The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team got off to a slow start but regained their footing in the second half for a shutout victory over the Aransas Pass (AP) Panthers 26-0 Friday, Aug. 28 at Aransas Pass.

RFHS starts the season 1-0.

The Pirates’ front seven caused havoc in the AP backfield all night in a dominant performance followed by a second half surge by the RFHS offense. RFHS’ defense allowed only 57 yards in total throughout the game.

“The defense played great all night,” said RFHS Head Football Coach Jay Seibert. “I think they only gave up six first downs and they got after them pretty good.”

J. Seibert was happy with the defense’s fast start to the season. However, he’s looking for the offense to be more consistent as the season progresses.

“For us to continue winning, our offense is going to have to get better,” J. Seibert added. “When we run plays and do it well, when we execute, things look amazing.

“We’re explosive and things are looking good; and then the very next play it looks like crap. We’ve got to get rid of the bad plays.”

The first quarter was filled with mistakes and penalties by both offenses as false starts and fumbles plagued drives.

The Pirates got to AP’s side of the field once after a big run by Ryan Wells, however a fumble on AP’s 25 yard line gave the ball right back.

In the second quarter, both offenses continued to struggle. AP’s offense was running more plays, however nothing was breaking the shell of the RFHS defense.

It wasn’t until with two minutes left, AP was called for a pass interference and put RFHS in the redzone.

John Chupe scored the first touchdown of the season with 1:46 remaining on a 13-yard touchdown (TD) run to put RFHS up 6-0.

On the two-point conversion after, a bad snap got away from Ace Seibert and nearly turned into two points for AP. Had it not been for a tackle 60 yards downfield by Wells, RFHS would not have shutout AP.

In the third quarter, RFHS received and quickly got the ball rolling after a 40 yard run by Wells led to a short TD run by Luke Muirhead to put RFHS up 12-0.

The RFHS defense continued to shutdown AP and eventually led to a takeaway.

As an AP back ran a toss to the outside, the back lost control of the ball and put it on the ground after a tackle by Rickey Franks kept him from scooping it back up. Josue Fuentes pounced on the loose ball for a takeaway. However, an RFHS fumble on the following drive’s first play put the defense back on the field to make another stop.

In the fourth quarter, the RFHS offense got another opportunity and marched downfield after a 49 yard run by Chupe put them inside the five.

Chupe finished the drive with a short rush TD to put RFHS up 18-0.

After another stop by the RFHS defense, A. Seibert went to the air on a 42 yard pass on fourth and 14 to Kaden Harder to put RFHS in the redzone.

With just under three minutes remaining, Muirhead scored on a short rushing TD. Chupe added the two-point conversion to give RFHS the 26-0 victory.

A. Seibert was 3-4 passing with 48 yards.

Wells was 9-114 yards rushing.

Chupe was 7-91 rushing with two TD’s.

Muirhead was 11-47 rushing with two TD’s.

Philip Krupa, Bronnson Hutson, and Michael Gonzalez had six tackles each. Krupa also had two tackles-for-loss (TFL).

Payton McAlister had five tackles and two TFL’s.

RFHS will host the #5 ranked 4A-Division I Miller Buccaneers this week.

Miller’s high-powered offense was on full display in their 62-20 trouncing of Tuloso-Midway last week. It will be a tough, early test for RFHS.

“They’re (Miller) a veteran, explosive offense,” said Seibert. “They’re coming to us and its kind of going to be speed against power, so we have to get after it.”

RFHS hosts Miller at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

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