(Odem, Texas)-At Odem Owls Stadium, the 16-4A DII Port Isabel Tarpons (9-3) found themselves down early, trailing 21-7 and could not recover as the 13-4A DII Jarrell Cougars went on to win 35-21 in the Class 4A DII Area Championships on Friday night.

This was the second straight season that Port Isabel Tarpons head football coach, Tony Villarreal has led his team to back-to-back appearances in the area playoffs and he remained optimistic for the upcoming season. “We are looking forward to this team in 2023. I’m very proud of our team and staff,” said Villarreal.

On Friday night, the Port Isabel Tarpons scored first, doing what they do best, run. RB Luis Ramos scored to put the Tarpons up 7-0 in the first quarter. Cougars responded with senior quarterback Andrew Knebel (2,439 yards passing 28 TDs), who spotted WR Jalani Price for a ten-yard screen pass and he would outrun the Tarpons for 73-yards to score to tie the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.

On the Tarpons next possession, Villarreal made the call to go for it on fourth down and Ramos was spotted behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. Jarrell takes over and QB Knebel found Price again on a slant to put the Cougars up 14-7. But, that score was erased due to a penalty. Two plays later, RB JaMarion Bibblett scored to put the points back on the board for the Cougars 13-7. After a punt by PI, the Cougars respond with another scoring drive, this time QB Knebel found WR Mason Dotson for the 10-yard strike to make it 21-7. The Tarpons managed to score 14 points in the fourth quarter to narrow the score 21-35.

Port Isabel RB Andrew LeBlanc is tackled as the Tarpons ends their season with a loss to Jarrell in the Class 4A DII Area Finals on Friday night Odem Owls Stadium. (HSSMImages/GabeDeLeon)