The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team nearly scored at-will against the Port Isabel (PI) Tarpons in a 69-34 blowout win to finish the regular season Friday, Nov. 5 at home.
The victory gives RFHS a 9-1 overall record, its best regular season finish since 2000’s perfect 10-0 season.
RFHS will enter the postseason as the #2 seed in District 16-4A DII.
Sinton’s win over Ingleside in the final week of the regular season settled the top three seeds for District 16-4A DII. Sinton finished as the #1 seed, RFHS’ only loss of the season, followed by RFHS, Ingleside, and PI.
Through the Pirates fell short of achieving the most important regular season goal of a district championship, RFHS Head Football Coach Jay Seibert said finishing the regular season 9-1 is still a very impressive feat.
“We came into the season with a whole lot of confidence, with big goals and aspirations,” said Seibert. “And the big goals, 9-1 is great, part of our goal is to get after it in the regular season and we wanted to win a district championship.
“We came up short there, but anytime you win nine football games, and the amount we’ve won those games by the amount of points we scored, it’s a pretty awesome deal. It say’s a lot about the kids and say’s a lot about their hard work.”
At the end of the regular season, RFHS is currently the highest scoring team in 4A-DII throughout the state.
PI had no answer for the Pirates offense.
Ace Seibert threw five touchdown (TD) passes, with four of them going to Rickey Franks.
And on the ground, the Pirates ran for 396 yards and scored with five different running backs.
In the first quarter, the Pirates opened with three quick scores.
The first was a 58-yard TD pass from A. Seibert to Rickey Franks to make it 7-0.
After a PI score, a long run by John Chupe set up a 14-yard TD pass from A. Seibert to Ean McPherson to make it 14-6.
PI returned with another score but failed on the 2-point try to make it 14-12.
Franks scored his second TD of the night on a 7-yard slant from A. Seibert to make it 21-12.
In the second quarter, the RFHS defense forced the first punt of the game with nine minutes left.
On the next play after the PI punt, A. Seibert completed to Franks for an 83-yard score down the middle. A missed extra point made it 27-12.
The Pirate defense got the ball back in the next drive on a fumble recovery by Noah Jones.
Devan Phillips scored soon after on a 14-yard run up the middle. A blocked extra point made it 33-12.
With 31 left in the half, PI scored and converted for two to make it 33-20.
In the next series, RFHS scored once more after a big run by Luke Muirhead on the first play gave them good field position. With five seconds left at PI’s 37-yard line, the Pirates attempted a Hail Mary play. A. Seibert completed a pass to Franks just before the endzone and Franks stayed on his feet and dragged a defender all the way to the endzone to score at the buzzer. The last second TD made it 40-20 at the half.
Chupe opened the third quarter with a 58-yard rushing TD to put the score at 47-20.
The Pirates then rested most of their offensive and defensive starters, but continued racking up the points.
Armani Garcia found the endzone on a short run up the middle to make it 54-20.
PI answered with a long 48-yard run to make it 54-28.
To end the third quarter, David Chittarath found the endzone on a short run to make it 61-28.
PI was the next team to score with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter to make it 61-34.
In the final minute, Muirhead was the last of five running backs to score on a 4-yard run to make it 69-34.
A. Seibert finished 7-9 for 242 yards passing with five TD’s.
Chupe was 7-141 yards rushing with one TD.
Garcia was 9-84 yards and one TD.
Phillips was 7-71 yards and one TD.
Muirhead was 6-63 yards and one TD.
Chittarath was 4-36 yards and one TD.
Franks was 5-209 yards receiving with four TD’s.
McPherson was 1-14 yards receiving with one TD.
Payton McAlister led RFHS in tackles with 13. He also had one blocked punt.
Joe Moreno had 11 tackles.
Ayden Rangel had 10 tackles and one pass break-up.
The Pirates will open postseason play against the Hondo Owls at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11 in La Vernia.
With the consistency the offense has been scoring with as of late, J. Seibert is excited to see how well the team will play into the postseason.
“I’m really excited to see what we’re going to do in the playoffs,” said J. Seibert. “At this point, we’re scoring in a lot of ways with a bunch of different people and it’s fun to watch.”