The freshman squad was outscored 50-0 but played with heart against a team that was coached to try and humiliate its opponents, according to those in attendance. The JV game was close, and the Beeville boys ended up with a tie, 14-14, vs. the Titans.
A fumble deep in Trojan territory led to the Titans’ first score. A Victoria East defensive back scooped up the loose ball and got into the end zone for the TD. A quick slant to the monstrous Titan wide receiver added two points, and the Titans took an early 8-0 lead.
Fumbles plagued the Trojans on successive drives but they got the ball back. The Trojans took over with a minute before half. Justice Estrada carried the ball for an 11-yard gain on first down. After a timeout, QB Ryan Pena connected on a pass to Estrada for a 30-yard gain down to the Titan 8. After a fumbled pitch on first and goal, the Trojans had time for one play. Pena connected with EJ Bryan for a wide-open play action pass for the first Beeville score. Estrada added the two-point conversion, tying the game at 8-8 as the half ended.
Trojan linebacker Josh Munoz intercepted the Titan QB on second down to start the third quarter. This continued the defense’s dominating night. A problem snap on a punt forced Beeville kicker Chase Ellerbee to his knee to retrieve the ball. On second down, Ellerbee, on a blitz, made up for the earlier mistake and deflected the Titan pass into the arms of J.D. Cuevas, who advanced it to the 29-yard line.
The Trojans began putting together their best drive of the game. It was nearly derailed when a miscommunication led to a big sack. After a penalty, the offense faced a second and 25. However, Estrada carried the ball for a 28-yard gain, giving the Trojans new life. On a third and three from the 22, Steven Barrera made a good cut and scampered into the end zone to give the Trojans the lead. Pena’s pass was a bit too tall for tight end Elijah Fuentes on the conversion try, and the score remained 14-8.
The Trojan defense played tough again and forced a Titan punt. With time running short, the Trojans needed just one more first down to effectively end the game. On a crucial third and five, the Titans blitzed everyone and stopped the Trojans short.
The Titans had 60 yards to cover to get back in the game. A screen pass got the Titans down to the Beeville 2-yard line with just 25 seconds left.
The Titan QB scrambled. He looked to be stopped short, but he extended the ball at the last second and tied the game at 14. The result of the game would lie in the two-point conversion try. As the QB dropped back to pass, the entire defensive line and linebacker corps for the Trojans met the QB in the backfield to stuff the conversion attempt.
The Titans attempted an onside kick, but the Trojans recovered. The Trojans attempted a “hail Mary” pass, but it was incomplete, leaving the score knotted at 14.
“I loved the fight of our kids tonight. Looking at this match-up during the pregame, it seemed like our kids were a bit intimidated,” JV coach Stephen Hrncir said.
“East’s squad had about 55 players, and we only have 18. But I told the guys that this adversity makes them stronger.
“These 18 guys played their hearts out, and when things were tough, they never got down on themselves or their teammates. That’s what I love about these Trojans,” Hrncir said.
“Would we like to have 55 guys also? Sure, but I’ll take these 18, because they’re fighters.”
The loss brings the JV team’s season record to 3-3-1. They’ll face more adversity next week when they take on a good Port Lavaca squad on Thursday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In the freshman contest, Logan Rios produced a 45-yard run for the Trojans, and Titus Puente hauled in two passes for the young Trojans Reports of unsportsmanlike play by the Titans and their coaching staff were prevalent throughout the weekend football discussions.
The freshman team will be back in fighting form on Thursday to play Port Lavaca at 5:30 p.m. at home.