The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team was powerless against a crowded El Campo (EC) Ricebirds backfield that pounded its way to a 34-6 victory over the Pirates Friday, Sept. 6 in El Campo.
RFHS’ overall record now stands at 1-1 and will look to bounce back in its next game at home.
In the first quarter, the Ricebirds jumped on the board quickly with a long touchdown run that gave them a 6-0 lead with 10:17 remaining in the first after a missed extra point.
The Pirates punted in their next possession and EC answered with another long touchdown run that put them up 13-0 with 3:01 left in the first.
After a short possession, RFHS punted and ended the first trailing 13-0.
The Pirate defense forced EC’s first punt of the game with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter. However, the possession was short lived and RFHS punted again on a three-and-out.
On defense, Devin Mendoza gave the Pirates’ sideline some life with a big hit on a Ricebird tailback. However, a run up the middle on the Pirate defense went for another long touchdown to set the Pirates’ back 20-0.
In the following possession, RFHS put together its best drive of the game with runs by Ty Klender and Garrett Loudermilk. Klender finished with a short yardage touchdown. After a failed extra point, RFHS trailed 20-6.
With just over two minutes remaining before the half, EC answered with another score with 42 seconds remaining. On a play action pass, the RFHS defense bit and EC completed a long touchdown pass down the left sideline.
RFHS trailed 27-6 at the half.
The Pirates received the second half kickoff but could not sustain a drive and was forced to punt.
EC got the ball back and churned away the clock; driving all the way down to the goal line for another score. EC now held a 34-6 lead with 3:03 remaining in the third.
From then, both teams held each other in check the rest of the game.
The Pirates relieved Loudermilk at quarterback in the fourth and put in Cass Flores. Flores put together a couple productive drives through the air, however both ended by a turnover on downs and a lost fumble.
Klender was RFHS’ leading rusher with 52 yards on seven carries. He also finished with two catches for 15 yards.
Flores was 3-6 for 29 yards passing.
Kaden Harder was RFHS’ leading receiver with two catches for 17 yards.
The Pirates return home this week for a bout with a 5A team in Alice at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13.