Tarpons win Brownsville League 7on7 Tournament – Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Special to the PRESS

Thursday, May 16, Port Isabel’s 7on7 team won the Brownsville League’s 7on7 Tournament. The team had been participating in weekly league games since April leading to the tourney.

The 10 teams in the league were comprised of players representing Port Isabel (PI), San Benito, Los Fresnos, and the following Brownsville schools: Hanna, Lopez, St. Joe, Pace, Veterans, Porter and Rivera.

The Port Isabel squad was coached by Edward Garza and alternated between quarterbacks, Bryan Martinez and Grayson Estes. Both QBs started this past football season as freshmen with Martinez at the helm of the Varsity team, while Estes was quarterback of the Freshmen team.

In the first game of the day, the Tarpons made a big statement with a 38-6 win over Brownsville Rivera. The win put Port Isabel in the semifinal round versus the Brownsville Lopez Lobos. The Tarpons jumped out to a big lead in the first half and held on to secure a 32-13 win over the Lobos. Rio Sports Live gave PI’s receiver, Anthony “Tony” Garcia, the “Player of the Game” award.

The finals showdown had the Port Isabel Tarpons facing off against the Brownsville Hanna Eagles. Port Isabel got off to a good start as quarterback Martinez led the Tarpons on an opening touchdown drive. Not to be outdone, the Eagles answered back with a touchdown of their own. As the first half was coming to an end, the Tarpons managed to stop the Eagles at the 2-yard line as the half concluded with the Eagles holding a 7-6 lead.

In the second half, the Tarpons retook the lead when PI intercepted the ball and ran it back for the score. PI now led 12-7. After another defensive stop by PI, QB, Martinez connected with Cleveland Smith for a big 20-yard completion. On the next play, Martinez found Luis Ramos for a 15-yard TD reception. The extra point was intercepted and ran back as the Tarpons now led 18-8 with six minutes left to play.

Hanna managed to score on its next possession, but PI’s Smith snatched the extra point in the end zone as PI maintained their lead, 18-14. Port Isabel then went on to march down the field, eating up the time. They eventually reached the 12-yard line where time expired and the Tarpons won the ballgame, becoming tournament champions.

PI QB, Martinez stated he felt the pressure on his shoulders going into the tournament facing teams from the 5A & 6A ranks, but once he got on the field, he regained his confidence and poise. After his second game of the tourney, he gathered his teammates and told them about “not losing focus” as they headed into a rematch with Brownsville Hanna. After their win, RSL named him “Player of the Game” for his performance in the championship game.

The team has been doing well during this 7on7 season and will only get better as Martinez continues to have a good chemistry with his receivers. The team’s next scheduled tournament will be this Saturday May 25 at the State Qualifying Tournament held in Kingsville.

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