The Port Arthur News
It was business as usual for the Nederland Bulldogs Friday night.
In running their distict winning streak to 23 games since 2010, the Bulldogs were efficent on offense and dominant on defense in easily handling Lumberton 49-0. They rolled up 406 yards of total offense, held the Bulldogs to a net of 80 yards on 33 plays and played turnover-free football.
The victory, achieved before a boistrous crowd in Bulldogs Stadium, boosted Nederland to 8-1on the season and 6-0 in District 20-4A and set up a showdown with Beaumont Central next week for the outright league chamionship.
“Coming into this game, it was obvious that we were undefeated (in the district) and that Lumberton was having a bad season (the Raiders fell to 0-9 and 0-6),” said Nederland head coach Larry Neumann after visiting with squad on the soggy turf after the game. “We were trying to do things the right way.
“We didn’t concern ourselves with what the team records were. We simply maintained our focus and played good hard-nosed Nederland football. When you’re able to do that, things usuallyfall into place.
“We’r just about where we wanted to be at this point in the season. We’re peaking at the right time. There are still some things we can work on to improve, but I can’t complain about anything that happened tonight.”
What happend was that defensive end Beau Stewart stabbed a Lumberton fumble in midair and reced 30 yards to stake the Bulldogs to an early 7-0 less than three minutes into the game; Kendrick Hopkins continued his strong running style and the Preston White to Colton Kimler passiing combination clicked for three touchdowns.
Hopkins accounted for 84 yards on 11 carries — all in the first half — and he scored on runs of 1 and 53 yards. Kimler latched onto four White passes for 121 yards, scoring touchdowns of 22, 85 and 10 yards. Backup quarterback Bret Smith capped the offensive highlights by hooking up with Chris Baird for 12 yards and the only touchdown of the second half.
Defensivelly, the Bulldogs held the Raiders to a mere three first downs — none in the second half. The Raiders finished with a negative 18 rushing yards, and they went 6 for 19 with one interception by defensive back Shane Benoit.
“It was great to see our seniors go out in style in what is probably golng to be their final game in Bulldog Stadium,” said Neumann. “We have an outstanding senior class this season, and every last one of them excelled tonight. I’m excited for them, and I know they’re excited for themselves.”
Hopkins’ first touchdown made it 14-0, and the Bulldogs defense quickly followed with a three-and-out to set up Hopkins’ 53-yard burst on the middle to run their advantage to 21-0 late in the first quarter. The Bulldogs also enjoyed a 21-0 second quarter with the scores coming on the White-Kimler plays of 22, 85 and 10 yards.
Next week’s Nederland and Central showdown will be played in Beaumont’s Thomas Center on Friday night.