By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
On Friday, Sept. 15, the Port Isabel Tarpons hosted the Brownsville Veterans Memorial Chargers in a non-district game. Previous week three action saw Port Isabel beat Valley View in overtime, 20-13, while Veterans beat Bro. St. Joe, 21-7.
Last season, the Chargers ran away with the game. They beat the Tarpons 44-14.
This year’s matchup wasn’t the most technical game, as the teams combined for 16 penalties, including four personal foul calls. Both teams did have their moments though as both had some solid drives.
Veterans won the coin flip and deferred to the second half. Port Isabel opened the game with a kickoff return to the 34-yard line by Edward Garza. Unfortunately, that was the best play of the Tarpons’ opening series. A fumble and a false start call were too much of a hindrance to overcome by the Tarpons. They punted the ball away.
The punt went out of bounds, so the Chargers started their drive from their 43-yard line. On their first play of the series, Veteran’s quarterback Michael Montoya dropped back for a pass and connected with his receiver for a big 29-yard gain. The Tarpons’ defense held them to two yards on the next two plays but gave up a 16-yard run to running back Gilbert Trillo on third down. Two plays later, the Chargers fullback ran up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown run as the Chargers took a quick 7-0 lead with 7:08 left in the first quarter.
The Tarpons’ ensuing drive got off to a much better start. Running back Jose “JoJo” Ochoa picked up 12 yards on three carries. Then, running back Luis Ramos picked up 14 yards on two carries. Running backs AJ LeBlanc and Tristan Garcia also got into the action as they continued to march down the field. From the one-yard line, Garcia took the handoff and ran it in for the score. A successful extra point kick tied the game up at 7-7 with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.
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