Fighting for yards

Kaden Kennedy fights for extra yards while being chased by two Rio Hondo defenders.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate football team rebounded in a big way in their 63-21 victory over the Rio Hondo Bearkats Friday, Oct. 8.

The win puts RFHS at a 6-1 overall record and 2-1 in district play. The Pirates remain fourth place in district play behind Ingleside, Sinton, and Port Isabel.

Even after a three-hour trip to Rio Hondo, the Pirates had no trouble finding the endzone, scoring nine touchdowns (TD).

RFHS’ Ace Seibert scored five of those nine TD’s in a 9-11, 274-yard performance. Seibert said it was important for the team to rebound with a big win after the loss last week to Sinton.

“The loss last week hurt, but we got a long year ahead of us,” said Seibert. “At the end of the day, we want to make a deep run.”

The Pirates began the game with a 21-point first quarter.

Receiving first, RFHS scored quickly on a 40-yard rushing TD by John Chupe in the first two minutes.

Rio Hondo then shaved off four minutes going the length of the field to match the Pirates at 7-7.

Two minutes later, a 47-yard reception by Scott Salinas put the Pirates at the 1-yard line. Seibert then tossed his first TD of the game to Luke Muirhead to make it 14-7.

The Pirate defense came up with a stop on fourth down in the next series to give RFHS the last possession of the quarter.

Seibert scored on the last play of the quarter on a 36-yard TD pass to Rickey Franks to make it 21-7.

In the second quarter, Rio Hondo opened with possession and went on another scoring drive that chewed five minutes off the clock. The Bearkats scored with 7:14 left to make it 21-14.

The Pirates were backed up by a couple penalties in their next possession, pinning them as far back as 1st and 35. However, RFHS battled back and scored on a 59-yard passing TD from Seibert to Chupe. The score moved to 27-14 after a missed point after try.

Rio Hondo went on another long drive the next series that got into Pirate territory. However, a blitzing Phillip Krupa forced an errant throw by the Rio Hondo quarterback and was picked off by Joe Moreno with 2:35 left in the quarter.

A minute later, Seibert found Jordan Gibson on a 24-yard passing TD to make it 34-14 with 1:22 left.

Rio Hondo failed to move downfield and the half ended 34-14.

In the third quarter, the RFHS defense was caught off guard on an 83-yard TD run on the first play of the half to put the score at 34-21.

While the defense did not have its best night against Rio Hondo, the offense continued to churn and keep a distance from the Bearkats.

Less than a minute later, Chupe scored his third TD of the game on a 38-yard rushing TD. The score moved to 42-21 after a good two-point conversion from Seibert to Krupa.

Rio Hondo moved downfield slightly in their next possession but was forced to kick a field goal on fourth down. The kick failed, and allowed RFHS to answer the very next play with an 80-yard passing TD from Seibert to Muirhead.

The Pirates scored four TD’s in the third quarter to make it 49-21.

In the fourth quarter, RFHS scored on the opening play by way of a 16-yard rushing TD by Kaden Kennedy, putting the score at 56-21.

In Rio Hondo’s next possession, Moreno came up with his second takeaway in Pirate territory on a fumble recovery.

The RFHS offense, now playing most of its backups, marched downfield and scored on a 3-yard run by Kennedy to make it 63-21 to end the game.

Chupe led RFHS in rushing, going 5-94 yards and two TD’s. He was also 2-75 yards receiving with one TD.

Armani Garcia was 8-88 yards rushing.

Kennedy was 3-28 yards rushing with two TD’s.

Muirhead led RFHS in receiving, going 3-85 yards and two TD’s.

Franks was 2-45 yards receiving with one TD.

Gibson was 1-17 yards receiving with one TD.

Moreno led RFHS defensively with 15 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery.

Payton McAlister had 11 tackles and one forced fumble.

Kennedy and Carson Flores had seven tackles each.

The Pirates will host the undefeated Ingleside Mustangs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 during Homecoming week.

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