Tidehaven rolls over Johnson City 48-6
Poth Pirates next up for Tigers
It’s one down with hopefully many more to go for the Tidehaven Tigers in the Class 3A Division II playoffs.
After dispatching Johnson City 48-6 last Friday in the bi-district round of the playoffs, the Tigers (6-5) set their sights on the area round of the playoffs where they will fact the Poth Pirates.
The area round game will be played at 7 p.m. Friday at Corpus Christi Callallen’s Wildcat Stadium. Tickets for the game are $7 for adults and $5 for students. The Tigers will be the home team for the playoff matchup.
The winner of the matchup will play either London or Ganado in the regional semifinals next week.
Poth (10-1) defeated Taft 47-0 in its playoff opener last week.
“They are a pretty good team,” Tidehaven coach David Lucio said. “They have blown out just about everybody they’ve gone up against. They were the Division III 7-on-7 champions this summer. I’ve told they are fast.”
Lucio said isn’t certain what sort of speed the Pirates possess. In comparing times in the 400 relay, Lucio said Tidehaven’s time in the event was about 3 seconds faster than Poth’s time in the event.
“I guess we will find out on Friday night,” Lucio said.
Lucio said Poth possesses a pretty offense and a solid defense. The Pirates have averaged 407 yards of offense this season while opponents have averaged just 202 yards of offense per game against their defense.
“We are going to have our hands full Friday night,” he said.
Poth quarterback Kolton James has passed for 1,600 yards this season and 24 touchdowns. His top target this season has been receiver Blake Moody with 35 catches for 632 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Pirates have rushed for over 2,800 yards this season. Their main weapons in the running attack are Cooper Conn, who had 843 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Drew Arevalos has 675 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. James had rushed for 616 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Tigers will counter with quarterback Blake Garcia, who has passed for 251 yards and five touchdowns in the victory over Johnson City last week. Garcia passed for 1,433 yards this season and rushed for 1,003 yards. His main targets in the passing game against Johnson City were Austin Smith and Mason Perales. Perales had five catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns while Smith had four catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Perales had 39 catches this season for 851 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Tigers’ ground game was working as well against Johnson City. Tidehaven had 246 yards on the ground with Kylan Sardinea (72 yards), Jose Martinez (60 yards) and Ben Ruiz (56 yards) being the leading ground-gainers for the Tigers. Martinez and Garcia both scored a touchdown on the ground against Johnson City. Martinez rushed for 666 yards and five touchdowns during the season.
Tidehaven averaged 357 yards of offense this season.
The Tigers’ defense allowed just 161 total yards and picked up five turnovers in the playoff opener against Johnson City. Jerry Johnson recovered two Johnson City fumbles while Ben Ruiz had one. Perales and Logan Johnson had interceptions. Tidehaven allowed an average of 268 yards per game during the season.
The biggest thing the Tigers will have going for them this week is health. Injuries have plagued Tidehaven this season, but Lucio will have just about everyone available to play against Poth.
“We are healthier than we have ever been at any point this season,” he said. “It will be all hands on deck on Friday night. We’re excited to have everyone back.”