The Robstown Cottonpickers opened district play Friday with a 14-12 homecoming victory over the winless Tuloso-Midway Warriors.
The Warriors received the opening kick off, but the Cottonpicker defense held fast and forced the Warriors to quickly punt on their opening drive.
Robstown's offense fumbled at its own 19-yard line as T-M's Michael Reyes came up with the ball.
It wasn't long before the Warrior offense also fumbled the ball as Cottonpicker Albert Flores recovered the ball at Robstown's 9-yard line.
Robstown finally started to drive down the field and fast, pushing to T-M's end zone where quarterback Chris Buentello dove in with the keeper to put the Pickers on the board with a 7-0 lead as the first quarter came to a close.
Tuloso-Midway was forced to punt starting the second quarter, but the Cottonpickers did not fare much better and punted back to the Warriors.
The Warriors, at their own 28, ran a counter left and Buentello scampered for 19 yards. Three plays later, it was another QB keeper down the left side for 12 yards. Jacob Ferguson ran for 29 yards, breaking eight tackles.
Eventually it was Buentello who carried the ball in for a touchdown. The Warriors' extra point attempt failed, keeping T-M down by only one.
The Pickers refused to go to halftime up by only one point and came back and drove hard. Robstown kept the ball on the ground and ran straight up midfield, averaging eight yards a carry, including a quarterback keeper by Joe Mungia up the middle for 20 yards.
A run around the left end by Jovan Villanueva for seven yards gave Robstown a 14-6 lead at half.
The Picker offense started from its own 31 in the second half, but on the first play of the opening drive, the ball was fumbled and picked up by T-M's Pete Flores for a 30-yard touchdown run, putting the Warriors just two points behind the Pickers in only 18 seconds.
"We are not blocking and we are not holding the ball," said Picker head coach Doug Wood.
"It seems we did not come out the second half to play."
The Cottonpickers continued to struggle and found themselves forced to punt again.
T-M's Deandre Darrington received the ball and ran it back 50 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back due to holding and block-in-the-back penalties against the Warriors.
Robstown caught another break when Picker Chris Cruz recovered a fumble.
Robstown's offense could not find much of an opening, but the Warriors' turnovers kept the Pickers up, including an interception at midfield by Brandon Gallegos and a fumble recovery by Albert Flores.
"The six turnovers and penalties just cost us the game," said T-M head coach Rodney Williams. "Our defense made some adjustments at the half and shut down their offensive plays, but our offense did not execute."
"Our defense did what we asked of them," Wood said. "We had great execution as our linemen were blocking and that helped control the ball and the clock like we wanted to. We knew with this first game we were either going to be ahead or in the cellar. I'm glad we are ahead."
The Pickers take their first district win, and a 2-4 overall record, to H.M. King Friday. Tuloso-Midway travels to Alice.