HIDALGO — Hidalgo Pirates senior two-way standout Dakoda Cervantes has been tabbed The Monitor’s Week 4 Valley high school football Player of the Week.

Cervantes, a tall rangy athlete who has played defensive end and a big offensive role for the Pirates, was a key component in Hidalgo’s relentless rushing attack and dominant defense that topped La Feria 35-10 on Friday night at Bill Pate Memorial Stadium in The Monitor’s Game of the Week.

The Hidalgo senior recorded a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and notched a rushing touchdown in his team’s victory over the Lions, its first since 2012, which also guaranteed the Pirates District 16-4A DI’s top playoff seed and at least a share of the district title.

On the second play from scrimmage against La Feria, Cervantes scooped up a bobbled snap and returned it to the Lions’ 14-yard line to set the Pirates up with great field position, an early lead and a huge momentum boost to start the game.

Cervantes later stripped a ball loose in the shadow of his squad’s goal post, which senior running back and defensive back Zach Carrera fell on top of at the Hidalgo 2-yard line to prevent a La Feria touchdown. The takeaway ultimately led to another Pirates’ touchdown.

He also scored his first touchdown of the year on his first carry of the season: a three-yard plunge into the end zone behind the fullback. Cervantes’ blocking offensively was also a big reason why the Pirates were able to rush for 313 yards and five total touchdowns against the Lions.

Cervantes has shined for Hidalgo when the spotlight has been brightest. He tallied three sacks, two pass deflections and a forced fumble in a 32-0 season-opening win over the Grulla Gators in The Monitor’s Game of the Week in Week 1.

Cervantes is the second Pirates’ player to be named The Monitor’s Player of the Week this season, joining Carrera who earned the distinction after rushing for a game-high 223 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against Grulla.

Hidalgo (3-0, 3-0) will close out its regular season with a road game against the Zapata Hawks (4-1, 2-1) in a district game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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