The Robstown Cottonpickers lost two games in a row because of turnovers as they dropped to the Rockport-Fulton Pirates 28-23 Friday night.
The Pirates received the ball from the kick off on their own 30-yard line. The Pirates were quickly stopped and forced to punt to the Cottonpickers' own 20.
Robstown had a hard time keeping hold of the ball as they fumbled on the first play of their possession. The Cottonpickers retained the ball just to have it intercepted the very next play.
The Pirates continued to push down the field as the Pickers held hard and forced the Pirates to call a timeout with 4:07 left in the first quarter. On fourth and 12, the Pirates attempted to put the ball in the air just to have it intercepted by Cottonpicker outside linebacker Ricky Gonzales.
The Cottonpickers' offense continued to struggle, however, and was forced to punt just four plays later. The quarter came to an end with both teams scoreless and the Pirates on their own 30-yard line.
Robstown didn't let the Pirates get far and forced them to punt again as the defensive game continued.
The Cottonpickers started building momentum on offense as quarterback Joe Mungia led in rushing, getting down to the Pirates' 35. The Pickers called a timeout as a fourth and one situation arose and Mungia tried a quarterback sneak up the middle, but couldn't get through and forced a turnover on downs to the Pirates.
The Pirates got nowhere however as the ball was intercepted by Picker linebacker Brandon Gallegos and ran back for 60 yards and a touchdown with 3:45 left in the half.
The Pirates pushed up the middle of the field quickly trying to get to the end zone before the half. The Pirates put the ball in the air on first and 10 on their own 35. The ball was tipped by a Rockport player, tipped again while nearly being intercepted by a Cottonpicker defender, just before falling into Pirate Ricky Riojas' hands and run in for a touchdown. This ended the half with the game tied 7-7.
The Robstown Cottonpickers started the second half receiving the ball on their own 33. The Pickers pushed down the field quickly, ending their possession with a touchdown pass to receiver Adrian Molina, as it pushed the Pickers ahead 14-7.
The Pirates received the ball at midfield and started their possession keeping the ball on the ground and running straight down the field, scoring a touchdown only four plays later. But instead of kicking an extra point, the Pirates converted for two extra points with another run up the middle, putting the Pirates on top by one point, 15-14.
Robstown couldn't seem to get by the Pirates again and was quickly forced to punt to midfield.
The Pirates pushed down the field burning the clock, ending up 12 yards from the goal line at the end of the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Pirates ran around the left side for a touchdown, but missed the extra point, putting Rockport-Fulton up 21-14.
The Cottonpickers attempted to pass downfield, but the ball was picked out of the air again by Riojas and run back again for a touchdown, putting the Pirates up by two touchdowns.
"The old Robstown team would've quit after going down three touchdowns but we didn't quit," said Robstown offensive coordinator Chuck Wyatt.
Robstown continued to try to push downfield, but was forced to punt. The Pirates tried running the ball in an attempt to burn the clock, but the ball was turned over on downs after a fourth and 3-yard attempt with only 5 minutes left in the game.
After the Pirates began a drive at the 25-yard line, they again tried to run down the clock, only gaining 3 yards in three plays with Robstown calling timeouts after every play. The Pirates lined up to punt but a bad hike took the ball into the back of the end zone causing a touchback and giving Robstown two points, making it a 28-23 game.
On the kickoff to Robstown, the Pirates shot themselves in the foot as two flags were thrown, one being illegal procedure and the other a personal foul forcing the Pirates to kick again from the 7-yard line.
Robstown's David Rodriguez received the kickoff and ran it back for 30 yards with nine yards to the goal line. Mungia ran the ball around the right side for 3 yards as the Cottonpickers called their last time out.
Robstown tried a new play they hadn't ran all game, a toss around the right side, but the ball was fumbled when a Pirate helmet smashed into the ball and turned it over to the Pirates with only 55 seconds left in the game.
Rockport-Fulton took a knee to end the game, 28-23.
"The kids played their guts out and they should be proud. They came through," said Robstown head coach Doug Wood. "A couple of things got us in trouble like we didn't tackle well and the turnovers, but we are learning what is takes to win."
Robstown will play the Moody Trojans at Cabiness Field Friday.