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Champion Sparks Pats’ Strong Second Half for Key District Win

Photos were taken on 9-30-21 at Richard Thompson Stadium. Mission Vets No.7 Ricky Reyna looks downfield in the second half.



MISSION—In a year that’s been extremely weird for Mission Vets due to not having a home field, it got even

weirder. In a game that was a tale of two half’s, it was the Patriot defense who answered the bell.

Mission Veterans Mark Champion, fueled

the defense with 2.5 sacks, 6 tackles for loss and sealed the 27-14 win with a dramatic 74-yard pick-six.

“We read an article that, they (Sharyland)

has beaten us five times and we have played them five times. So we came out with a chip on our shoulder and we tried to turn that around.” Champion said.  With the win, Mission Veterans remains perfect in 16-5A DII with a 4-0 district record.

Sharyland’s No.3 Diego Zavala reacts to a touchdown during the first half.

“Big time players make big time plays in big time games, said Patriots head coach David Gilpin. “That was a big game, it was a big play and he is a big time player, Gilpin said of Champion. Our receivers took some shots tonight, Sharyland was physical. We had some guys get hit but kept coming back

into the game.”

Mission Vets trialed 7-0 after a long touchdown run from Alec Gonzalez, the Patriots answered back after a stop defensively with a 9 play drive that found Senior QB Ricky Reyna punch it in from the one-yard line. 

At halftime knotted up at seven, there was plenty of action to follow. After multiple stops from both sides, Sharyland struck again. 

With 3:19 left in the third quarter, Sharyland’s Cole Gerlach found  Diego Zavala on a 15-yard strike. Sharyland took the shot as they managed to catch Mission Vets offsides and took advantage of the free play. 

Mission Veterans took the rest of the quarter driving down the field. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Reyna found Obed Marin on a curl route, Marin evaded three tacklers and found his way into the end zone. 

Mission Vets No.2 Mark Champion rushes the passer in the second half.

However, after a botched snap Mission Vets couldn’t complete the extra point. On Sharyland’s first offensive snap after the Mission Vets touchdown disaster struck. 

Mission Veterans Felipe Olvera stripped the ball carrier and the Patriots pounced on the football. With all momentum swinging in the Patriot’s favor they capitalized on it. Reyna punched it in once again from the 1-yard line and on the next play, Reyna found Allen Vasquez on the 2-point conversion

to make it 21-14.

The 14 point swing was enough to seal the win and found Sharyland with a 2-1 district record and will now have to square off against unbeaten Mercedes. Up next is a date with PSJA Southwest, with a matchup with Mercedes looming.

“We are going to get back to work and hit the film room hard,” Champion said. “Our coaches are going to get us ready for that game. One week at a time.”

Sharyland’s No.6 Cole Gerlach looks downfield in the first half.