The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team lost its opportunity to control their own fate in the pursuit of another district championship in a 54-35 loss to the Sinton Pirates Friday, Oct. 9 in Sinton.

RFHS’ overall record is now 2-3 with an 0-1 district record.

The RFHS defense struggled to get a stop all night against an explosive Sinton team.

“They have some explosive football players and they played really, really well tonight,” said RFHS Head Coach Jay Seibert said. “I felt like we got there best. And they threw there best at us.”

The RFHS offense, which had its own struggles in recent weeks, was close to leading a comeback early in the fourth quarter. Despite losing a couple playmakers, RFHS got to within six points of Sinton at 34-28 with 9:44 left in the game.

“We lost a running back last week (Luke Muirhead) and we lost another one tonight (John Chupe), so we were basically down two backs that give us our big plays,” said Seibert.

However, Sinton scored another 20 points in the fourth quarter and established themselves as favorites to win the District 16-4A DII title.

“It’s something we’re going to build on and we’ll continue to get better,” said J. Seibert. “We can’t worry about this anymore. It’s over. We’ve got to worry about next week.”

In the first quarter, Sinton got out to a fast start with three touchdowns (TD). They ceased to surrender its lead for the remainder of the game.

After Sinton’s first TD, Chupe answered on the first play of RFHS’ first drive with a 66 yard rush TD up the middle to equalize it.

However, Sinton answered back with two straight TD’s to end the quarter at 21-7.

In the second quarter, Sinton scored once more on a short run to take a commanding 28-7 lead.

RFHS got on the board again after another big run by Chupe put them inside the redzone. Ryan Wells pounded it in later from the three to make it 28-14.

Nevertheless, Sinton answered right back with a 36 yd TD run on a quarterback keeper. The score came with less than a minute left in the half. After a missed point-after-try (PAT), Sinton ended the half with a 34-14 lead.

Chupe, who was sick during the game, was ruled out at halftime.

In the third quarter, the RFHS defense played its best quarter of the game and held Sinton to 0 points. Meanwhile, RFHS began to find some offensive production.

RFHS received and slowly worked its way downfield with runs by Wells and Devan Phillips. Phillips finished the drive with a 10 yard rush TD to make it 34-21.

After another big stop by the RFHS defense, RFHS held possession to end the quarter 34-21.

In the fourth quarter, RFHS continued its drive with some key plays.

After a fourth down conversion on a completion from Ace Seibert to Jordan Gibson, Wells took a short run in for another TD to make it 34-28.

Nonetheless, Sinton gashed RFHS again on its next possession with a 55 yard TD run.

A fumble by A. Seibert in RFHS’ next series gave Sinton a short field and allowed another TD to give Sinton a three score lead.

“We started to fight back a couple times and as soon as we did, they would bust another big play and kind of put us away,” said J. Seibert.

RFHS scored again after a long reception by Kaden Harder led to an 11 yard TD run by Phillips.

However, with 3:12 remaining, Sinton scored on a 40 yard TD run and ended any hope of an RFHS comeback. Putting the final at 54-35.

With the loss to Sinton, RFHS no longer controls its own fate in winning a third straight district championship. After the game, Seibert laid out a couple objectives to what the team needs to do going forward.

“One: We’ve got to recommit. We’ve got to recommit to what we’re doing,” said Seibert. “Two: We’ve got four games to get better before we go into the playoffs. We’re going to make the playoffs, but we’ve got to be better than we were tonight.”

Offensively, A. Seibert was 6-11 passing for 113 yards.

Chupe was 7-108 yards rushing and one TD rushing before exiting at halftime.

Phillips was 16-97 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Wells was 16-56 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Harder was 4-91 yards receiving.

Gibson was 2-22 yards receiving.

Defensively, George Marable led RFHS in tackles with eight.

Bronnson Hutson finished with six tackles.

Phillip Krupa finished with five tackles.

RFHS will travel to Houston Friday, Oct. 16 to play The Kinkaid School. J. Seibert said they are using this game as a mock playoff game. It will also be their last non-district game of the season.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. General admission tickets will not be sold at the game.

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