(Pharr, Texas)-PSJA North HS Raiders head football coach, Marcus Kaufmann loves riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. It’s what keeps him at peace. It was a gift from his wife. They both love riding Harleys. “My wife bought me this bike and now, we both ride bikes. It’s relaxing,” says Kaufmann. The Raiders (9-2) will travel to Laredo to play the 30-6A Eagle Pass Eagles (8-3) on Friday night at Shirley Field in the Class 6A DI Area Championships. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

For the Raiders, it’s unfinished business from last season’s forfeit to SA Taft in the area championships due to COVID-19 issues. “That was hard to swallow,” said Kaufmann. “This left a bitterness on your team and staff. Hopefully, we will take care of business and head to the Alamodome next week.” Should the Raiders win, they will play next Friday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas against the winner of 26-6A champions, Austin Westlake (11-0) or 27-6A runner-up, New Braunfels (9-2).

The Eagles (8-3) finished in second place in District 30-6A and have outscored their opponents 404-276 while the Raiders are much better against their opponents 437-123. The Raiders will rotate two talented sophomore quarterbacks with Ale Aparicio and Julius Arredondo. “Both QBs are team players and unselfish. They both know they have jobs to do,” adds Kaufmann. In the backfield, the Raiders are dominant with senior running backs Issac Goznalez (1,510 yards) and FB Jack Lugo (894 yards), and sophomore Jason Montez (796 yards). In total, the Raiders have rushed for 3,683 yards this season.

The Raiders have recorded four shutouts and and have allowed six points scored with two other opponents this season for a total of 291points scored and defensively, they have allowed just 6 points scored in six games this year. “Our defense is pretty good,” added Kaufmann.

In more games, at Rio Grande City Joe R. Sanchez stadium, the Harlingen Cardinals (8-3) will meet 30-6A Laredo United South (8-3) again, but, this time in the Class 6A DI Area playoffs. The Cards played the Panthers in their season opener on August 27th, winning 35-10. “They are a good ball club,” says Cardinal head coach, Manny Gomez. The winner of Friday night’s clash will meet Austin Lake Travis (9-2) or SA East Central (7-4) in the regional championships next week.

The Los Fresnos Falcons (7-3) are the “Cinderella team” in the playoffs after capturing the runner-up spot in District 32-6A and then won the 6A DI Bi-District title with a 56-14 win over Mission last week. Brennan is coming off a 55-20 win over 30-6A Laredo United. Both teams will meet at San Antonio Farris Stadium at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in San Antonio, Texas. Falcons first-year head football coach David Cantu has surprised many teams thus, this season.

On the road, the 16-5A DI champions, McAllen Memorial Mustangs (10-1) will meet 13-5A DI San Antonio Lanier (9-2) at Cabaniss Field at 3:00 p.m. in Corpus Christi, Texas this Saturday. The winner will meet 15-5A DI CC Veterans or 14-5A DI SA Southwest next week in the regional championships. On paper, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents 387-222 while the Voks have held their opponents to 133 points with twi shutout wins against Pearshall (40-0) and SA Jefferson (34-0). The Mustangs are led by interim head football coach, Moses Patterson.

At home, the Rio Grande Valley will be entertained by High School Sports Magazine’s No.1 ranked, Edinburg Vela (11-0) against San Antonio Taft (9-2) in the Class 6A DII Area playoffs. The winner will meet Austin Vandergrift (10-1) or Cibolo Steele (11-0) on Thanksgiving weekend. Sabercats head coach John Campbell will lead his team against a defense that has allowed 256 points while the Sabercats have held its opponents to a total of 69 points scored this year. SA Taft QB 6’1 190lbs Jalen Hurt leads the team with 512 yards passing and has rushed for 1,186 yards along with 6’2 195lbs TJ Andrews at running back (820 yards 7.5 avg)