By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
This past Thursday, September 7, (1-1) Port Isabel hosted their first regular season home game against the (1-1) 5A Valley View Tigers. Last week, the Tarpons had a big 48-20 win over the Rio Hondo Bobcats. Meanwhile, the Tigers were overwhelmed by Donna, 70-21, in week two. Last season’s matchup saw the Tarpons edge out the Tigers in a low-scoring 13-12 game. This year’s game was played similarly as the Tarpons beat the Tigers 20-13 in overtime.
Valley View opened up the game with an 18-yard kickoff return to their own 39-yard line. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that was their best gain in their opening possession as PI Linebacker Dylan Green came up big on a pair of tackles for no gain.
The Tigers got a good bounce on the punt as the Tarpons took over on their own 22-yard line. On first down, RB Luis Ramos picked up 10 yards on a run to the right. On the next play, RB AJ LeBlanc picked up nine yards on the ground and then followed that up with an 11-yard pass play from QB Bryan Martinez. The Tarpons were called for holding a few plays later and could not make another first down, so they punted the ball away.
The Tarpons got a great bounce on their punt as the Tigers started their next drive from their own three-yard line. On the first play of the series, VV QB Jayden Rosillo rolled out to the left and hit the receiver in stride as the PI defender fell down. The receiver raced down the sidelines until PI’s LeBlanc finally tracked him down at the PI 33-yard line. Five plays later, QB Rosillo connected with his receiver in the endzone for the touchdown. The Tigers took an early 7-0 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter.
The Tarpons answered right back as they went on a nine-play touchdown drive capped by a 37-yard TD run by RB Tristan Garcia. An unsuccessful extra point try made it 7-6 in favor of the Tigers with 8:56 left in the second quarter.
On Valley View’s next series, the Tarpons’ “Seawall Defense” came up big as they put pressure on the Tigers’ QB and forced them to punt. Unfortunately, the Tarpons fumbled the ball away during their ensuing series.
Starting at the Tarpons’ 35-yard line, the Tigers took advantage of the short field and went on a four-play touchdown drive capped by 18-yard TD run. A missed extra point try put Valley View up 13-6 with 3:36 left until halftime.
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