By HOMER HERNANDEZ
Special to the NEWS
RIO HONDO, TX—The Bobcat Varsity Football Team kicked off its first home game of the season last Friday night against the visiting Port Isabel Tarpons. Unfortunately for the Deep River faithful, the Bobcats failed to secure a victory against their arch rivals, ending the game with a final score of 48-20.
Junior Bobcat quarterback Ruben Atkinson played a pivotal role in the offense, throwing for two touchdowns and leading in rushing yards with 35.
Despite the loss, this performance showcased the explosive potential of this young Bobcats’ offense. Junior players Jeyan Lopez and Nathaniel Sosa were Atkinson’s preferred targets on the night. Lopez made eight receptions for 125 yards, including a touchdown, while Sosa had six receptions for 109 yards, also scoring a touchdown.
On the defensive front, Gavin Perez made a crucial contribution by forcing a fumble for the Bobcats and creating disruptions throughout the game.
The first half of the game was tightly contested, but the Tarpons managed to break away by scoring 12 unanswered points in the second half.
Looking ahead, the Bobcats are set to face the Hidalgo Pirates at Hidalgo in a non-district showdown. Rio Hondo will aim to improve its 1-1 season record, while the Pirates enter the battle with a 0-2 record following their 45-21 non-league loss to Grulla at Rio Grande City last week.
Last year’s contest saw the 4A Tarpons beat the 3A ’Cats 41-21 at Tarpon Stadium. This season, the ’Cats were looking for payback, and they poised to do just that early on as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead.
Starting from their own 25-yard line, Atkinson threw a quick pass to the flats that turned into a 25-yard catch-and-run play. Eight plays later, the ’Cats were knocking on the door, having reached the Tarpons’ five-yard line.
Facing a third-and-goal, the quarterback dropped back for a pass, but before he found a receiver, PI’s OLB/RB Tristan Garcia took him down for the sack. Rio Hondo then proceeded to make the field goal as the ’Cats took an early 3-0 lead with 7:25 left in the first quarter.
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