The Brownsville Veterans Memorial Chargers made history during their win against state-ranked PSJA North, joining the ranks of only a handful of RGV football teams to reach the fourth round of the Texas high school football playoffs.

The Chargers also became the first team in Brownsville-area history to reach Round 4 with their victory.

Brownsville Veterans isn’t done yet, and is looking to become just the seventh RGV football team to reach the state semifinal round and first to do so since the 2003 Port Isabel Tarpons.

Standing in the way of the Chargers is an undefeated Corpus Christi Miller team looking to make history of its own and get to a state semifinal for the first time since 1963.

The staff took a look at each team’s starters in key positions to see how the teams match up heading into Friday’s contest.

Kickoff for the Region IV-5A championship game between the Chargers (11-2) and Buccaneers (13-0) is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Sams Memorial Stadium in Brownsville.


Left, Brownsville Veterans quarterback Storm Montoya. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor); Right, Corpus Christi Miller quarterback Trevor Long. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

Two electric quarterbacks will take the field when the Buccaneers and Chargers face off, both bringing a different style of play.

Junior Storm Montoya pilots the Chargers’ run-heavy offense, and junior Trevor Long commands a more balanced spread offense.

Montoya hasn’t been asked to pass much this season, averaging just 7.1 attempts per game in 13 appearances. That doesn’t mean he can’t let it fly, having completed 50-of-92 passes for 1,003 yards and 15 touchdowns this year.

During last week’s matchup against PSJA North, Montoya’s arm was a catalyst in the Chargers’ rout of the Raiders, going 4-of-9 for 117 yards and two touchdown passes.

Montoya’s legs add another factor to the Chargers’ offense, ranking third on the team in rushing yards with 540 and scoring 12 touchdowns on 89 carries.

The Buccaneers are led by a more traditional pocket passer in Long. While not a dual-threat like Montoya, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound gunslinger can let it fly with the best of them, completing 66.1% of his passes this season for 3,538 yards and 56 touchdowns, throwing just three interceptions.

The junior signal caller’s arm talent was on full display during last week’s 51-48 victory over Victora West, completing 22-of-35 passes for 310 yards and six touchdowns, including the game-winning 8-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left.


Left, Brownsville Veterans fullback Alvin Trevillion. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor); Right, Corpus Christi Miller running back Broderick Taylor. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

The Buccaneers’ and Chargers’ quarterbacks are complemented by dominant running mates in the backfield.

Junior Alvin Trevillion leads Brownsville Veterans’ rushing attack, up to 1,376 yards and 10 touchdowns on 194 carries this year. The Chargers’ bell-cow uses a hard-nosed, physical running style to grind out yards for his team between the tackles, usually needing more than one defender to bring him down.

Senior do-it-all athlete Gilbert Trillo is the lightning to Trevillion’s thunder in the backfield, giving the Chargers a home run option with blazing 4.6 speed. Trillo ranks second on the team this year in rushing, toting the rock 66 times for 671 yards and 12 scores.

The Buccaneers are led by an explosive ball carrier of their own in junior Broderick Taylor. The 5-foot-10 running back possesses game-breaking 4.4 speed, making him a threat to score from any part of the field.

Taylor has tallied 2,222 yards and 27 touchdowns on 234 carries this year and displayed his capability out of the backfield with 20 catches for 341 yards and four scores.

Junior Corey Holmes adds another speedster in the backfield for the Buccaneers, using his 4.5 speed to rack up 679 yards and eight scores on just 64 carries.


Left, Brownsville Veterans wideout Gerry Gomez. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor); Right, Corpus Christi Miller wideout Corey Holmes. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

You don’t have to look far to find playmakers in Corpus Christi Miller’s passing game, which fields a loaded receiving corp.

Through 13 games, five different receivers have recorded more than 400 yards and at least four scores, including a trio of wideouts with more than 40 receptions and 600 yards.

Junior Corey Holmes, who also lines up at running back, leads the Buccaneers with 42 receptions for 881 yards and 19 touchdowns. Fellow junior Eathan Vela (737 yards, 11 touchdowns) and senior Jaedyn Brown (658 yards, seven touchdowns) give Long another pair of options out wide, ranking second and third on the team in receiving yards, respectively.

The Chargers’ receivers don’t have the gaudy stats the Buccaneers wideouts do, but don’t let that fool you. Senior Gerry Gomez is among the best in South Texas, using a combination of size and speed to beat defenders.

The 6-foot-1 wideout has made the most of his limited touches this year, averaging 28.4 yards per catch en route to 568 yards and four scores.

Add in 6-foot-2 tight end Nick Tovar (13 receptions, 149 yards) and Trillo (14 receptions, 350 yards, nine touchdowns), and the Chargers’ passing attack is one to keep defenses honest.


The battle in the trenches will be one to watch during Friday’s contest, with both teams fielding massive offensive linemen.

