Hanna, Rivera look to get in win column - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Football

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Hanna, Rivera look to get in win column

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 4:36 pm

Heading into Week 3, the Hanna Golden Eagles and the Rivera Raiders are in the same 0-2 boat, but each came into the season with much different expectations.

Another thing the teams share is a positive outlook as they look to get their first win of the season, starting with Hanna (0-2), which will look to post its first victory Saturday night when it welcomes the Weslaco East Wildcats (1-1) to Sams Memorial Stadium for a 7 p.m. start.

The Golden Eagles are fresh off a close 28-27 defeat to Edinburg Vela, but had a chance to win before missing a last-second field goal.

It was the second onepossession loss for Hanna, which lost 42-40 to McAllen Memorial in Week 1.

While the young Golden Eagles feel their record should be flipped, there’s no panic around the team facility.

“We have a level of expectation that we’ve developed over the past two years,” Hanna coach Mark Guess said. “Our expectations at this point were to be 2-0, but obviously we fell short in both games. There were some things that we could have done better that would have changed those results into wins. But seeing the programs that we played are two of the more well-thought-of programs here in the Valley, and to know that with the group we have right now that we’re able to play with them, that’s a good sign. We know we’re headed in the right direction.”

Guess said effort and minimizing mistakes will be key as they fell behind by double digits in both games before mounting comebacks that ultimately fell short.

Hanna will need that against a Wildcats team that is coming off a 28-22 loss to Laredo Alexander in Week 2.

The Golden Eagles and Wildcats have met each of the past three seasons, with Weslaco East winning two of those three games. The exception was last year’s bidistrict matchup, which Hanna won 35-20.

“We know what we’re going to get with Weslaco East. They’re a tough, smashmouth football team,” Guess said. “We know it’s going to be a physical ballgame. Coach (Mike) Burget gets his

kids ready to play, and they play hard. The last few years we’ve had some really good football games, and I expect this year to be no different.”

Rivera (0-2), which will play host to the Valley View Tigers at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Brownsville Sports Park, is brimming with confidence after a pair of close losses in the final minute to Brownsville Veterans Memorial (2621) in Week 1 and Edinburg High (28-21) in Week 2.

First-year Raiders coach Beto Leal said the goal is to end what is now a 21-game losing streak for the program, but he has taken small moral victories in watching his team improve week to week.

“We really go into every game thinking we could win,” Leal said. “We lost to Veterans in the final 50 seconds with the lead and then to Edinburg in the final 30 seconds with the lead. They ask us if we’re getting better every game. Well, heck yeah, we went from losing with 50 seconds to 30 seconds. Our coaches our optimistic, but our kids need to learn how to finish.

“Losing is contagious, but so is winning,” he added. “We played two good football teams who were playoff teams, and Valley View was also a playoff team last season. We’re optimistic no matter whom we play, but our whole goal since Day 1 is to get better every week — that’s a win for me.”

Rivera will have a favorable matchup in the running game this week as top running back Ramiro Vega hopes to go for his third straight 100yard rushing night.

He ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns against Brownsville Veterans, and 105 more and one score against Edinburg High.

Valley View was gashed on the ground last week in a 37-16 loss to Port Isabel, giving up 454 yards and three scores.

In District 16-5A Division I action this week, Porter will play host to La Joya Palmview at Sams, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start Friday night.

Meanwhile, Pace and Lopez hit the road to take on Donna High and Rio Grande City, respectively. Both are also set for 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

Other games scheduled for the same time include Rio Hondo at St. Joseph, Edcouch-Elsa at Los Fresnos and Port Isabel at Hidalgo.

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