OCHOA RUNS THE BALL IN WINNING GAME
By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
This past Friday, October 13, the (6-2) Port Isabel Tarpons played their first district game against the visiting (1-6) Raymondville Bearkats. The Tarpons are coming off a 28-2 win against UAT-Cuidad Victoria, while the Bearkats are coming off a 38-0 loss to Sinton.
The Tarpons entered the game as favorites and didn’t disappoint as they marched up and down the field without much resistance. They kept the miscues to a minimum and were much more efficient in the play calling.
The Tarpons offense got on the field first and quickly started grinding their way down the field. Upon reaching the Kats’ 49-yard line, PI running back AJ LeBlanc took the handoff and broke free for a big 39-yard run. Unfortunately, the offense started to misfire as they began to commit penalties.
A crucial penalty happened after PI QB Bryan Martinez completed a 9-yard pass for a touchdown, but it was called back for an illegal man downfield. Port Isabel settled for a field goal try, but the ball was blocked. After a promising start, the Tarpons came away with no points.
Raymondville’s offense had penalty issues and had to punt the ball away. PI returnman Tristan Garcia’s 18-yard return again put the Tarpons in Kats’ territory. The Tarpons kept the ball on the ground as they went on a 6-play scoring drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by RB Garcia. PI went up 7-0 with 1:05 left in the first quarter.
On the next Kats’ drive, the Tarpons’ defense made some great hits, forcing Raymondville to punt again. Meanwhile, the Tarpons’ offense started to find its groove as they went on another scoring drive culminating with a 5-yard TD run by RB Evan Galvan. The Tarpons extended their lead to 14-0 with three minutes left until halftime.
The Kats’ offense came to life as they went on a scoring drive of their own. In the spirit of the season, they went into their bag of tricks and caught the Tarpons off-guard. First, a hook and ladder play took them into Tarpon territory. Then they ran a wildcat play, which netted a 29-yard run. They finished their drive with a 9-yard TD pass by the running back. The teams headed to the locker room with PI holding a 14-7 lead at halftime.
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