The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Even though Terrence Singleton was at the field, the Port Arthur Memorial football team didn’t need him for any heroics against Channelview. The Titans jumped out to a 47-7 halftime lead en route to a 61-14 homecoming romp over the Falcons Friday night at Memorial Stadium in District 21-5A play.
Last year, Singleton scored with 23 seconds left to give Memorial a 47-44 victory. This year, the Titans had scored 21 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. At one point late in the first half, Memorial had more first downs (10) than Channelview had total yards (9).
It was the second time in school history Memorial has scored at least 60 points and the first since the Titans beat Baytown Sterling 63-42 in 2009.
The Titans had scored 50 or more points in a game seven times in school history before this game. Four of those have come since Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison took over the team in 2009.
“I was really impressed we didn’t have any turnovers,” Harrison said. “The kids played really hard. That’s what we ask them to do, and I think they did that. I think we were able to mix it up pretty good. Our kids responded well. We had a great week of practice. The biggest thing with homecoming is eliminating distractions and I think we did a great job of that.”
Memorial was playing at a disadvantage on offense as the Titans were without starting wideout Roderic Rucker, who leads District 21-5A with 21 catches for 302 yards and four TDs.
Instead, the Titans had their most productive game on the ground this season, rushing 34 times for 332 yards. Both Ricky Fisk and Edward Mayfield topped 100 yards rushing, with Fisk leading the team with 122 yards on 10 carries with three TDs. Fisk now has 12 rushing TDs this season.
Mayfield scored on maybe the game’s most exciting play. In the fourth quarter, Memorial got the ball back when Channelview’s Chris Jefferson fumbled into the end zone. The Titans recovered, returning it to their own 3.
That’s when Mayfield took the ball off the right side, bounced it to the sideline and outraced three defenders before cutting back to the middle of the field for a 97-yard touchdown. It was the longest scoring play in school history, topping Nate Davis’ 95-yard kickoff return against Beaumont Ozen in 2009. The longest previous scoring run in Titan history was James Johnson’s 93-yard run against Corpus Christ Ray in 2002.
Freshman Kameron Martin got the team on the board with 8:56 seconds left in the first quarter, scoring on a 6-yard run up the middle. Martin finished with seven carries for 63 yards and his first five carries went for first downs.
“We emphasize conditioning and sprints all the time,” Harrison said. “We try to get them in position to finish well. They can enjoy this win tonight, but tomorrow, we have to get back to work on North Shore.”
The Titans’ goal line package also showed its potential, as both starting defensive tackles Walter Oliver and Matthew Romar scored rushing touchdowns.
For Romar, it was his ninth career rushing TD. The senior DT had a great all-around night in addition to his offensive score, totaling six tackles in one half of play with a sack, a forced fumble and an interception.
On that pick, Memorial showed that it would be both lucky and good in this game, as Romar jumped up to catch a screen pass from Channelview quarterback Trevin Watson, but then fumbled the ball after taking a couple of steps. Luckily, his teammates were able to fall on the ball and the Titans scored two plays later on a 31-yard Ricky Fisk run.
Fisk also scored on a 20-yard run to make it 47-0 with 2:22 left in the second quarter. It capped a six minute stretch where he had a hand in three different TDs.
With 8:48 left in the second quarter, Fisk found receiver John Leday on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Leday was behind the Falcon defensive back and had to pull the ball away from him before backing into the end zone for his first TD catch of the season. Nearly three minutes later, Fisk found Leday again with a 16-yard TD pass over the middle.
The senior quarterback may have had his finest performance of the season, too, missing on just two passes all game. He completed 7 of 9 for 172 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. He gave way to backup Torian Lott, fresh off the JV team, halfway through the third quarter. Lott had a nice game himself, completing his first four varsity passes for 52 yards.
The receiving corps minus Rucker held up well. John Leday finished with four catches for 77 yards while Brandon Leday had three catches for 77 yards and Albert Jacobs had two catches for 46 yards.
“We had some guys step up,” Harrison said. “We didn’t know who would, with Rucker being our leading receiver. All our guys stepped up and did a tremendous job. I’m really proud of them.”
Memorial (6-0, 2-0) now looks ahead to a big matchup next week at North Shore. The Mustangs were off this week, meaning the last team both North Shore and Memorial will have played heading into the game was Channelview (1-5, 0-2). North Shore beat the Falcons 59-7 last week.
“We’re about to play a very tough opponent,” Harrison said. “(North Shore) is possibly one of the best teams in the state. We have to continue to get better and take care of mental mistakes and everything else will take care of itself.”