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BROWNSVILLE Chants of “Si se puede” filled Sams Stadium last Friday night as the Brownsville Veterans Chargers pulled off a spectacular comeback against Corpus Christi Miller in the Region IV-5A DI final to join elite company in Rio Grande Valley high school football history.

Brownsville Veterans, which began competing at the varsity level under the UIL banner in 2012, became the 16th team in RGV history to reach the state semifinal round of the playoffs and the first since 2003.

The Chargers (12-2) have been tested each round on their road to the final four but have passed each test with flying colors, scoring 39.5 points per game and giving up just 15.8 points on the season.

Brownsville Veterans teammates Calvin Trevillion (24) and josh Perez (13) celebrate their victory against Corpus Christi Miller by one touch down in the fourth quarter 35-28 in a Region IV-5A DI championship game at Sams Stadium on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Brownsville. (Courtesy: Sixtum Pictures)

Brownsville Veterans ran past McAllen High 55-21 in Round 1 to win its bi-district playoff matchup and advance to the area round.

In Round 2, Brownsville Veterans took care of business and bounced defending Region IV-5A DI champion Corpus Christi Veterans from the playoffs with a 17-7 victory in Corpus Christi.

In Round 3, the Chargers avenged their 2022 regional semifinal loss against PSJA North by stunning the state-ranked Raiders 45-28 in Pharr.

In the Region IV-5A DI final last Friday in Brownsville, the Chargers scored 28 straight fourth-quarter points to defeat Corpus Christi Miller 35-28 for their second consecutive win over a previously undefeated team.

Brownsville Veterans now enters the state semifinals for a Round 5 playoff matchup against Smithson Valley on Friday, joining a historic group of Rio Grande Valley greats to reach the final four of the Texas high school football playoffs.

ELITE COMPANY

>> 1951 Brownsville High Eagles, Class 3A state semifinalist: Brownsville High, now Hanna High School, went 10-2 under head coach Bob Martin to reach the state semifinal. Brownsville defeated San Antonio Edison 34-7 in Round 1 before losing to Temple 58-6 in the final four. The 1951 Brownsville team averaged 33.8 points per game and gave up 16.8 points per game.

>> 1951 Donna High Redskins, Class 2A state semifinalist: Donna went 11-3 under head coach Joe Hamrick to reach the state semifinal. The Redskins defeated Robstown 13-6 in Round 1, Cuero 52-6 in Round 2 and Rosenberg Lamar 21-13 in Round 3 before losing to Waco La Vega 38-7 in the final four. Donna averaged 29.5 points per game and gave up 12.1 points per game on the year.

>> 1952 McAllen High Bulldogs, Class 3A state semifinalist: McHi went 10-1-1 under head coach Charles “Chuck” Moser to reach the state semifinal. The Bulldogs defeated San Antonio Edison 28-6 in Round 1 before losing to Temple 36-14 in the final four. McHi averaged 37.2 points per game and gave up 10 points per game.

>> 1953 Edinburg High Bobcats, Class 3A state semifinalist: Edinburg went 11-0-1 under head coach Billy Cooper to reach the state semifinals. The Bobcats defeated San Antonio Edison 20-13 in Round 1 before a 7-7 tie against Port Neches-Groves in the final four resulted in Edinburg losing due to a penetration tiebreaker (times penetrated opponent’s 20-yard line). Edinburg averaged 26.7 points per game and gave up 9.7 points per game.

>> 1954 McAllen High Bulldogs, Class 3A state semifinalist: McHi went 10-1-1 under Jack “Red” Rucker to reach the state semifinals for the second time in three years. The Bulldogs defeated Alamo Heights 40-13 in Round 1 before losing to Port Neches-Groves in the final four, 44-14. McHi averaged 28.3 points per game and gave up 12.1 points per game.

>> 1955 Weslaco High Panthers, Class 2A state semifinalist: Weslaco went 13-1 under head coach Martin Stuart to reach the state semifinals. The Panthers defeated Sinton 27-14 in Round 1, Floresville 27-20 in Round 2 and Nederland 41-14 in Round 3 before losing against Hillsboro 20-7 in the final four. Weslaco averaged 29.1 points per game and gave up 11.4 points per game.

