LYFORD — Lyford quarterback Aiden Olivas-Romo made big plays late and the Lyford defense stepped up to pick up a come-from-behind win Thursday night.
The Bulldogs (1-0) beat the visiting Port Isabel Tarpons (0-1) 36-29 in a non-district meeting after starting the second half down 17-7 and picked up revenge for a heartbreaking loss last season.
“I hate talking about last year, but we showed that fight, this team showed the same thing we are looking for,” Lyford head coach Jerry Jauregui said. “The outcome was obviously different, this year we came out with the win and could not have scripted it any better. I am proud of these guys.”
Olivas-Romo found receiver David Caballero on a 68-yard connection, ran a score in from 21 yards and found Adrian Chavez in the corner to go up 36-29 late in the fourth quarter after Tarpons back Evan Galvan scored from 24 yards to tie it at 29.
“It really just all the work we put in during the week,” Olivas-Romo said. “It feels amazing.”
The Bulldogs stripped the Tarpons during the final minute to put the game away, one of many takeaways on the night for the Lyford defense.
“Defense was lights and they were flying to the ball,” Jauregui said. “We harped on them at the halftime that the team that controls the turnovers will win the game. I believe we had none and caused three, so that was the difference of the game.”
Port Isabel extended its first-half lead with a 42-yard touchdown by Luis Ramos late in the half. Tarpons defensive back Eduard Garza’s interception on the play prior set up Port Isabel in good field position for Ramos’ touchdown.
The Tarpons had rattled off 17 straight points after going down 7-0 in the first quarter to take a 17-7 lead at the half.
Lyford took the first-quarter lead when Olivas-Romo scrambled to find Julian Betancourt five minutes into the season.
Port Isabel returns to action against Rio Hondo at 7 p.m. Thursday at Rio Hondo. Lyford takes on La Villa at 7:30 p.m. Friday in La Villa.