6A Football Notebook: Four teams to vie for 31-6A’s final postseason berths


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Mission’s Tajh Jones (7) is taken out of bounds by PSJA North defender Donovan Herrera (11) during the first half of a high school football game at Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27,2020 in Mission. Cortez caught the ball and scored on a 40 yard scamper. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | [email protected]

Eight Class 6A high school football teams will be in action across the Rio Grande Valley this week during the RGV’s district championship weekend.

Originally, five games were scheduled between 10 Class 6A teams this weekend including two district championship games, but the District 32-6A championship between the Brownsville Hanna Golden Eagles and Harlingen High Cardinals was canceled Monday, Brownsville ISD Athletics announced in a written statement on Twitter.

That leaves one district championship game, two zone play-ins and one significant game without playoff implications.

The Edinburg Vela SaberCats (4-0, 3-0) will host the Mission High Eagles (4-0, 3-0) in the District 31-6A championship and one of The Monitor’s two Games of the Week at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Richard R. Flores Stadium in Edinburg.

The SaberCats and Eagles — the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the latest Top 10 Poll — enter the contest with the top two offenses and defenses by points and yards per game in District 31-6A.

It’s a matchup that should feature several of the Rio Grande Valley’s top playmakers including Edinburg Vela senior quarterback AJ Sotelo and Mission junior quarterback Jeremy Duran, 31-6A’s two leading passers, and six of the district’s top seven wide receivers by yardage.

The SaberCats also feature one of the Rio Grande Valley’s deepest offensive lines led by senior left tackle and UTSA commit Ronnie Garza, while the Eagles boast one of the RGV’s most formidable defensive fronts led by senior defensive lineman Dante Lopez, who was a Texas Sports Writers Association Honorable Mention All-State selection in 2019.

Both teams have already clinched spots in the Class 6A bi-district playoffs, but this game could carry playoff implications based on the results of 31-6A’s zone play-ins, in which case the winner of this contest would take the district’s top seed in the Class 6A DII playoffs.


The Edinburg North Cougars (2-3, 1-2), the third seed in 31-6A’s north zone, will travel to take on the PSJA North Raiders (3-3, 1-1), the second seed in 31-6A’s south zone, in the second of two win-or-go-home zone play-in games and one of the season’s most-anticipated rematches at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Pharr.

The Raiders used a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Cougars in Edinburg earlier in the season.

PSJA North junior running back Isaac Gonzalez led the comeback charge in that game and should play a leading role in this rematch too as District 31-6A’s leading rusher. The Raiders should also get a big boost offensively from freshman quarterback Sergio Aparicio, who has emerged as one of the Valley’s top newcomers.

The Cougars will lean on a potent rushing attack and a stout, veteran defense to get back to the 6A playoffs for the second consecutive season, while PSJA North will look to clinch its first postseason berth since 2018.


The Edinburg High Bobcats (2-2, 2-1), the second seed in 31-6A’s north zone, will host the PSJA High Bears (1-3, 0-2), the third seed in the district’s south zone, in the first of two win-or-go-home District 31-6A zone play-in games at 7 p.m. Thursday at Richard R. Thompson Stadium in Edinburg.

The Bobcats will be looking to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2018 led by one of District 31-6A’s top rushers in senior Shandon Woodard and one of the Rio Grande Valley’s top defenders in senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron.

On the opposite sideline, PSJA High enters as a winner of back-to-back district champions looking to overcome a sluggish start to the season and get back to the playoffs to avenge an early round exit to Eagle Pass in 2019.


The Donna North Chiefs (0-4, 0-3) will host the Brownsville Rivera Raiders (0-3, 0-3) in the regular-season finale for both teams at 7 p.m. Friday at Bennie La Prade Stadium in Donna.

Both sides have been eliminated from postseason contention, but a win for Donna North would snap the Rio Grande Valley’s longest active winless streak in high school football, which currently stands at 28 games.


The playoffs seedings in District 32-6A are set, as the Harlingen High Cardinals (5-0, 3-0) and Brownsville Hanna Golden Eagles (4-0, 3-0) will be crowned co-district champions and receive 32-6A’s top seeds in the Class 6A DI and DII playoffs, respectively. Both will host bi-district playoff games.

The San Benito Greyhounds (3-2, 2-1), meanwhile, have secured District 32-6A’s second seed in the Class 6A DI playoffs and the Weslaco High Panthers (3-1, 2-1) have clinched the district’s second seed in the Class 6A DII playoffs. Both will travel for their bi-district playoff games.

Harlingen will host District 31-6A’s second seed in the bi-district round of the Class 6A DI playoffs.

If Edinburg North wins its zone play-in, the Cougars will host San Benito in the bi-district round of the 6A DI playoffs. If PSJA North wins that 31-6A zone play-in, then the Greyhounds will travel to face Mission High in the bi-district round of the 6A DI playoffs.

Brownsville Hanna will host PSJA North if the Raiders win their 31-6A zone play-in game Friday. Otherwise, the Golden Eagles will host the loser of the District 31-6A Championship in the bi-district round of the Class 6A DII playoffs.

If Edinburg North wins its 31-6A zone play-in game, then Weslaco will travel to face the winner of the District 31-6A championship. Otherwise, the Panthers will go on the road to battle Edinburg Vela in the bi-district round of the 6A DII playoffs.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ByAndyMcCulloch


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