By JUAN ESTEVE
Special to the NEWS
After a painful loss to the Cardinals the previous week at the Battle of the Arroyo, the San Benito Greyhounds finally returned home on week eight to meet up with the Harlingen South Hawks, who shared an identical overall (2-4) and district (0-1) record with the ’Hounds. This game was a pivotal district game for the ’Hounds who needed their ultimate 27-17 victory over the Hawks in order to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
In this game the Mighty Greyhounds began slowly, being able to put up only three points after a couple of possessions lost on downs, and with about seven minutes running in the first quarter, they were able to open the score 3-0 through a chip shot by San Benito kicker Yahir Reyes (#35). However, the Hawks’ offense took over and their QB David Torres (#8) handed the ball to Marcos Gonzales (#33), who took off for a 55-yard touchdown that gave the Hawks the lead 7-3. The Hawks were able to eat a big chunk of the clock in that first quarter, leaving only 2:57 to the ’Hounds’ offense, who, in their next possession, lost the ball turned over on downs and that was the end of the first quarter, ending in favor of Harlingen South.
During the second quarter, San Benito got the ball first and, surprisingly, Elijah Hernandez (#1) took control of the ’Hounds offense, and in one play on the second quarter he handed off the ball to Kyler Castilleja (#20), who made a long run for approximately 35-yards before fumbling the ball and giving possession back to the Harlingen South Hawks. That fumble proved fatal as Hawk Marcos Gonzalez (#33) made a long run for his second touchdown of the night, running up the score 14-3 in favor of the South Hawks.
However, this was only the second quarter with 9:25 remaining on the clock, and from there the San Benito offense, commanded by Smiley Silva (#7), regained possession. Silva connected a short pass to Jermaine Corbin (#5) to keep the drive alive. Silva then got a first down run for 15-yards, placing the ball on the 45-yard line; furthermore, Silva was sacked in that drive by Aaron Vinson (#9), and it looked like the ’Hounds would lose that possession, but they kept their composure. The ’Hounds called a time-out on a critical fourth down with 6:08 to go in the second quarter, and after a quick talk with Coach Dan Gomez, Kyler Castilleja (#20) got a short run for that crucial fourth down, putting the ’Hounds on the Hawks’ 17-yard line. Smiley Silva scored on the following run that included a couple of dodge tackles for a 17-yard touchdown run that put the ’Hounds within 4 points (14-10) of regaining dominance with 4:27 to go in the first half of the game.
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