Staff writer for RGV Sports and The Monitor. A proud Hoosier by birth and education. Follow on Twitter @JonFile
WESLACO — Yes, Edcouch-Elsa coach Joe Marichalar knows it’s a scrimmage and that the final score has no bearing on the rest of the season. But the third-year coach liked what he saw from the sideline Friday againstWeslaco East at Weslaco High School.
During the live portion of the evening, Edcouch-Elsa scored on four of its six possessions, beating Weslaco East 27-7. Every touchdown came from the right arm of junior quarterback Marco Aguinaga.
“He’s really been working on his throwing,” Marichalar said. “He’s a dual threat, he can run around the pocket and beat you that way too. We’ve been trying to bring those elements of his game together. When he does that, the sky’s the limit for this kid.”
Aguinaga’s touchdowns came in myriad ways. The first occurred during the first possession in live action when he connected with receiver J.J. Flores for a 35-yard score. The undersized Flores was sandwiched between two larger Weslaco East defenders but managed to come down with the ball in the end zone.
“J.J. and Marcos are both juniors,” Marichalar said. “So they know each other pretty well on the field. You could see it tonight.”
Aguinaga continued to pick apart East’s defense for the remainder of the night. Next came a six-yard pass to senior Moses Gomez to cap a six-play drive, then a seven-yard score to Andrew Segura. Few were the plays where the Yellowjackets did not have an empty backfield.
“We’re looking at the game differently now,” Marichalar said. “Everyone says you have to run to support the pass. We’re doing it the other way around. We want our passing game to be able to set up our offense. We showed we could do that tonight.”
TWO AS ONE
Aguinaga and Segura teamed up for a touchdown for a second time near the end of the second quarter of live action.
With the ball at Weslaco East’s 20-yard line, Aguinaga completed what looked to be a 20-yard pass down the middle to Segura, who proceeded to eat up the turf and outrun two East defenders into the end zone. QB and WR were in sync Friday. Last year, however, saw both athletes competing for the starting job under center.
“This year, they came together and said, ‘This is our team,’” Marichalar said. “‘We’re going to do whatever it takes for us to win.’ Everyone has to be on the same page to accomplish the goals you want to achieve. They’re setting an example for everyone through their play.”
The Wildcats looked strong during the controlled portion of Friday’s scrimmage, where they beat Edcouch 13-6. Senior running back Emilio Tamez demonstrated his explosiveness and ability to run in the open field, and the team’s defense totaled two interceptions against Aguinaga. The lone blemish came when starting left guard Jonathan Banda suffered a right knee injury and missed the remainder of the evening.
Though the Wildcats showed little of the same sense of urgency during the live portion — a late TD from running back Chris Cardenas staved off a shutout — Weslaco East coach Mike Burget kept the scrimmage in perspective.
“I’m just trying to get the team better,” Burget said. “I can tell you a lot of our kids played well tonight. The first five drives showed that. Two turnovers, two scores. That’s East football. During the game-like situation, we rotated a lot of kids out. We got a lot of veteran defensive guys coming back, so we saw what they could do early.”
Edcouch-Elsa opens the season against McAllen Rowe Friday, Aug. 28 at home. Weslaco East will play Brownsville Rivera Thursday, Aug. 27 at Bobby Lackey Stadium in Weslaco.