Nice run

John Chupe gets to the edge with the help from a block by Ryan Torres.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team fell behind early in its tilt against the La Vernia (LV) Bears and was unable to catch up, losing 48-26 Friday, Sept. 27 in La Vernia.

RFHS’ overall record moves to 2-3. Heading into the bye week, RFHS holds a better record at this point in the season than they did last year when they finished the non-district schedule 1-4. However, in 2018, three of their four losses were close contests, losing by one possession. This year, RFHS is still looking to play a complete game at this point in the season, as both sides of the ball have been inconsistent from a week-to-week basis.

RFHS Head Football Coach Jay Seibert said the team is going to use the upcoming two weeks to rest and continue establishing an identity.

“We just need to figure out who we are and what we are,” said Seibert.

Against LV, the Bears came out of the gate swinging with two touchdowns (TD) in the first four minutes of the first quarter. The Pirate defense struggled against the pass and became a theme throughout the night as LV scored five passing TD’s.

“La Vernia played a really good football game. Their QB had an outstanding game,” said Seibert. “But, it’s hard when you go on the road and get down 14 two minutes into the game.”

Down two TD’s in the first quarter, RFHS used both Cass Flores and Garrett Loudermilk at quarterback to get back in the game.

The Pirates answered back after Flores hit John Chupe on a long reception that put RFHS in the red zone. Ty Klender finished with a short rushing TD to put the score at 14-6 after a failed extra point.

However, LV pulled away again, hitting another pass TD to end the first quarter at 21-6.

RFHS started the second quarter with a fourth down conversion by Ryan Wells and capitalized on the possession with a 40-yard TD run by Chupe to put the score at 21-12.

Despite a forced punt by RFHS in the next drive, LV got the ball back on a Pirate fumble and scored on a short pass TD.

LV regained possession and held the ball on a long drive that was assisted by numerous penalties called on the Pirate defense. LV held it until 23 seconds remained in the half to score another pass TD to give them a 34-12 lead at halftime.

“It seemed like every time we got something going we’d get a penalty, they’d get a big play, or we’d make a mistake,” said Seibert. “We kept trying to crawl out of a hole, but our guys never stopped coming at it.”

After an RFHS three-and-out, LV continued its assault through the air hitting another long TD pass to put the score at 41-12.

RFHS answered back in its next drive after a long run by Loudermilk put them in Goliad territory. Loudermilk was upended and injured on the long run and was replaced by Flores for the remainder of the game. Loudermilk eventually returned on defense and was OK.

Flores scored on the drive with a play action pass TD to Kaden Harder to put the score at 41-18.

From then, LV did not score again on offense. The RFHS defense played well and forced two fumbles, both by Devin Mendoza.

In the fourth quarter, LV scored its last TD on a long punt return to put away any chance of an RFHS comeback and lead 48-18.

Chupe scored RFHS’ last TD with 8:42 remaining on a short rush TD. Flores connected with Logan Lillis on the two-point conversion to put it at 48-26.

Both offenses struggled to move the ball the rest of the game.

Flores finished 5-10 passing for 68 yards and a TD.

Chupe ran for 84 yards and two TD’s. He also had one reception for 32 yards.

Wells ran for 87 yards. Klender ran for 31 yards and one TD.

Harder caught two passes for 27 yards and one TD.

Chris Darnold led RFHS in tackles with 10. George Marable recorded seven tackles and Lillis had five tackles.

Darnold, Brandon Kilough, and Payton McAlister recorded one sack each.

The Pirates next game will be a district opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at home against Sinton.

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