Our week three Game Night South Texas high school football matchup this Thursday showcases a county rivalry. It's a battle between the Mathis Pirates (1-1) and Odem Owls (0-2).
"It's always exciting playing Odem. You know they're in our county. They're right down the highway," said Trae Stevens, Mathis football head coach. "A lot of these guys know each other. A lot of these coaches know each other and a lot of these people in the town are cousins, family members."
The San Patricio County rivalry between the Mathis Pirates and Odem Owls has been decided by two touchdowns or less over the past five meetings.
"It's a rivalry for sure and a lot of coaches are actually from Odem, so it's a lot of smacking," said Hunter Dawson, Odem senior quarterback. "I know there's a lot of smack talking with the coaches too for sure and the kids as well, especially on the field. Everybody is going head to head because they want to win."
Odem has won the past three matchups in the San Patricio Country rivalry against Mathis, but the keys to this one is going to be down in the trenches.
"I mean it's bigs on bigs. Mathis has some big D-linemen," said Bryce Galvan, Odem senior running back and linebacker. "We've got some pretty big O-linemen and we're hoping our boys can push them around."
Mathis' o-line and running back corps give freshman quarterback EJ Montemayor confidence. Last week his backs totaled over 400 yards against Taft.
"We've been working all summer and all season to be able to move guys on the line and get those yards," said Zavion Rodriguez, Mathis senior left tackle and defensive end.
Both defenses are going to have to stop the run-up front. Mathis is prepared for Odem's four-year varsity quarterback Hunter Dawson to mix it up with a few passes.
"Our corners are doing a pretty good job. Our safeties are doing great," said Antonio Aguilar, Mathis senior wide receiver and free safety. "Our middle linebackers and our outside linebackers are doing amazing."
Off the field these communities and coaches are friends, but on the gridiron, the game changes.
"Coach Stevens was our offensive coordinator and I was the defensive coordinator for three years," said Armando Huerta, Odem football head coach. "They run the same defense we run also, so we are exact mirror images of each other so I think it will just come down to execution."
Our Game Night South Texas coverage kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. on our sister station, The CW.
Matchup during the last decade
2021: Odem 12-0
2019: Odem 13-12
2018: Odem 26-12
2017: Mathis 13-6
2016: Odem 49-37
2013: Odem 34-7
2012: Odem 14-7