The majority of offenses in District 16-5A Division II aim to spread things across the field and attack defenses through the air out of the shotgun with three, four, and sometimes five wide.

Then, there’s the Edcouch-Elsa Yellow Jackets and PSJA Southwest Javelinas, two run-heavy offenses that line up under center and dare defenses to match their physicality and try to out-tough them.

That recipe of grit-and-grind play has paid dividends for both programs as Edcouch-Elsa has shown a semblance of returning to the program’s glory days, while PSJA Southwest just made program history with its first playoff berth since the school opened in 2010.


The 2020-21 Javelinas became the first PSJA Southwest football team to qualify for the playoffs since the program began competing in varsity sports nine years ago.

The Javelinas (3-3, 2-2) faced an uphill battle to get into the postseason with a road play-in game against a solid Sharyland High team Saturday at Richard Thompson Stadium.

The Javelinas went on to stun the Rattlers with a 21-7 win on Sharyland’s home field. The Javelinas’ flexbone/veer offense took over as Southwest rushed for more than 255 yards as a team, led by Justin Hinojosa’s 95 yards and Cesar Bocanegra’s 82 yards and 64-yard touchdown run.

Southwest also put together its best defensive performance of the regular season by forcing Sharyland into three turnovers and holding the Rattlers to a season-low seven points.

PSJA Southwest junior defensive back Luis Banda came up clutch for his team time and again with multiple tackles for loss and the game-sealing interception.

“I was playing my heart out for my team, making history. After that (interception), I knew it was over. I was ready to go to San Antonio,” Banda said.

After the playoff-clinching victory, PSJA Southwest head coach Mike Evans was happy to see his group extend its season.

“It means a lot. I’m ecstatic for them — excited that they’re going to get to go practice at 6:30 in the morning,” Evans said.

Now, the Javelinas are set for a bi-district playoff matchup against Alamo Heights, the No. 1 seed from District 15-5A DII.

Alamo Heights (6-2, 5-0) brings a balanced offensive attack to the table with 1,200 yards in both passing and rushing, but stopping PSJA Southwest’s flexbone/veer offense presents another challenge for the Mules defense.

The PSJA Southwest Javelinas and Alamo Heights Mules are set for a 6 p.m. kickoff Friday at Unicorn Stadium in New Braunfels.


When Edcouch-Elsa head coach and athletic director Christian Navarro took over the football program midway through the 2018-19 season, his first goal was to restore the physical nature and tough style of play the Yellow Jackets program was built on.

Fast forward two years and the Yellow Jackets have done precisely that as Edcouch-Elsa (5-1, 3-1) took the fight to Mission Veterans on Saturday night to clinch the final playoff spot up for grabs in District 16-5A Division II.

Although down early, “La Maquina Amarilla” proved too much to handle for Mission Veterans as the Yellow Jackets erased a 28-14 halftime deficit and stormed back for a 42-28 victory.

Edcouch-Elsa’s offense accounted for 543 rushing yards, as the Yellow Jackets ran the ball down the Patriots’ throat and could not be stopped as the game progressed.

Senior fullback Justin Galan went off for 258 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries.

“As soon as we came out for the second half, we were pumped up and wanted to keep going. We had that fire in our eyes that we wanted to keep pushing,” Galan said. “You could tell we were wearing them down. That’s our offense.”

Edcouch-Elsa’s slot offense features a smash-mouth style of running, while relying on misdirection to keep defenses guessing where the ball is headed. The Yellow Jackets also have the RGV’s top rushing attack, averaging more than 450 yards per game.

It all starts up front with the Edcouch-Elsa offensive line, which has cleared the way for multiple runners to break through this season like Joshua Gomez (513 yards, 3 TDs), Brandon Cortez (395 yards) and Galan’s league-leading 953 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.

The Yellow Jackets and their dangerous ground game will take on Boerne-Champion (6-2, 4-1), the No. 2 seed from District 15-5A DII, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Boerne ISD Stadium in Boerne.

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