Tigers drop narrow loss
The Tiger defense prepares to attack the Sandcrab line during a bi-district meeting in Cuero. Floresville fell to Port Lavaca Calhoun by the final of 36-34. Calhoun ran the ball on every offensive play of the game.
Port Lavaca Calhoun 36
CUERO -- Port Lavaca Calhoun has ended the Floresville Tigers’ playoff season once more, though it certainly was a close football game last Friday night in Cuero.
After winning the District 29-4A title, the Tigers were matched up with the Port Lavaca Calhoun Sandcrabs out of District 30-4A in a bi-district showdown. Floresville scored first and last during the contest, but a few special teams plays that didn’t go their way proved to be the difference in the end.
Floresville scored the first points of the night midway through the first quarter of play, as sophomore running back Alex Mermea capped off a Tiger scoring drive with a 2-yard run over the goal line. Ray Contreras came in for the extra point, and the lead was 7-0. Port Lavaca then came down the field and scored its first touchdown of the night on an 8-yard run from scrimmage. The extra point was no good, and the Tigers held a 7-6 advantage.
Floresville’s offense went right back to work with the ball, and the Tigers answered the Sandcrabs’ score with another of their own. Sophomore quarterback Koby Wilkerson connected with junior receiver Troy Hughey for 42 yards and a score. Contreras added the point-after, and Floresville was up 14-6.
On the first play of the second quarter, though, Port Lavaca capped off its second scoring drive of the night with a 1-yard run. The Sandcrabs converted on a 2-point play, and the game was knotted up at 14-all.
With 7:04 to play in the half, Mermea scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 6-yard run. It put Floresville back on top, and Contreras made it a 21-14 contest. The Sandcrabs managed to add another touchdown of their own with 2:40 to play in the half, though, and a good point-after kick left the teams tied at 21 for halftime.
The Sandcrabs scored first in the third quarter of the game on a 6-yard run. The extra point made the score 28-21. Port Lavaca then managed to hold Floresville from scoring throughout most of the third quarter, and the Tigers returned the favor. With 30 seconds remaining on the third-quarter clock, however, the Tigers scored on a short 3-yard passing play from Wilkerson to Brandon Mutz. The point-after attempt was no good, and the score stood at 28-27 in favor of the Sandcrabs.
Port Lavaca scored its final touchdown of the night with 6:28 to play in the game as Cory Williams ran in from 8 yards out for his third score of the night. With the score now 34-27, the Sandcrabs went for 2, knowing they could make it a two-possession game if they converted. The team did exactly that, as the 2-point run was good, giving Port Lavaca a 36-27 lead.
The Tigers were down by two possessions, but still had a lot of time on the clock. Floresville moved quickly down the field, and scored with 4:08 to play as Wilkerson ran in from 9 yards out. Contreras added the extra point, and the score stood at 36-34.
Floresville did its best to regain possession and score, but Port Lavaca held on for the win. It was only the Tigers’ third loss of the year, but marks the end of their season.
Wilkerson finished the night completing 9 of 18 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Vernon Marsh caught three passes for 54 yards, Kyle Bippert caught three passes for 42 yards, and Hughey caught the one pass for 42 yards and the touchdown. Zach Frantz had a catch for 32 yards, and Mutz hauled in the one grab for 3 yards and a score. Mermea ran 20 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns, Wilkerson had 14 carries for 75 yards and a score, and Bippert ran four times for 22 yards. Travis Morales had two carries for 3 yards.
The Tiger defense ran into the best running game it had faced all year. Port Lavaca kept the ball on the ground the entire night, racking up 437 yards on 54 carries. They didn’t throw a single pass all night. The Tiger defense did help force two fumbles, and Floresville recovered them both.
Floresville ends the season at 8-3, after making a 6-1 run through the district to win the title. The Tigers will graduate half the roster in the spring, but have a number of young players back in skill positions.