Undefeated Showdown in Weslaco

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WESLACO – If it was a boxing match, the referee would be saying, “ring the bell and come out swinging!”

In tomorrow’s heavyweight bout, something has to give.

The Vela SaberCats are taking their 6-0 record on the road to face the 5-0 Weslaco Panthers.

“At this point in this year, you’re trying to everything you can to number one, get a playoff spot, so each game almost has a playoff type mentality to it

anyways,” said Vela coach John Campbell. “The fact that you’ve got two unbeaten teams right now playing creates an atmosphere that’s exciting for the

fans and the students.”

The SaberCats have stockpiled district wins. Since 2014, they’ve won 28 straight.

The impressive run includes three district titles.

For the Panthers, their mission is simple.

Win tomorrow and stop the SaberCats’ streak.

“Our kids have done a great job to this point buying in,” said Weslaco coach Michael Salinas. “They’re playing extremely hard right now. We’re just

preparing for another week and hope we go out and fire our best shot.”

Coach Salinas knows all about Vela. He was their first coach.

But after five years with the program, Salinas left Edinburg and took over the Panthers.

“I think Weslaco is a special place,” said Salinas. “We got a great community with great support, so our kids have enjoyed that.”

Panther fans have also enjoyed the team’s 5-0 start.

The offense led by quarterback Jacob Cavazos, who’s thrown14 touchdowns to go along with six rushing scores.

No other player has scored more in 31-6A.

“Weslaco is going to provide their own unique challenges because they’ve got some explosive skill players,” said Campbell. “Anytime the quarterback is a running threat, I think that presents some unique challenges for the defense, which obviously they have that with the Cavazos kid.”

On the flip side, the Panthers’ defense will have their hands full with an offense that’s scoring 43 points per game.

Weslaco is up for the challenge.

“Our defense has done a great job to this point,” said Salinas. “They’re doing a great job up front in playing extremely hard. We just got to continue to put them together.”

While each coach understands why this game is a big deal, each coach is also trying to temper the growing hype.

“Our guys are looking at this one just like any other ball game,” said Salinas. “It’s the most important one for us because it’s the next one.”

“The reality is, you have to have a 0-0 mentality going into this game with the understanding that you’re playing a very, very good and up to this point, seasoned opponent.”

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