By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Tarpons football team took advantage of an extra week to heal up and prepare generally and, at long last, it’s time to start the district season. The Tarpons will host the Progreso Red Ants this Friday night in the first district game for both teams and it will be Homecoming.
“We worked hard last week and the kids had a good week of practice on our open week,” head P.I. football coach and athletic director said this week. “We’ve got to correct some little things. We do the little things correctly, we’ll be in good shape.”
The head coach was asked about his team’s passing game and how it seemed to come alive against Brownsville St. Joseph’s. “We’re throwing the ball better. We’ve been working hard on that every day in practice.”
Whatever time and effort was spent in practice on the passing game before the St. Jo’s
game obviously paid off, at least for that one night. Against the Bloodhounds quarterback Omar Silva completed eight of seventeen passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
In the 2014 regular season Tarpon passers threw for more than 12 yards in only four games, and averaged a mere 38 yards per contest. In four games there was not a single pass completion. About the only way to go from stats like that is up.
In 2013, Isaiah Martinez completed 35 of 57 passes in the regular season for 625 yards and nine scores.
The fact that Progreso has never beaten Port Isabel in 30 tries should be a warning flag to all Tarpon players and coaches.
“In this district you’ve got to bring your “A” game every Friday,” Stumbaugh said Monday. “Progreso, to me, is always dangerous because they play extremely hard. Coach Salazar is doing a great job over there and he’s got those kids playing hard. Our mindset better be on respecting what they can do.”
“They’re running some kicks back and they’ve hit some long passes. Defensively they’ve got an eight-man front and they just come and get you.”
Through four non-district games Omar Silva is the team’s leading rusher with 288 yards gained on the ground and has scored three times. Silva has done almost all the passing this season for P.I. and has thrown for 183 yards on 13 completions in 29 attempts. Williams Romero has connected on six of 10 extra-point attempts and made two field goals in as many attempts for 12 total points.
For the “Seawall Defense”, linebacker John Ray Martinez leads the team in tackles with 28 total stops, including five for loss, and recovered a fumble. Defensive end Raul Villareal and defensive back Ricky Gonzalez each have 22 total tackles, and Villareal also has two quarterback sacks and two forced fumbles. Defensive back Carlos Orduna leads with two interceptions.
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