The Port Arthur News
BARBERS HILL —
If defense is what you like, steer clear of Barbers Hill High School starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
That is when the No. 1 offense out of District 20-4A will meet the No. 1 offense from District 19-4A and these two do not like to slow down.
Port Neches-Groves is back in the playoffs after a year away and its first round game against Crosby has all the makings for a record-setting night.
The Indians enter averaging 396.4 yards per game. That’s impressive, but it’s also nearly 200 yards less than what the Cougars average.
Crosby averages 599.1 yards per game and has outscored its opponents 545-239, an average score of 55-24.
“Crosby is a tremendous football team,” PN-G Coach Brandon Faircloth said. “The stats with those twins they have and even the rest of the team are eye-popping numbers.”
What the Cougars have been able to accomplish on offense has been amazing.
Crosby has rushed for 3,215 yards this year and has thrown for another 2,262 yards. The Cougars average 21 first downs a game.
The twins Faircloth spoke of have been amazing since they were sophomores.
Quarterback Aston Walker has thrown for 1,994 yards on 123-for-195 passing, with 29 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also has 726 yards rushing on 89 carries with nine touchdowns and is, incredibly, second in all these categories to his twin brother, Austin Walker.
Austin Walker has carried the ball 157 times for 2,129 yards with 26 touchdowns. He averages 13.56 yards per carry.
The twins are both headed to play football at Rice University.
“We have been blessed with great kids,” Crosby Coach Jeff Riordan said. “Anytime you have three DI guys on your offense, you expect to put up points and yards.”
So, who is the third DI player for the Cougars?
That would be receiver Raelon Singleton who stands 6-feet, 4-inches. He is headed to Utah. Singleton leads the Cougars with 26 receptions for 637 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averages 25 yards per catch.
Austin Walker is a great receiver out of the backfield, with 12 receptions for 282 yards and three scores. He averages 24 yards per reception.
Vernon Allen is actually second on the Crosby team with 22 catches for 258 yards and four touchdowns.
“Those twins are fast, quick and elusive,” Faircloth said. “They are not big kids but that makes them very hard to tackle. This is going to be a challenge for everyone on our defense. They have a great offensive line. It all might start with those twins, but it definitely does not stop with them. Crosby seems to have weapons all over the field.”
Another very impressive mark set by Crosby is the fact the Cougars lowest scoring total this year was 33 points against Dayton. The Cougars scored 49 points or more in the other nine games. Crosby scored 50 points or more seven times and scored 60 points or more twice. The Cougars beat New Caney Porter 70-0 and defeated Barbers Hill 63-26. They also overwhelmed District 20-4A champ Nederland, 56-35.
The Indians, meanwhile, were far from average when on offense this season as PN-G grew to become a very balanced attack this year.
Brant Halfin leads the Indians with 1,238 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns. He averages 5.3 yards per carry. Adam Morse has come on strong over the last couple of weeks in the rushing department with four touchdowns. Morse usually spends his time as the backup quarterback.
Ky Walker, PN-G’s starting quarterback, has been solid with 2,060 yards on 152-for-251 passing with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Walker has plenty of options when throwing the football and his No. 1 target is now the No. 1 receiver in PN-G history.
Jeremiah Rose has 79 catches for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rose has 143 receptions in his career which makes him the all-time receptions leader in PN-G history. Roses’ 79 receptions this year are second most for a PN-G receiver behind Amir Jalali’s 94 catches in 2010.
Kaleb Sparks has 49 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns while Avery Murdock has 23 receptions for 313 yards. Reece Wardlow has 22 catches for 324 yards and four touchdowns.
Faircloth and his staff are pleased to be back in the playoffs, giving the PN-G fans another week to cheer on the Indians.
“Playoff time is a special time of year,” Faircloth said. “We are excited. Our fans are going to be loud come Friday night. Those fans are so supportive and they deserve to be cheering on their team in the postseason every year.”
Faircloth’s Indians are in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. That is the first time for such a run since 1977.
“Our coaching staff is proud of that mark,” Faircloth said.
Riordan is also pleased with his team’s success and is also aware of the rowdy crowd the Indians will bring to Barbers Hill.
“PN-G is well-known to have a very supportive crowd,” Riordan said. “It is going to be a great atmosphere. We are not going to have to travel very far so I would expect our fans will also fill the stadium. I can’t wait to be a part of it all.”