By Constancio Martinez, Jr.
Special to the PRESS
After starting the season at 1-2, the Port Isabel Tarpons were eager to get back in the win column. Unfortunately, for the Tarpons, the undefeated La Feria Lions were up next. Led by quarterback Dorian Hernandez, the Lions came into town with offense that averaged 46 points per game, while only giving up 14 points per game. With Mac Strunk questionable to play, the Tarpons were going to lean on their star running back, Brayan Medina, who was averaging 217 yards per game.
The Lions started the opening drive with a 22-yard keeper by QB Hernandez. Two plays later, Tarpon defenders Angel Fernandez and Edgar Orduna teamed up to get the sack on Hernandez and forced the Lions to punt. With the Lions defense keying on Medina, Port Isabel’s QB Joey Krieghbaum was able to get a couple of good runs. The Tarpons offense was able to move the ball to the Lions’ 35-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
On the ensuing Lion’s drive, the Lions could not recover from tackle for loss by Tarpons’ linebacker, Angel Fernandez, as the defense forced the Lions to punt once more. Starting at their own 44-yard line the offense to reach the Lions’ 24-yard line where an attempted a field goal kick sailed wide right. The return of Mac Strunk from injury provided a much-needed spark to the offense.
With 1:16 left in the first quarter, the Lions’ quarterback scored on a 13-yard keeper for the first score of the game. The dual-threat QB accounted for 47 yards out of their 75-yard touchdown drive. An unsuccessful extra point kick put the Lions up 6-0. On the ensuing kickoff, the Tarpons’ return man fumbled the ball into the air and a Lion player recovered it for the turnover. With great field position it only took the Lions four plays to score once again. A successful extra point kick made it 13-0 Lions as the 1st quarter came to an end.
At the top of the second quarter, PI continued to move the ball efficiently behind Krieghbaum, Medina and Strunk. The Tarpons managed to reach the Lions 21-yard line, but the Lions sacked the PI QB, which stalled the Tarpons drive. Two plays later, Lions wideout Chris Diaz took a sweep and ran 80 yards to paydirt, as the home crowd moaned in disbelief. A successful point after kick put the Lions up 20-0 with 5:36 left in the second quarter.
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