Senior Matthew Pinion, a three-year letter winner, anchors the Chargers’ front five. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound guard was named District 16-5A DI’s Offensive Lineman of the Year earlier last week.

He’s joined by seniors Israel Yanez, Jezreel Garza, Santiago Sanchez and junior Rafael Lara in the trenches.

The Buccaneers have big bodies of their own in the trenches. Junior Devin Cage and senior Adam Balle anchor the edges, while seniors Keishuan Lewis and Ryan Garcia man the interior line. All four measure taller than 6 feet.

Junior Antonio Hernandez rounds out the Buccaneers’ line, controlling the line from his center position.


Both offensive lines will have their work cut out for them in the trenches, with the Buccaneers and Chargers both fielding playmakers on the D-line.

Senior defensive ends Miguel Selvera and Matt Maldonado will be tasked with applying pressure on Miller QB Long. Selvera leads the team in sacks going into Friday’s contest with three, also adding 56 total tackles, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Sophomores Andrew Quintero and Damian Rodriguez man the interior for the Chargers, combining for 88 total tackles and two tackles for loss this year.

The Buccaneers field a three-man front highlighted by senior Donovan Otero. The 5-foot-9, 250-pound defensive tackle has been a force on the interior this year, recording 70 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He’s joined by senior Brayden Dennis and Ryan Cantu in the trenches, with the duo combing for 108 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Junior George Simmons adds another piece to the Buccaneers’ defensive line rotation, recording 45 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks this year.


Left, Brownsville Veterans linebacker Jaime Martinez. (Courtesy Photo); Right, Corpus Christi Miller linebacker Steven Richardson. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

Speed is the name of the game in Corpus Christi Miller’s linebacking corps, with a trio of game-changing juniors leading the charge.

Delson Cavaness, Lamarcus Cullum and Steven Richardson have swarmed to the ball all season long, each eclipsing the 100-total tackle mark and recording double-digit tackle-for-loss numbers.

Cavaness leads the Buccaneers with 144 total tackles to go along with 14 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Cullum and Richardson have been playmakers as well, with Cullum recording 131 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, and Richardson added 125 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

The Chargers have a fearsome linebacker of their own leading their defense in senior Jaime Martinez. The 6-foot, 235-pound defender has been a force for Brownsville Veterans, using a combination of football IQ and athleticism to rack up 136 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Junior Max Fernandez adds another physical linebacker to the Chargers’ corps, tallying 90 total tackles and three tackles for loss this year.


Left, Brownsville Veterans defensive back Gilbert Trillo. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor); Right, Corpus Christi Miller defensive back Landon Johnson. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

The secondary could be the key to victory for either of these teams during Friday’s regional championship.

Last week, the Chargers exposed PSJA North’s secondary to spark their rout, throwing for three touchdowns during the win.

They’ll face a tough Buccaneers secondary this week led by safety Landon Johnson. The senior defender has made an impact all over the field during his final year, recording 64 total tackles, 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two blocked field goals.

He’s joined by another senior in Alex Zamora, who has recorded 40 total tackles and nine passes defended.

On the other side, the Chargers’ secondary unit will be tasked with slowing an explosive Buccaneers passing game, averaging 278.6 yards per contest.

Trillo, who also plays on offense, has been a ball hawk for the Chargers this season, recording five interceptions — including one last week during the win against PSJA North.

Trillo isn’t the only playmaker in the Chargers’ secondary, with four other players recording an interception this year.


Left, Brownsville Veterans kicker Roman Reyna. (Joel Martinez | The Monitor); Right, Corpus Christi Miller kicker Christian Torres. (Angela Piazza | Caller-Times)

Both teams field kickers that have been near automatic this season.

Brownsville Veterans junior Roman Reyna was perfect during last week’s win over PSJA North, going 6-of-6 on PATs and adding a 24-yard field goal as well. On the year, Reyna connected on 49-of-52 extra points for a 94.2% conversion rate and went 3-of-3 on field goal attempts with a long of 41.

Corpus Christi Miller’s Christian Torres put up a similar stat line during last week’s win against Victoria West, going 6-of-6 from extra points and adding a 35-yard field goal. Like Reyna, Torres has connected on more than 90% of his PATs, going 81-of-84 this year for a 96.4% conversion rate. He also has gone 4-of-5 on field goal attempts with a long of 35.

If the game comes down to a field goal, both kickers look ready to have their number called.


Friday’s regional championship game between the Buccaneers and Chargers features two contrasting styles of play.

The Buccaneers field a high-octane spread offense averaging 551.2 total yards and 59.8 points per game, and the Chargers deploy their QB under center in a run-heavy offensive attack averaging 416.2 total yards and 39.8 points per game.

Defensively, both units are loaded with playmakers capable of turning the tide of any game at the blink of an eye.

With a trip to a Class 5A DI state semifinal on the line, expect both teams to bring their A-game.

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