By Constancio Martinez, Jr.
Special to the PRESS
After being shutout in the first half, 14-0, the Port Isabel Tarpons came out for the second half with a renewed sense of determination. The Tarpons went on to outscore the La Grulla Gators 34-21 in the second half, but the rally was not enough, as the Tarpons special teams failed to score on an extra point kick.
Field position played a big role in the first half, as the Tarpons often had to start deep into their own territory. Starting at their own 13-yard line, the Tarpons offense managed a 45-yard drive until the Gators’ defense stopped the Tarpons at the Gators 42-yard line. From there, the Gators mounted a 10-play touchdown drive behind the play of quarterback Jose Trujio, and the hard running of the Gators’ Jonathan Huerta. A successful extra point kick put the Gators up 7-0, with 3:00 left in the first quarter.
The defenses stepped up as the teams went on to trade punts. Starting on their own 39-yard line, the Gators threatened to score again, as they reached the Tarpons 11-yard line, but defensive end Edgar Orduna knocked down the pass on a fourth down play. On the ensuing drive, Tarpon quarterback Joey Krieghbaum found wideout Angel Nino for a 55-yard pass play, as the Tarpons started to find success throwing the ball. The Tarpons managed to reach the Gators’ 5-yard line, where the Gators intercepted the ball ending the Tarpon drive.
After a couple of missed opportunities on some long balls earlier in the game, Gators’ QB Trujio finally connected with wideout Jesse Garza for a 76-yard touchdown. A successful extra point kick put the Gators up 14-0 with 1:46 left in the second quarter. The Gators made another drive down to the Tarpons 27-yard line, but Safety Jake Pinkerton batted the ball down on fourth down to end their drive. The Tarpons defense had some key stops but needed the offense to finish drives, as the team headed into the locker room down 14-0 at halftime.
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