Whether it’s reviewing film or seeing the action up close, Hanna coach Rene Medrano can pinpoint moments when one play altered the outcome of the game, either because of the sequence resulted in momentum or points on the scoreboard.
A long run here, a touchdown there — all it takes is a couple of those plays to snowball in either team’s favor, coach Rene Medrano said. And he saw that in the Eagles’ most recent game, in which a couple gaffes paved the way for Brownsville Veterans Memorial to pull away by halftime.
So, in preparing for Saturday night’s District 32-5A game against Porter — a team with a winless record whose defense has given some opponents fits — Medrano said his players would have to concentrate on details. If not, the ramifications can be costly.
“We just have to make sure every play is right,” he said. “At times, you could look at a play here and there where it changes a ballgame, so we have to make sure we keep everything in perspective and stay mentally ready.”
At 1-4 overall and 1-2 in district, Hanna isn’t much better in the standings than Porter (0-4, 0-2). But both teams have had instances in which they have performed well. And both teams realize that sometimes games are decided by the smallest details.
The mental aspect of the game also plays a huge role, both coaches would agree.
Porter, for instance, has had Jekyll and Hyde-like performances. Against Brownsville Veterans, the Cowboys played stout defense for large portions of the game, and if not for a couple miscues that led to touchdowns, perhaps the game would have been much closer in Porter’s favor.
Still, the Cowboys’ effort was enough to hold the Chargers to their lowest scoring output of the season in a 17-0 Brownsville Veterans win.
Then, there are times when Porter yields 48 points (Harlingen South) the following week, or as many as 50 (Economedes).
“That’s what I told my kids,” Cowboys coach Hector Garcia said. “If we can play like we played against Veterans, we have a good, fighting chance. But if the team that played Harlingen South comes out, it’s going to be a long night for us.
“It’s a mental thing, because we certainly know we have the capability of playing hard and playing for four quarters. They’ve proven that.”
Medrano also felt like his Eagles were within striking distance last week against Brownsville Veterans. That is, of course, until the game slipped out of their reach by intermission and the Chargers rolled to a 30-14 win.
“We just need to know that every single play can be the difference in a ballgame,” he said. “That one play you give up can be the difference, and you have to prevent that.”
Garcia believes Hanna is a “pretty good” team, whose “record doesn’t indicate it, just like ours,” which is part of the reason he sees Saturday night’s game as a solid matchup for both programs. Medrano agrees.
“They’re going to be ready,” he said. “We just have to keep on preparing like we’ve been doing, working on the game plan, and hopefully everything goes well for us.
“We can’t assume anything (based on records). We just have to go out there and play hard. That’s the reason you go out there and play the games.”
Mario Aguirre covers sports for The Brownsville Herald. You can reach him at (956) 982-6663 or via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mario_aguirre.