Vikings remain perfect in district play - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Football

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Vikings remain perfect in district play

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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 9:42 am

BROWNSVILLE — The Pace Vikings found themselves in another close one Saturday night against PSJA Memorial. Like he has all season, Pace quarterback Jose Banda made plays with his legs.

Banda scored the go-ahead touchdown and, after a defensive stop, the Vikings earned a gut-check 28-22 win, their fourth victory in a row.

“Right now we are feeling awesome,” Banda said. “All the glory goes to God, but we worked hard for this. We worked all offseason, and I feel like this is all coming together. The first game was a bit shaky, but we are getting at it. We are not the biggest, but we do have some new guys on the varsity squad. But we are in a good spot.”

Resilient was the one word Pace coach Danny Pardo used to describe his team after another hard-fought win.

“The kids will come through when the big plays need to be made,” Pardo said. “That is one thing that can be said about this team. They are a resilient bunch, and tonight was a close one and they made the plays when they had to, and we are growing and we are getting better as we go. We play (La Joya) Palmview next week, and that will be a big game as far as the playoff picture is concerned.”

Pace is now 4-0 in district play and hits the road to face Palmview. PSJA Memorial is still winless at 0-4 and will take on Rio Grande City next week.

“We don’t want people to know about us, to be honest with you,” Pardo said. “If we can stay under the radar, that is better.”

The Vikings got on the board first with a 33-yard touchdown run from Dylan Barron. The Wolverines answered with a TD run from Mike Munoz that tied the game at 7 late in the second quarter.

After the Wolverines took a 14-7 lead on an Alejandro Leyva rushing touchdown, the Vikings rattled off 21 unanswered points.

John Moody’s pick-6 tied the game at 14 and gave the Vikings momentum. After Banda’s go-ahead score, the Vikings put the icing on the cake when Banda hit tight end Chase Morales on an 8-yard TD, giving Pace a 28-14 lead.

“I think the pick-6 is what turned everything around for us,” Pardo said. “The defense was fired up after that.”

PSJA Memorial added a late 21-yard touchdown from Leyva to Munoz. A successful two-point conversion cut the lead to 28-22.

“We are young, and for us to play in these close games gives the kids momentum and confidence moving forward,” Pardo said. “When we play the tough teams in a tight game, we will be better prepared.”

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