By Louie Vera
There isn’t a better way for Porter and Lopez to start the new District 32-5A season than to kick it off with the “Battle of Southmost.”
Actually, there is:
With a win.
The Lopez Lobos took the opening kickoff back 98-yards on the legs of Brandon Fausto and never looked back defeating the Cowboys 39-10 Thursday night at Sams Stadium in Brownsville.
“It’s an invisible trophy (the Battle of Southmost), but its back where it belongs at Lopez High School,” Lobos Head Coach Jason Starkey said.
Lobos are 3-0 a big part of the momentum came on a first for Starkey during the opening kickoff.
“It’s always good when you start the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown,” Starkey said. “We haven’t had one of those since I’ve been here and we were excited about that. Our defense played a really good game and our offense at spots. We have a lot to improve on if we expect to compete at the level we set out to compete in this. It’s not going to be about our opponent but about being the best version of us.”
Wide receiver Johnny Ibarra gave the Lobos a 13-0 lead with a 10-yard touchdown reception on the first snap of the second quarter.
On the Lobos’ ensuing possession they tacked on a one-yard touchdown but missed the PAT once again for a 19-0 advantage.
Cowboys’ coach Tom Campos chad its moments to turn to game around in spots but failed to capitalize that played dividends in the game.
“Players win games; Coaches lose them,” Campos said. “We were out coached by Lopez and I take full responsibility (for the loss).”
The Cowboys cut into the lead just before half on a 10-yard scoring reception by running back Jonathon Gonzalez from sophomore quarterback Benjamin Ekersley to breathe life into Porter Nation down 19-7.
Porter came out strong to open the second half and methodically drove down the field on a pesky Lopez defense reaching a first and goal at the Lobos’ 10. After two plays, the Cowboys were threatening with the ball inside the one yard line but to no avail.
Lopez stuffed back to back handoffs for a critical goal line stand and the offense took advantage.
A high snap from Lopez on the next possession had Alex Ramirez scrabbling for life but found teammate Jose Echavarria in the flat, evading a sack and Porter’s defense couldn’t catch up for an electric 75-yard touchdown run that sealed the game.