So the Falcons and Yellowjackets could be in for a shootout when the two teams face off in Week 2 on Friday at Leo Aguilar Stadium.
That means the defense that doesn’t break should determine the outcome.
“I expect to have to score plenty of points,” Los Fresnos coach Clint Finley said. “They spread the field, they have athletes to do it and a guy to pull the trigger or run. They’re explosive and can go the distance at any time with a number of players.
“We’re going to have to be at the tip-top of our game (on defense) to be successful, there’s no doubt. This is a great test for us.”
Edcouch-Elsa coach Joe Marichalar agreed.
“I think it will be a defensive battle, both offenses are pretty explosive,” he said. “It will be whoever breaks. We take pride in defense over here and Los Fresnos does, too. They have a heck of a defensive unit.”
Last year at Edcouch-Elsa, the Falcons earned a hard-fought road victory, 35-31, and this year’s version is shaping up to be just as close. And Los Fresnos doesn’t expect it to be any easier this season.
“I expect a very physical, hard-nosed football game,” Finley said.
The Falcons have focused on defense how to stop Yellowjackets quarterback Marco Aguinaga.
“They have a quarterback that can do it with his feet and his arm, which make it very hard on a defense,” Finley said. “He’s a playmaker.”
The Falcons counter with quarterback Rene Ortega, who threw for 259 yards and five touchdowns last week. Ortega will test the Yellowjackets’ secondary early and often when the Falcons have the ball.
Finley knows the history of the Edcouch-Elsa program and hopes Los Fresnos can emulate it.
“When people talk about Valley football, they think about Edcouch-Elsa,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we have them on the schedule. They have the things that we want. We want to be like that. We want to be dominant, and they’ve been dominant in the past with great tradition and heart. Their kids are going to come out and play their hearts out.”
With both offenses clicking and a defense focused to stop the opponent’s offense, perhaps the game could come down to special teams.
“It’s going to come down to the kicking game, and the team that can eliminate the mental errors and the turnover ratio,” Marichalar said. “I know Los Fresnos will be a handful for us, they’re a big team size-wise. We’re in for a tough one, man.”
Andrew Crum covers sports for The Brownsville Herald. You can reach him at (956) 982-6629 or via email at email@example.com. On Twitter he’s @andrewmcrum.