PORT NECHES —
Long live the white helmets.
In an attempt to erase any memory of last season, the Port Neches-Groves football team moved to white helmets this season and their debut went swimmingly.
PN-G scored twice in the first quarter and went on to rout Silsbee 45-21 at The Reservation Friday in non-district play.
“Any time you play Silsbee, they make it tough on you,” PN-G head coach Brandon Faircloth said. “We knew it was going to be a battle. They’re a great team. That’s why we play these non-district games. They get us ready for district. I’m proud of our kids for being coachable and doing what we ask them to do. Our coaches had a good plan and it worked out well.”
The PN-G offense took charge, as junior quarterback Ky Walker hit his first eight passes and finished 26 of 31 for 265 yards and two TDs. He was the triggerman for a dangerous PN-G attack that adapted to the Silsbee defense all night long.
When Silsbee crowded the middle to take away Brant Halfin’s running lanes, Walker attacked the edges with Jeremiah Rose and Kaleb Sparks.
When Silsbee rolled its coverage outside, Halfin took advantage of the openings to score on a 36-yard touchdown.
When Silsbee came inside, Walker went outside. When they went close, he went long. The junior only played briefly last season before breaking his hand, but Friday he showed poise that belied his actual experience.
“They’re forcing you to throw the football,” Faircloth said. “Any time they’re forcing you to, you have to throw it. We were fortunate enough to throw and catch pretty well. Our run game is good and I think that’s probably why they did that. I feel good about what we’re doing. When they force you into something, you have to deal with it. We were lucky enough tonight to throw the football.”
The Indians were able to capitalize on a pair of Silsbee stalled drives to grab an early 14-0 lead.
PN-G held the Tigers to a three-and-out, thanks to two false starts by Silsbee, and forced a punt on the game’s first series. Then, the PN-G offense went to work, scoring five plays after taking over at the Silsbee 36.
Running back Brant Halfin scored the game’s first points on a 2-yard TD. He added that 36-yarder later in the game and had 27 carries for 137 yards in the game.
After the game’s first TD, Silsbee ran one play and fumbled the ball, and PN-G recovered on the Silsbee 35. Four plays later, the Indians executed a beautiful reverse receiver pass, as Jeremiah Rose found H-back Reece Wardlow wide open in the end zone for an 18-yard TD.
“One of our four components in our plan to win is to score in the red zone,” Faircloth said. “If you get down there, you have to score. We were very fortunate to get that trick play on them and get into the end zone. We were very fortunate tonight.”
Silsbee stormed back, though, on the shoulders of quarterback Patrick Reed. The senior signal caller rushed for 109 yards on 10 carries, breaking tackles on almost every one of his runs. After gaining three yards on his first carry, Reed went for 105 on his next five.
Still, the PN-G defense was able to make stops when they needed it. Reed threw for two more TDs, but only completed 6 of 15 passes. Both safeties, Corbin Coy and Blaine Peveto, had pass breakups on long Reed passes down the middle of the field, and the linebacking corps was able to put pressure on Reed. Leonel Arredondo, Chase Woods and Trey Rembert all had sacks.
“Silsbee has players,” Faircloth said. “They are going to have a great season. They’ve got the quarterback, the running back and receivers. Their offensive line is big. For our defense to keep playing hard, with effort and fast was huge. I thought they got stops when they needed to. We got up by 17 because they got stops, so that was big for us.”
The other factor helping PN-G contain the high octane Silsbee offense was clock control. The Indians ran 70 plays in the game, grinding out big drives in the second half to eat up the clock. Silsbee, however, only ran 34 plays in the game.
The Walker to Rose connection showed plenty of promise on Friday, as the senior receiver caught 11 passes for 133 yards and two TDs. Teammate Kaleb Sparks had eight catches for 88 yards while Halfin added four catches for 20 yards.
Both of Rose’s touchdowns were testaments to his excellent route running skills.
For instance, on his second TD, Rose ran a bit of a fade route into the end zone on third-and-7 from the Silsbee 9. Rose feinted inside with his route and then broke towards the sideline while in the end zone. That was enough to both turn his defender around and give him a two-yard cushion for an easy pitch-and-catch.
“It was all about preparation,” Rose said. “We prepared for them and took it to them tonight. We went over it all week. We practice our routes all the time. We know we aren’t the fastest guys, so we have to have perfect routes.”
PORT NECHES —
Long live the white helmets.
Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0
The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.
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.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
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.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• 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 email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
Mid County knocked out of tournament
The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.
- West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son
Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County
The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.
MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0
First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.
Up the odds for solid bank fishing
There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.
Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl
Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.
- West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar
Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional
The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.
- More Sports Headlines
- Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0