide-receiver Juan Constante that was good for a touchdown, placing the score 28-20 in favor of Calallen at the time, but made the game more interesting and made the loss a little less bitter, sending some fans happier with the effort performance offered by their ’Hounds.
What’s next for the San Benito Greyhounds? On week two they will be on the road playing at Calallen HS against Victoria West, an unpredictable rival.