By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ. JR.
Special to the PRESS
This past Friday, November 10, the (8-2) Port Isabel Tarpons hosted the (3-7) Robstown Cotton Pickers in a Bi-District showdown. Despite their differences in record, the Cotton Pickers gave the Tarpons all they could handle as the game featured several lead changes and momentum swings.
Robstown struck first as they went on a 62-yard scoring drive with 5:34 left in the first quarter. The Tarpon’s defense made some big stops during the drive, including a sack by DE Christopher Gonzalez, but Robstown’s running back, Justin Montemayor, would not be denied. From the Tarpons’ 35-yard line, RB Montemayor burst up the middle and ran into the endzone untouched with no defensive safeties in sight.
On Port Isabel’s second possession, PI’s offense continued to struggle as a loss of yardage from a fumble forced them into a punting situation. Unfortunately, a bad snap sent the ball back to the 1-yard line, where Robstown took over. A play later, Montemayor picked up his second touchdown of the night on a 1-yard TD plunge. A successful extra point kick gave Robstown a 13-0 lead in the first quarter of play.
The Tarpons’ offense settled down and responded with a 12-play, 85-yard scoring drive of their own. PI’s running back, Evan Galvan, capped the drive with a 28-yard TD run as the Tarpons now trailed 13-7 in the second quarter.
The “Seawall Defense” forced a quick 3-and-out by Robstown. On PI’s ensuing drive, running back Jose “JoJo” Ochoa broke free for a 73-yard touchdown run. The outstanding TD run put the Tarpons ahead 14-13 with 8:05 left in the second quarter. Having gained the momentum, the Tarpons scored twice more, including a fumble return for a touchdown by LB Edward Garza. Port Isabel now led 28-13 with a little under three minutes in the second quarter.
Not throwing in the towel just yet, Robstown drove down the field and scored on a 10-yard pass with three seconds left on the clock. A successful 2-point play made it 28-21 in favor of PI as the teams headed into halftime.
As the second half got underway, the game turned into a shootout as Robstown tied the game at 28-28 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
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