BROWNSVILLE The Brownsville Veterans Chargers scored 28 unanswered fourth-quarter points to win a thriller against Corpus Christi Miller 35-28 in the Region IV-5A DI final Friday at Sams Memorial Stadium.

The Chargers become the first Rio Grande Valley high school football team to advance to the state semifinal round since Port Isabel accomplished the feat in 2003.

Brownsville Veterans quarterback Storm Montoya scored four rushing touchdowns, his last on a 1-yard sneak with just over than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 28.

Chargers defensive back Gilbert Trillo then recovered a Miller fumble at the Brownsville Veterans 32-yard line to give his team a chance to take the lead with 1:15 to play. Passes from Montoya to Nick Tovar and Gerry Gomez along with a pass interference penalty set up the Chargers at the Bucs 20-yard line, and Trillo dragged Miller defenders into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard run around right end with 25 seconds left.

Brownsville Veterans running back Gilbert Trillo (1) carries the ball against Corpus Christi Miller in a Region IV-5A DI championship game Sam Stadium on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Brownsville. Photo courtesy of Sixtum Pictures

The Chargers defense broke up a last-second Hail Mary attempt by Miller as time expired to secure the victory.

Brownsville Veterans will meet Smithson Valley in a Class 5A DI state semifinal next week. Game details are to be determined.

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