Young QB Krieghbaum finds footing with P.I. - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Football

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Young QB Krieghbaum finds footing with P.I.

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Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:28 am

To say there was little pressure on Port Isabel junior quarterback Joey Krieghbaum coming into this season is an understatement.

Not only was the young signal caller going to have to come in and take command of a varsity playoff team from one year ago, but he’d also have to follow what was a monster campaign on the stat sheet for last season’s senior quarterback, Cesar Aguilera.

Now seven games in, Krieghbaum feels he has a handle on it all.

“I really didn’t know what to expect coming in to the varsity from JV,” he said. “I think I’ve come in and filled shoes, even though Cesar Aguilera has big shoes to fill, but I feel I’ve done my best to fill those shoes.”

So far this season, Krieghbaum has thrown for 1,006 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions, and rushed for 213 yards and four more scores.

The junior QB has steadily progressed through the season and has come on strong during the past three weeks, and he is coming off his best outing of the season in Friday night’s 63-0 rout of Progresso in the District 16-4A Division II opener.

Krieghbaum threw for a season-high 254 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed for two more scores on the ground — another season high.

“He’s doing well from where we started during the first scrimmage of the year, to the first game of the year, to last week,” Port Isabel coach Jason Strunk said. “He’s gotten better each week. He’s thrown for over 1,000 yards … he’s doing good things, and he’s really growing into it. He runs the offense as a first-time varsity starter, and he’s done a good job with it.”

Though he’s enjoying his best games of his varsity career, Krieghbaum said working up to those performances and being a much more vocal leader was a long road, but he believed he earned the backing of his teammates way back in Week 2.

“It was definitely the Valley View game,” he said. “That was the game I feel I came out of my shell. We were clicking on all cylinders on offense, and the guys just accepted me and were happy to have me as their quarterback. (The veteran players) supported me; they’re very good teammates.”

Krieghbaum’s emergence has made the Tarpons that much more of a hassle for opposing defenses, who also have had to deal with the Port Isabel running game, led by running back Brayan Medina, who has rushed for more than 800 yards in just six games.

Stunk said having a dependable rushing attack helped in the development of his young QB.

“It helps when you have guys like Brayan Medina back there to lean on and learn the offense,” the second-year coach said. “We brought (Krieghbaum) along well, and he learned pretty quickly. He’s done some really good things and it’s fun watching him grow, and he’s only a junior.”

With first-year hurdles come and gone, Krieghbaum will face his biggest test this weekend when Port Isabel plays host to Raymondville in The Brownsville Herald and Valley Morning Star’s Game of the Week, slated for 7:30 p.m.

The Tarpons QB insists he’s ready the challenge of a high-stakes district matchup, but said it’s a big game for everyone and those involved should be wary of the challenge, even the defending district champion Bearkats.

“I know we’re playing Raymondville and they’re a good team,” he said. “They also know they’re playing us and we’re not going to quit.”

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