Rio Sports Live

Sabercats roll past Harlingen 30-3

By JOHN TREVINO

Rio Sports Live

 EDINBURG-Edinburg Vela Sabercats hosted the Harlingen Cardinals in a non-district clash that had both communities buzzing all week.

The Sabercat defense led by Juniors Jake Dufner and Justin Navarro held the Cardinals to three points in a 30-3 win over the Cardinals Thursday night at Richard Flores Stadium.

In a game that was going to be won in the trenches, Dufner made sure the spotlight shined on him.

Dufner created an interception by hitting the quarterback mid-throw, which saw Navarro come down with the interception early in the first quarter.

The defense turned into offense as senior quarterback Chase Campbell threw for a score to PJ Rivera. Cambell finished with four touchdown passes on the night.

Rivera also scored halfway through the 3rd on a 30-yard bomb from Campbell. Rivera now has six touchdowns in two games for the Sabs.

The way the Sabercats defense held Harlingen to three points was from superb play from Dufner. He stuffed the run, rushed the passer, chased down rushers on the opposite side of the field. It was a full-on takeover from the Junior.

With a comfortable lead in the second half, the Vela defense grew stronger.

With help from Linebacker Ryan Rodriguez, corner Mathew Luna and safety Navarro ( who finished with two interceptions) they were able to keep the Cardinals under the wraps. The point differential off of turnovers ended up being 20 and that was the final say in this ball game. 

“These guys answered the bell two weeks in a row and I couldn’t be prouder of them.” Said Vela head coach John Campbell.

Dufner who did not play last year due to Covid-19 said the summer workouts and patience is what got him ready for his junior season.

“I was really excited for this game, Dufner said. “Last year because of covid I did not get to experience any of this.”

The Sabercats now look forward to squaring off with PSJA North next Friday in what will once again be a battle of two of the tougher teams in the Valley.

The Sabercats have already beaten two formattable opponents in as many weeks. Vela opened the season with a drumming of McAllen Memorial 42-6 and continued that trend Thursday night.

For a second straight week, the Vela defense held their opponent to less than seven points. 

Harlingen, will now look to rebound next week at home as they have a date with a familiar adversary, Laredo United. It will be Harlingen’s second Laredo school in three weeks. 

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