PORT ARTHUR —
Houston Bellaire at Port Arthur Memorial
When: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium
Records: PAM 2-1, Bellaire 2-1
Last Year: Memorial 41, Bellaire 7
Internet broadcast: Legacy Sports Network (legacysportsnetwork.com)
No Friday Night Experience telecast: The Port Arthur News’ scheduled Friday night experience telecast of Memorial’s game against Bellaire has been scrubbed due to anticipated heavy rain. “We did not want to exposure our camera crew or their expensive equipment to the kind of weather that has been forecast,” said FNE executive producer Jim Barton.
Inside the Port Arthur Memorial fieldhouse are three poster boards which show week-by-week goals for the Titans’ offense, defense and special teams.
The defensive and special teams boards have a number of goals marked off through the Titans first three games. It is the offensive board which needs a pick up heading into next week’s District 21-5A opener against Deer Park.
Good news for Memorial is the Titans face Houston Bellaire tonight in the team’s fourth non-district contest, and have another opportunity to balance the boards.
The Titans did show a huge improvement on offense last week against Houston Westside. Memorial rushed for a season-high 222 yards on 33 carries in the 49-20 win and proved to Harrison this team can get the job done.
“We have to continue to minimize our mistakes and eliminate the turnovers that plagued us early on in the season,” Harrison said. “We did a much better job last week of holding on to the ball and doing what we are supposed to do on offense.”
Sophomore Kameron Martin became the first Titan to rush for over 100 yards in a game in 2013 last week with 100 yards on 12 carries. Martin now stands with 233 yards rushing on 30 carries with three touchdowns. He is averaging 7.8 yards a carry while junior Corey Dauphine has added 103 yards on the ground and another three scores.
“It felt real good to get those young running backs going last week,” Harrison said. “We knew once our offensive line started to gel our young runners would start to get going. Ransom Howard also had a nice game, so we feel confident in our rushing attack after last week.”
Howard finished with 24 yards on seven carries last week.
Memorial’s offense ranks sixth among District 21-5A teams by averaging 288 yards a game. Memorial has rushed for 418 yards and passed for 446 yards this year.
Fumbles have been an issue for Harrison’s squad. Memorial has fumbled the ball 13 times in the first three games, yet only lost four of them. An interesting fact out of the district is No. 5 ranked Galena Park North Shore leads the district with 15 fumbles and six lost so far in 2013.
Another key area for the Titans has been the middle two quarters of each game this year. Memorial has outscored its opponents 28-13 in the second quarter and 37-7 in the third quarter.
The Memorial defense has limited opponents to an average of 277 yards a game this year which ranks third among 21-5A teams.
“We have seen some good improvements in our defense,” Harrison said. “That will have to continue against Bellaire. Those guys have DI talent all across the board.”
Bellaire quarterback Trevon Smith has thrown for 368 yards on 26-for-44 passing, with four touchdowns and only one interception. Xavier Campbell leads the Cardinals with 215 yards rushing while teammate Reshard Waddel has 172 yards on the ground.
Courtney Lark has proven to be a go-to receiver for Bellaire with 12 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Bellaire’s loss came in Week Zero to Alief Taylor, 22-9. Taylor put up 334 yards of offense, 149 rushing and 185 passing. Taylor held Bellaire to 11 first downs and only 84 yards rushing and 149 yards passing in the game.
Harrison knows the statistics can sometimes not tell the full story. He is excited to watch his Titans take another growing step before leaping into district play.
“Our young guys can no longer use the excuse of youth,” Harrison said. “Last week we started 15 underclassmen, yet they performed their jobs. Our guys have grown up and it is time to look forward. We are facing a dangerous Bellaire team and cannot look past those guys. We have to play a balanced game this week in order to have success.”
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PORT ARTHUR —
Houston Bellaire at Port Arthur Memorial
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