CORPUS CHRISTI — Despite being down most of the game, the Brownsville Veterans Memorial fans never let up cheering for their team.
It was not the result they wanted, but they were still supporting a team that made history to make it to a Class 5A Division I state semifinal.
The Chargers went on to lose 49-21 to the Smithson Valley Rangers on Friday night at Buccaneer Stadium in Corpus Christi.
“I could not be prouder of our community,” Brownsville Veterans head coach JC Ramirez said. “We were down by a bunch of points, and they were still chanting and yelling their hearts out. That just shows that is the makeup that our kids bring to this game.”
Ramirez said there was no quit in his team and he could not be prouder of the celebration Friday night.
The Chargers’ fans gave a huge ovation for their history-making team when they approached the bench after shaking hands with the Smithson Valley players.
“It was great having the whole RGV come down,” senior athlete Gilbert Trillo said. “Even though we didn’t play the game they wanted, I think we made them proud.”
Brownsville Veterans picked up fourth-quarter points thanks to a 9-yard touchdown catch by receiver Gerry Gomez and two touchdown runs by Trillo to cut the lead to 49-21.
“My team blocked for me well,” Trillo said. “They gave me the ball and trusted. That’s all I can thank them for, touchdowns with my team … go Chargers.”
It was all Smithson Valley until the fourth quarter. Rangers freshman running back Caleb Peagler scored from 1 yard out to give the Rangers a 49-0 lead.
Smithson Valley senior receiver Cole Freund took the first play of the second half 65 yards to extend the Rangers’ lead to 42-0 after a terrific first half from the San Antonio school.
Freund had two touchdowns, running back Daniel DeHoyos also scored two touchdowns and starting running back Bradley Sowersby had a 26-yard rushing touchdown before breaking his collarbone.
“We made history, even though we did not get the outcome today, but we made history in Brownsville,” Chargers senior linebacker Jaime Martinez said.
Smithson Valley advances to the Class 5A DI state title game, and Brownsville Veterans finishes the season as one of the best teams in Brownsville history and one of 16 teams to make it to a state semifinal in Valley history.