By EDWARD SEVERN, Special to

BROWNSVILLE — The Brownsville Porter Cowboys and Brownsville Lopez Lobos went to battle in their Southmost rivalry Friday night at Sams Memorial Stadium.

There could only be one winner, and the Porter Cowboys took that honor with a 27-24 victory.

Both teams fought hard during the game. It was always going to be a game for pride, with both teams entering the matchup without a District 16-5A Division I win and almost eliminated from playoff contention.

“It feels great,” Porter coach Carlos Uresti said. “We have had a lot of close games, and we have not been able to close them out. I am extremely proud of tonight. A lot of hard work and dedication from these kids, they never quit all season, and they did not quit tonight. That is how we were victorious.”

Porter got the scoring under way when quarterback Alejandro Stevens ran for an 11-yard touchdown after a great opening drive.

Lopez answered, but only after having one TD called back. The Lobos looked to have had a 57-yard touchdown when quarterback Jacob Cortinas found Johnathan Munoz. Munoz got behind the safety and was about to score when he turned around and fell into the end zone. But since the taunt happened before the touchdown, it did not count.

Munoz redeemed himself with a touchdown catch a few plays later. Cortinas rolled out to his left and found the receiver along the sideline for the touchdown.

Porter scored on the first play of its next possession. Gunnar Williams took the shotgun snap as the quarterback, found a seam on the left and housed a 68-yard run, putting the Cowboys back up 14-7 with a couple minutes left in the first quarter.

“It is something we have done all year long,” Uresti said. “Receiver, running back and quarterback, everybody knows it is the Gunnar Williams show, and if you stop him, you stop us.”

Lopez squandered some scoring opportunities after a good drive and mishandled punts by Porter. With a couple of minutes before halftime, though, the Lobos added a big play touchdown.

Cortinas scrambled to his left after being pushed out of the pocket, and his deep bomb found Munoz. The receiver pulled in a spectacular, one-handed catch with the defender in his face for a 60-yard touchdown, squaring the game at 14.

A fumble on Porter’s first drive of the second half was converted into a field goal by Lopez, giving the Lobos a 17-14 lead. Another huge run from a direct snap by Williams put Porter back in the red zone. A 15-yard run by Stevens set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Brock Williams on what looked like a “fumblerooski,” putting the Cowboys back up 21-17.

Another spectacular touchdown catch was turned in by a Lobos player, this time by running-back-turned-receiver Juan Jaramillo. He outjumped the Porter defender for the ball and a 48-yard catch with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

More big plays, resulted in another Gunnar Williams touchdown. This time, the playmaker took a screen pass from 53-yards out and went in untouched on the play. The Cowboys did not convert the extra point, giving them a 27-24 lead with a few ticks left in the third quarter.

“I thought the team played great,” Gunnar Williams said. “It was the best game our offensive line played this season by far. They made great blocks. We got our quarterback back and he made great throws, and overall we played a great game.

“It is my brother’s last game here at Sams, so it just makes it that much sweeter. We are just going to try and play the best we can to finish the season. We have some tough games ahead, but this is going to be a big confidence and morale boost for us.”

Both teams tightened up defensively and made clutch plays. An interception by Lobos defensive back Alex Martinez and multiple fourth-down stops for each side is how the fourth quarter played out.

“That is something the defense has been year long,” Uresti said. “It is not anything new. Unfortunately, we have had some injuries that have slowed us down defensively, but at the end of the day we hang our hats on our defense and today we did a good job.”