By Louie Vera
There couldn’t be two hotter teams to clash on Friday night with Lopez on a five-game winning streak and Veterans Memorial coming off a decisive victory over Edcouch-Elsa.
And the matchup didn’t disappoint.
It was a playoff atmosphere with hard hitting and intense play but it would be the mental mistakes that made the difference.
Brownsville Veterans Memorial took advantage of a late first half score then Tommy Martinez ran a fumble recovery back to pay dirt to lift the Chargers 21-7 over the Lobos Friday night at Sams Stadium.
“I think that the Lobos have a tremendous football program and they keep getting better year after year so we knew it was going to be a tough battle,” Chargers coach David Cantu said. “Our defense has been there all year Tommy Martinez made a great play, picked up ball, made a huge play for us. And we were happy to come out on top.”
Lopez kept Veterans at bay in the first half but the Chargers took advantage of the Lobos inside their own one yardline and had excellent field position just before the half.
I feel like we are hungry and not satisfied,” he said. “We still have a long way to go.”
It was a physical first half with the Lobos drawing first blood when Alex Ramirez plowed in from two yards out to give Lopez a 7-0 lead with 6:36 left in the first half.
Veterans Memorial didn’t take long to answer back calling quarterback Gustavo Vasquez’ number five consecutive plays for a 5-play 37 yard scoring drive to even up the game.
Two possessions later Vasquez hit pay dirt again this time running 37 yards with 29 seconds before the half to give the Chargers its first lead of the game at 14-7.
The Lobos looked to even the score in the middle of the third but a high snap picked up by Veterans’ Martinez who took it 44 yards to the house gave the Chargers a 21-7 advantage with 6:36 left in the third quarter.
Despite the loss the Lobos are 3-1 in district and still in position for a playoff berth and shot at a district title for Head Coach Jason Starkey and company.
“I told them after we still have a lot of opportunity to achieve all of our goals,” he said. “And that’s compete for a championship and that’s get a playoff berth. Those are two things we haven’t done in over 10-15 years respectfully. So, we have a lot to play for and we better turn the page around quickly because we have a good Mercedes team coming to Brownsville next week.”