By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
After their loss to Porter the prior week, Head Coach Jason Strunk vowed to clean up the Tarpon rushing game miscues, and they were successful, with the Tarpons racking up 454 rushing yards against the Tigers. The first home game of the season brought in a huge home-side crowd, and they were not disappointed. After last year’s 34-7 loss to the Tigers, this time, it was the Tarpons with the dominating performance.
The Tarpons set the tone from the get go, as the “Seawall Defense” forced the Tigers to punt on three consecutive drives. Meanwhile the “Tidal Wave Offense” got a boost to their running game with the return of running back Brayan Medina. Early in the game, the Tarpons marched down to the Tigers goal line, but fumbled the ball into the endzone where the Tigers were able to jump on a loose ball. After forcing another three and out by the Tarpon’s defense, Port Isabel’s wideout, Mac Strunk, fooled the Tiger’s defense and most of the fans as he threw a 28-yard pass to receiver Will Camacho. The Tarpons reached the Valley View’s 9-yard line before settling for a 27-yard field goal with 1:30 to go in the first quarter, putting the Tarpons up 3-0.
In the second quarter, the Tarpons were facing a 2nd and 4 as Medina broke loose for 66-yard touchdown run with 10:20 left in the half. A successful extra point kick put the Tarpons up 10-0. The Tigers were finally able to get on the scoreboard by hitting a 43-yard field goal with 5:54 left in the second quarter. The Tarpons not ready to head into the locker room scored twice more behind the 1-2 punch of Medina and Strunk. The Tarpons went into the halftime break with a commanding 24-3 lead.
At the start of the second half, the Tarpons continued to lean on running back Medina as they drove down 70 yards on a 10play scoring drive, putting the Tarpons up 31-3. The work Medina put in was Tarpons dominate the Tigers in 37-16 win by design, Strunk said.
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