Montoya growing as Chargers QB; GOTW key matchups

BROWNSVILLE — Brownsville Veterans Memorial’s offense is peaking at the right time.

Chargers quarterback Storm Montoya has been instrumental in helping lead Brownsville Veterans Memorial to a 4-0 start in District 16-5A DI as the Chargers (6-2, 4-0) meet Harlingen South (6-2, 4-0) in the Game of the Week with first place on the line at 7:30 p.m. today at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen.

Montoya inherited a solid offense loaded with talent in his first year as starting quarterback. The junior completed only seven passes for 73 yards, no touchdowns and one interception his first three games as a passer.

Since then, Montoya has completed 24 of 41 passes for 507 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions in an offense that focuses primarily on the ground game.

“Quarterback has been my spot for a while now,” said Montoya, who served as the backup last season as well as other roles in the offense. “I feel pretty comfortable at the position, and I know what I can do.”

Montoya credited a lot of his success to the players around him.

The Chargers have plenty of playmaking talent around him, including Gerry Gomez, Gilbert Trillo, Nick Tovar, Alvin Trevillion and a terrific offensive line.

“They are great,” Montoya said about the players around him, especially the passing options. “They are guys that I can trust. No matter where I throw the ball, they are always going to go up and get it.”

The junior is enjoying being the one controlling the offense, he said. As a freshman, Montoya rushed for 835 yards from the fullback position. This season, he has 409 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, and a career total of 1,700.

Brownsville Veterans head coach JC Ramirez said Montoya’s transition has been phenomenal and that the team is proud of him.

“He has all the characteristics you want in a quarterback,” Ramirez said. “He is smart, has great poise and, of course, is a phenomenal athlete. His development has come a long way from this season until now. Our offensive coordinator does a great job connecting with him and helping make choices that he will see on Friday night.”

Harlingen South’s David Sanchez (9) carries the ball in a District 16-5A DI meeting against Weslaco East at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

Key Matchups

Montoya is going to need to have a solid game tonight, along with his teammates, especially against one of the best defensive lines in the Valley.

Harlingen South has given up only 36 points while on a six-game winning streak. Senior Gilbert Lerma has four sacks, two interceptions and two touchdowns on the defensive line. The Hawks also have a fantastic secondary.

Offensively, the Hawks can run the ball with their two backs, David Sanchez and Alvin Edwards. Sanchez has 492 yards and Edwards has 322 yards, both averaging more than 7 yards a carry.

Brownsville Veterans linebacker Jaime Martinez will look to help the Chargers slow Harlingen South’s running game. Martinez has 110 total tackles so far this season as well as two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

“I feel like I have been doing good, better than last year for sure, he said. “I am just excited for this upcoming matchup for district.”

The winner does not take the title outright but will have control of its destiny heading into the final game of the season. The Chargers won this meeting 47-15 last season.

“It is as close as it comes for a district championship game,” Ramirez said. “We have a lot of respect for what those guys do. Izzy is a good friend of mine, and he has several guys on that staff that I respect very much. They do a great job. It is very exciting to be in this position to go against a program like that.”

Ramirez added that his seniors are in line to finish their career as the most decorated class in the school’s short history.

“Our seniors recognize that and know that is at stake,” Ramirez said. “Ultimately, we have a lot of talent, we know that. We have a great scheme that fits our attributes, and we are very confident going into this game.”