>> 1961 San Benito Greyhounds, Class 3A state semifinalist: San Benito went 12-1 under head coach J.W. Helms to reach the state semifinal. The Greyhounds defeated Port Lavaca Calhoun 15-12 in Round 1 and Del Rio 29-8 in Round 2 before losing 22-15 against Nederland in the final four. San Benito averaged 27.9 points per game and gave up 6.3 points per game.

>> 1961 Donna High Redskins, Class 2A state champions: Donna went 13-2 under head coach Earl Scott and remains the only state champion in RGV history. The Redskins defeated Refugio 32-0 in Round 1, Devine 12-7 in Round 2, Sweeny 32-14 in Round 3 and Brady 16-14 in the final four to advance to the state title game. Donna then beat Quanah 28-21 to capture the 1961 Class 2A state championship. Donna averaged 26.5 points per game and gave up 8.8 points per game.

>> 1962 PSJA High Bears, Class 3A state runner-up: PSJA went 11-2-1 under head coach Charlie Williams as the Bears qualified for the state championship game. PSJA defeated South San Antonio 29-22 in Round 1, Austin Johnson 26-0 in Round 2 and Orange 18-0 in Round 3 before losing 14-3 against Dumas in the state championship game. PSJA averaged 16 points per game and gave up 6.5 points per game.

>> 1963 PSJA High Bears, Class 3A state runner-up: PSJA went 10-1-3 under head coach Charlie Williams to qualify for the state championship game for the second consecutive season. The Bears defeated South San Antonio 21-0 in Round 1, Gonzales 20-20 in Round 2 on a first down tiebreaker, and La Marque 9-7 in the final four before losing 7-0 against Corsicana in the state championship game. PSJA averaged 19.2 points per game and gave up 4.4 points per game.

>> 1981 Port Isabel Tarpons, Class 3A state semifinalist: Port Isabel went 13-1 under head coach Tommy Roberts to reach the state semifinal. The Tarpons defeated Hebbronville 33-15 in Round 1, Refugio 36-0 in Round 2 and Hondo 10-0 in Round 3 before losing against Cameron Yoe 25-14 in the final four. The Tarpons averaged 29.8 points per game and gave up 3.8 points per game.

>> 1990 Mission High Eagles, Class 5A state semifinalist: Mission went 12-2 under head coach Sonny Detmer to reach the state semifinals. The Eagles defeated Donna 42-15 in Round 1, Alice 24-14 in Round 2 and San Antonio Madison 59-17 in Round 3 before losing against Houston Aldine 54-21 in the final four. Mission averaged 41.4 points per game and gave up 15.2 points per game.

>> 1994 Port Isabel Tarpons, Class 3A state semifinalist: Port Isabel went 13-1-1 under head coach Tony Villarreal to reach the state semifinals for the second time in program history. The Tarpons defeated Orange Grove 28-7 in Round 1, Carrizo Springs 28-7 in Round 2, Cuero 20-20 in Round 3 on a penetration tiebreaker and Bandera 24-11 in Round 4 before losing against Sealy 34-13 in the final four. The Tarpons averaged 36.9 points per game and gave up 13.5 points per game.

>> 1999 Edinburg High Bobcats, Class 5A state semifinalist: Edinburg went 10-4 under head coach Robert Vela to reach the state semifinal. The Bobcats defeated Brownsville Hanna 36-0 in Round 1, Eagle Pass 43-31 in Round 2 and San Antonio Taft 35-32 in Round 3 before losing 55-14 against Aldine Eisenhower in the final four. Edinburg averaged 24 points per game and gave up 17.8 points per game.

>> 2003 Port Isabel Tarpons, Class 3A State Semifinalist: Port Isabel went 10-4 under head coach Monty Stumbaugh to reach the state semifinals for the third time in program history. The Tarpons defeated Orange Grove 28-0 in Round 1, Hondo 37-20 in Round 2, Liberty Hill 35-27 in Round 3 and Altair Rice 63-61 in quadruple overtime in Round 4 before losing against Marlin 41-10 in the final four. Port Isabel averaged 30.5 points per game and gave up 18.6 points per game.