“Making the eagle community proud, whatever the outcome.”
Those are the words of Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial running back Kobe Piper. The Eagles are the youngest football team in the CCISD but have found success rather quickly. The past three seasons they’ve gone 33-6 but, Friday night saw the pinnacle of their program.
On October 25th the people of Corpus Christi got to experience the best of South Texas Football. A shootout between Miller and Veterans Memorial that saw 93 combined points and 843 total yards of offense in a 50-43 Miller victory.
Friday, November 29th saw the rematch, this time with much more at stake. Miller coming in was 12-0 While Veterans Memorial, 9-3 and a chance for revenge. The winner would receive a berth in the 5A D1 quarterfinals, the loser is done for the season. This rematch? Completely lived up to the hype and then some as it was one of the most exciting under the radar games to be played all season. A game that saw nearly 1,200 yards of total offense with a combined 105 points scored.
History this time, however, was not kind to Miller as they suffered their first loss of the year. For Veterans Memorial? A 10-3 record, revenge enacted, and now their first regional final appearance in school history.
“Our team success is just playing as a whole,” star running back Kobe Piper said. “Go 1-0 every week and have a great week of practice and execute the gameplan.
“We know we have the talent to take us as far as we need. we take it 1 game at a time and let it happen from there,” defensive end Daylan Pena added.
The rematch inside Buc stadium was the first playoff game to be played between two Corpus Christi ISD schools and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
“It felt great to come out and do exactly what we practiced this week,” Piper said. “We had no distractions and played it as it was just another game. We played to get to next week, and that’s what we did.
Kobe Piper has been a driving force behind Corpus Christi Veterans Memorials’ success this season. He’s the teams leading rusher with 1,030 yards on the ground and 18 total touchdowns this year for the Eagles.
“You know it starts up front with my offensive-line working their butts off every practice and game,” Piper said. “For me personally just trying to be healthy and do whatever it takes to take the win.”
Although the contest between these two CCISD schools’ was an offensive spectacle. It was the Eagles defense that ultimately won the game for them.
Miller Quarterback Andrew Body threw only his second interception of the year which allowed Veterans Memorial to strike and take a 14 point lead. Miller and Body would get the ball back down seven and under a minute left, but, a batted down pass attempt would be how the game would ultimately end.
“We knew it was going to be tough they are an extremely explosive offense, but we knew if we did our job defensively we could stop them,” Pena said.
Daylan Pena is an absolute monster for the Eagles’ defensive line. He leads the team in tackles for a loss, sacks and forced fumbles with 14,9 and 3 respectively. On Friday he was his usual self, two tackles for a loss, two sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble for good measure.
“Staying disciplined and doing what I’m coached to do. As a defensive line unit we understand that if we do our jobs, plays will come to us,” The Texas State baseball commit said.
Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial will meet at Buc stadium again this Friday night against a 12-1 Wagner team who’s looking to make it back to the state semifinals for the second consecutive season.
What can we expect from the Eagles going forward?
“Fight and toughness,” Pena said. “We go out every day and give everything we got at practice. Hopefully, it will continue to lead us to success in games.”
“Doing whatever it takes to win and play in the Cowboy’s Stadium during Christmas,” Piper added. “You can expect a lot of kids and coaches playing until the end of the whistle.”
Veterans Memorial has been hanging tight all playoffs winning their last two games by a combined 11 points. The Eagles can hang around with anyone. They pulled off the shocker against Miller who says they can’t knock off Wagner as well. These Eagles, are determined to make history for their program. Look no further than Daylan Pena to see that determination.
Pena is currently committed to playing baseball at Texas State University. But that doesn’t stop him from his goal on the football field.
“I have a job to do and that’s to go win a state title.”