The Port Arthur News
If the past two games are any indication of how good a player Marcus Barton will be for Nederland, Larry Neumann’s smile will keep getting bigger.
The two-year starter has elevated his game for the 3-1 Bulldogs as a fullback. He came up big against Angleton in relief of an injured Kendrick Hopkins and this past Friday he found a new way to dazzle the fans.
Barton had runs of 57, 35 and 17 yards against the Vidor Pirates last Friday en route to 118 yards on five carries as the Bulldogs opened District 20-4A play with a 31-10 victory.
“My first thought against Vidor was they were squeezing in and were only keying on Kendrick,” Barton said. “I decided to hit the back side and just ran. I kept telling myself to not get caught and to pick my knees up. Those guys were a lot taller than me, so I had to run hard. Eventually I got taken down and we scored touchdowns in another way. It doesn’t matter to me who scores the touchdown as long as we get the win in the end.”
Win is exactly what Barton helped the Bulldogs do against Angleton in the non-district schedule. Hopkins had left the game with an injury and Barton was asked to move from fullback to tailback.
The change did not slow the junior down.
“My first thought in that situation was I did not want to see Kendrick hurt,” Barton said. “He is a tremendous player. We really didn’t think he was hurt because he was laughing. Coach then told me I would be in at tailback and I was nervous the first play. After that I remembered it was nothing I had never done before.”
Barton became one of the major differences in the game as he ran the ball eight times for 44 yards in the game’s last series. His running enabled the Bulldogs to run the final 6:16 off the clock and hold on to a 35-21 victory.
“That drive, all I made sure to do was hold on to the ball,” Barton added. “I had more fun on that drive than at any point this year. It always feels great to help my team in any way. I am always going to do whatever my coaches tell me to do.”
It is this dedication Neumann has grown to love about Barton. Neumann called Barton an intense football player who he has to remind to calm down at times, and just have a little fun while on the field.
“It is a positive trait to have,” Neumann said. “Marcus has been productive from the get go but over the last two games he has given a little extra punch. I would never call him a surprise. He is a very capable runner, pass catcher and he is a great blocker.”
Neumann noted it was a block from Barton which sprung tight end Brandon Dial to a 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against Vidor.
“Marcus is as quick as a cat and a very tough kid,” Neumann added. “The best thing about Marcus is we have another year with the guy. His role could continue to change but we have confidence in him. He is committed to being the best he can be and he isn’t playing football just to hang out with friends. He wants to win and do his part.”
Barton has always had a little motivation to be his best. His father, Aaron Barton, was once a Bulldog under Neumann. He played wide receiver, safety and kicker for the Bulldogs.
“In the back of my mind, I always think how I want to live up to what he did in high school,” Barton said of his father. “He was a great player. The best part is after games I get to talk to my dad and know he went through some of the same things I did under Coach Neumann. Coach Neumann and the whole staff are the best. They treat you like family and always push you to be at your best.
“We want to win the district title here this year and go undefeated in district. We don’t bring up the winning streak because that is the past. We are first focused on Livingston this week and reaching our goal of the district championship. That is all that matters to this team. The teams before us were great teams. We want to be something new and accomplish our own goals.”
Bulldog Bites: Marcus Barton is the son of Aaron Barton and Marsha Fults...Barton is a fan of most state of Texas college teams and said his favorite would probably be Texas A&M...His future plans are split at the time, as he wants to either work as a chemical engineer or a pharmacist...Barton is both a Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans fan. He said he was torn down the middle this past Sunday when Richard Sherman returned an interception for Seattle to tie the Texans in the fourth quarter.