WESLACO — Weslaco High senior Jesse Hernandez has been named The Monitor’s high school football player of the week in the Rio Grande Valley for the week of Nov. 3-9 in his first start as the team’s featured back.

The Panthers’ senior running back played a major role in helping his team secure a dominant 28-14 season-opening win against the Harlingen South Hawks on Friday at Bobby Lackey Stadium in Weslaco.

Hernandez tallied 202 total yards of offense and scored three total touchdowns as one of the leaders of the Panthers’ prolific offense, which scored on each of its first three possessions against the Hawks.

The Weslaco High senior back scored his team’s first points of the season on a 5-yard touchdown run on the first offensive drive of the game and added another score at the start of the second quarter on a 30-yard screen pass from senior quarterback Rodney Garza.

Hernandez capped off his sensational night on the ground with an 88-yard sprint to the end zone after slicing through the interior of the Hawks’ defense at the start of the third quarter.

His relentless rushing attack helped the Panthers secure a much-needed win in District 32-6A’s west zone against Harlingen South.

The victory sets up a monster matchup with Hernandez and Weslaco High against the Harlingen High Cardinals, who currently sit atop 32-6A’s west zone standings.

The Cardinals and Panthers will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Weslaco for The Monitor’s Game of the Week with a spot in the District 32-6A championship game on the line for both teams.

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Twitter: @ByAndyMcCulloch