Ryan Wells reaches over Cruz Estrada and over the goal line for a touchdown.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team went back to a familiar style of play in its 41-27 victory over the Sinton Pirates to start the district season 1-0 Friday, Oct. 11 at home.

RFHS will start the district season tied for first place in District 15-4A Div. II along with Orange Grove and Ingleside with a 1-0 record. RFHS’ overall record improves to 3-3.

RFHS moved back to a similar offensive play style in the Slot-T and Sinton had no answer defensively for the rushing attack of RFHS.

“I told them before the game, if we’re going to win the district title and repeat as champs, then we had to get this one, and we did,” said RFHS Head Football Coach Jay Seibert.

In the first quarter, Sinton received the opening kickoff and went three-and-out after a third down pressure by Ty Klender and Payton McAlister.

RFHS then opened in the Slot-T and ran the football down the throat of the Sinton defense. A big run by Garrett Loudermilk down the middle set RFHS up in the red zone and was eventually punched in by Ryan Wells for a short yard touchdown (TD) to go up 6-0.

The RFHS defense forced another three-and-out and quickly scored again on a 47 yard TD run by John Chupe down the visitor sideline to take a 13-0 lead.

“We came out and executed early offensively, played good defense and got out to a pretty good lead,” said Seibert. “As far as the effort, the ‘get after it,’ and the physicality we played with, it was an excellent job.”

Sinton was able to answer before the conclusion of the quarter on a long drive that resulted in a short pass TD and trailed 13-7.

In the second quarter, RFHS punched in another TD with churning runs by Wells and Loudermilk. Wells tacked on another 2-yard TD to give RFHS a 20-7 lead.

After stopping the Sinton offense again, RFHS went on a time consuming drive but could not cash in for another score, failing to convert on fourth down.

Sinton was stopped again after a sack by Bronnson Hutson forced a punt. With little time remaining, RFHS tried to find the end zone again before the half with a couple big runs by Loudermilk but to no avail. RFHS led 20-7 at the half.

In the third, RFHS received and used half the third quarter to run down and score on a 4-yard TD run by Loudermilk for a 27-7 lead.

Sinton answered with a TD drive of their own after converting on a fake punt and using the ground game to score on a short TD pass. However, RFHS answered right back with an explosive 58-yard rush TD by Loudermilk on the first play of the next drive. RFHS led 34-13.

Sinton briefly held the ball and looked to head into the fourth with it until Joe Franks picked off a deep pass down the visitor sideline and switched the field in RFHS’ favor.

RFHS was not able to score on Franks’ takeaway and turned it over on downs with 10:23 remaining.

Sinton instead capitalized on the next drive and marched down for a short rushing TD.

RFHS answered back with big runs by Loudermilk and Chupe to bring it down to the 1-yard line with under a minute left. Cass Flores punched it in to make it 41-19.

The RFHS defense surrendered a TD pass with only a few seconds remaining but stayed on top for the 41-27 victory.

Loudermilk rushed for 227 yards and two TD’s.

Chupe rushed for 116 yards and one TD.

Wells ran for 63 yards and two TD’s.

Chris Darnold led RFHS in tackles with 10. Hutson and Nathan Cason followed with five tackles each.

Franks recorded an interception and forced a fumble.

McAlister and Hutson each had a sack.

RFHS’ next game is 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at West Oso.

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