, Port Arthur, Texas


November 18, 2013

Faircloth pleased with 2013 Indians season

PORT NECHES — Coach Brandon Faircloth and his Port Neches-Groves Indians entered the 2013 season with a chip on their shoulder and a goal of erasing all memories of 2012.

The Indians started 2012 with a 21-20 win over Silsbee, then would only win one game the rest of the season — 34-25 over Lumberton. PN-G lost its final six games of the year and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Faircloth asserted all season long the Indians should always be in the postseason. He believes the purple and white fans deserve it and that every student from every grade level should expect PN-G in the playoffs.

The Indians of 2013 would not be denied a spot in the playoffs. in back-to-back years. The last time that happened was in 2005 and 2006. PN-G missed out in 2005 on a coin flip.

“There is no doubt I am proud of this team,” Faircloth said. “The first goal we set when we got started in January was that we would get back into the playoffs. The coaches on my staff and the players deserve all the credit.”

PN-G did not always make it easy for Faircloth. He said multiple times this season this group of Indians was making him grow older almost on a weekly basis.

It started back in Week 1 against the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, a team PN-G had not defeated in 17 years.

The Indians led 37-21 in the fourth quarter before the Mustangs made a charge. WO-S scored 13 unanswered points but PN-G held on for a 37-34 win.

PN-G suffered its first loss in District 20-4A against Little Cypress-Mauriceville, 31-14. The loss dropped PN-G to 1-1 with district favorites Beaumont Central and Nederland coming up in the next two weeks.

It took three overtimes for the Indians to take down the Jaguars, 30-29, in what proved to be a very critical win, considering PN-G lost to Nederland the following week, 21-17.

Two weeks later the Indians did it to Faircloth’s heart again.

PN-G trailed Beaumont Ozen 21-7 in the fourth quarter, and a loss would have sent the Panthers to the playoffs. Had that happened, PN-G would be at home again in the postseason.

Backup quarterback Adam Morse ran in a touchdown and so did star receiver Jeremiah Rose to inch the Indians closer. Dylan East missed a PAT after Morse’s run and a two-point attempt failed after Rose’s touchdown leaving PN-G down 21-19.

PN-G’s defense did its job by getting the ball back.  With only seconds left on the clock East got his redeeming chance. He booted an 18-yard field goal that sent the Indians into the playoffs.

Crosby defeated PN-G 49-28 last Friday to end the Indians year at 7-4.

“Those close games are a testament to our team’s character,” Faircloth said. “Those guys fought every minute of every game. We never felt we were out of a game, even in the final loss. We fought. It is remarkable how those guys never gave up. That is what this team should be remembered for.”

The team will also be remembered as a team full of offense, and a defense that always seemed to give the Indians the ball back when it needed it the most.

Rose finished with 90 receptions for 1,176 yards. It was the most receiving yards in a season in PN-G’s storied history. His 154 career receptions are the most for any Indians player and his 90 grabs this year are second most in a season. He is also third in the record books for receiving yards in a game — 184 this year against Livingston — and receptions in a game, 12 this year against Ozen.

Fellow receiver Kaleb Sparks is now tied for fifth with Joey Price all-time at PN-G for receptions in a season with 51 catches. Price had his 51 grabs in 1999.

Running back Brant Halfin had a stellar season, with 1,298 yards on 252 carries with 15 touchdowns. The 15 TDs are ninth most in in a season in PN-G history.  His 2013 yards placed him 12th for most rushing yards in a season.

Quarterback Ky Walker passed for 2,135 yards, this year with 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

His 14 touchdowns is eighth most for a passer in a single season at PN-G and his season yards place him seventh in the record books. His 26 completions against Silsbee are second most for any PN-G quarterback in a single game. Brennan Doty had 32 in 2010 against Nederland.

“Whenever you can finish with the top offense in District 20-4A, it is a huge deal,” Faircloth said. “A big reason why we were able to put up the statistics we did on offense was in large part because of our defense. Those guys always came away with a turnover and were second in the district in points allowed. Our defensive coaches always had a great game plan put together and those guys did a great job executing it every Friday night.”

PN-G allowed 129 points through 20-4A play, an average of 18 points a game.

Faircloth will not vacation for too long. He will soon begin  to evaluate his group for next season and start focusing on how to make sure the Indians make it two playoff trips in a row.

“We are certainly going to miss this year’s group of seniors,” Faircloth said. “I hope next year to see the same type of team that always continues to fight. We will have quite a good group of guys back who will try to build off the amazing foundation this year’s seniors put down.”

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
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    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
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    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog