Tarpons fall short in 21-13 loss to the Pirates


Special to the PRESS

PI Tarpons and Hidalgo Gators mid-play during their September 13 game in Hidalgo. Photo by Constancio Martinez, Jr.


The Tarpons traveled to Hidalgo to take on the Pirates last Friday night, working to build on last week’s win over Valley View. On paper, both teams only passed the ball about 30 percent of the time, so the game would be decided on the ground. The Tarpons featured their star running back, Brayan Medina, who was averaging 301 yards per game while the Pirates brought their own star running back, Zachary Carrera, who was averaging 288 yards per game.

The Tarpons opened game with a nice 34-yard kickoff return by Gilbert Medina. On the Tarpons first play from scrimmage, the snapped ball hit the motioning receiver and the ball fell to the ground. Pirates’ defensive end Kyle Perales recovered the fumble at the Tarpons’ 41-yard line. A bad omen? Perhaps. With good field position, the Pirates went on a 5-play scoring drive capped by a 24-yard run by Carrera. The successful extra point kick put the Pirates up 7-0 with 9:03 in the first quarter. Trying to catch the Tarpons off-guard, the Pirates attempted an onside kick, but it backfired as it only went three yards. Starting at the Pirates’ 43-yard line, the Tarpons mounted their own scoring drive with Medina leading the charge. Port Isabel’s quarterback Joey Krieghbaum found receiver Angel Nino in the corner of the endzone for the 12-yard touchdown pass. A successful extra point kick by Angel Fernandez tied the game up at 7-7 with 7:03 showing in the first quarter.

With 1:51 to go in the first quarter, Pirates quarterback Angel Lopez found an open Perales for a 61-yd touchdown. The Hidalgo two-way player gave the Tarpons fits on both sides of the ball. The Tarpon’s O-line was struggling with the Pirates’ rush and tackled Medina several times in the backfield. Then, when the Tarpons seemed to get momentum, they were called for a penalty, which they were not able to overcome. With about two minutes to go before halftime, the Pirates once again went deep, as Lopez connected with his receiver for a 57-yard touchdown play. The teams headed into the locker room with Hidalgo leading Port Isabel 21-7.

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