SAN ANTONIO – The Sinton Pirates battled back and forth against Llano in their Class 4A Area playoff game Friday at Gustafson Stadium in San Antonio, but in the end it was the Pirates advancing after their 41-34 win over the Yellow Jackets.
The Pirates will face Geronimo Navarro Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Cuero.
After starting the season with one win during their first six games, Sinton has reeled off six straight wins and are heading to round three.
“The boys have come a long way since that 1-5 start. We did not get caught up on our record but stayed the course and continued building on getting better from week to week. The scoreboard did not define us. The willingness to bounce back and get better is what the character of this team is. The boys are playing as a team and have removed the selfish attitude that brings down teams. They play for one another, the coaching staff and the community. It’s a brotherhood. That’s the difference from when we started to where we are now,” Sinton Head Coach Michael Troutman.
Llano was the first to strike Friday night, marching 83 yards in eight plays, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 Jackets with 6:50 left in the opening quarter.
Rylan Galvan used two totes to get Sinton to the Llano 40 before Rene Galvan connected with Jackson Allen for 17 yards to the 23. The duo connected again on the next play, this time for 23 yards and a Sinton touchdown. Nathaniel Martinez added the kick that handed Sinton a 7-6 lead with 4:26 remaining in the first.
Llano reached Pirate territory on their next possession, but a huge fourth down tackle for loss by Robert Hughes ended the threat.
Sinton went to work, Rene Galvan found Daelyn Davis for 23 yards to the Jackets 26. Rylan Galvan gained 17 on the next play and on the first play of the second Davis hauled in a 10-yard touchdown strike from Rene Galvan that handed the Pirates a 13-6 lead.
After the Sinton defense forced a Jacket punt, the Pirate offense needed six plays to get on the board again. Rene Galvan found Jackson Allen again, this time for 47 yards and a touchdown. The conversion failed but the Pirates were up 19-6 with 8:54 left in the half.
The celebration ended quickly when the Yellow Jackets returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards and a touchdown making it 19-13 Pirates.
Sinton was stopped on downs on their next series and Llano responded, using a 30-yard touchdown pass to take a 20-19 lead with 2:33 remaining in the half.
The Pirates were not about to stop there, Rene Galvan hit Jackson Allen to the Jackets 37 and on the next play Rylan Galvan dashed 36 yards to the one and on the next play he finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run that gave the Pirates a 27-20 lead after Melvin Howard caught the two-point conversion just before the half.
The third saw both teams take jabs on offense, but it would end when Llano used a 95-yard touchdown pass with 2:55 left in the third quarter to tie the game 27-27.
Early in the fourth quarter the Pirates regained the lead when Rene Galvan scored on a 10-yard run and after he found Allen for the two-point conversion, the Pirates were up 35-27 with 10:33 left in the game.
Later in the final quarter Melvin Howard stepped in front of an errant Llano pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown that extended the Sinton lead to 41-27.
The Yellow Jackets added a score with 29 seconds left in the game, but the Pirates recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the win and a trip to round three of the Class 4A playoffs.
“The Pirates played a hard-fought game against Llano,” added Troutman. “It was stressed to them all week that we had to come out and play four quarters of Pirate Football.
“All teams are good when you are in the playoffs and you are going to face adversity with every opponent. The teams that win are the teams that are able to overcome the adversity and capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes. The boys kept fighting and when the opportunities†presented themselves, they made the big plays.
“It comes down to being coachable and doing their jobs.”
Rene Galvan finished the night by completing 19 of 27 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns and added 71 yards on the ground with one score while brother Rylan Galvan rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson Allen had five catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns, Daelyn Davis added four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Jacoby Lewis finished the night with nine tackles and two sacks, Robert Hughes had eight tackles, four for losses and a pair of sacks, Jackson Allen also had eight tackles, Tyler Ramirez picked up seven tackles and Roberto Torres had two sacks.