The Port Arthur News
BAYTOWN – It has been a while since the Port Arthur Memorial Titans had put together a game like one they did on Saturday against Baytown Sterling.
Memorial was splendid on both offense and defense as the Titans shut out the Rangers 42-0 to improve to 3-1 in District 21-5A play. Memorial now leads the all-time series 10-1 and has won five straight against the Sterling.
Coach Kenny Harrison’s Titans limited the Rangers to 120 total yards of offense and four first downs. It was the fewest yards the Titans have allowed this season.
“Our defense got a big shutout and I thought we improved in all three areas of the game since our loss to North Shore,” Harrison said. “The main thing is we got our third win in district and that is huge.”
Memorial’s defense intercepted Sterling quarterback Archie Moyers twice, including the fourth of the season for C.J. Levine. Morgan Ford had the second Titans interception.
The Mustangs had four three-and-outs in the game and were left completely helpless in the third quarter as the Memorial offense stayed on the field for 19 plays.
Sterling only ran four plays in the third and the Titans outgained the Mustangs 89-3 in the quarter.
Memorial’s offense had no problem solving the Sterling defense, even after getting off to a slow start.
After two punts and a fumble on a punt return to start the game, the Titans got on the board behind quarterback Tayylor Labrie. Labrie ran into the endzone from 29 yards out and would later tack on his second rushing touchdown of the game.
Labrie had one of his better games of the season and benefitted from what looked to be a healthy Roderic Rucker.
Labrie finished 21-for-28 passing for 207 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Rucker, who has battled an ankle injury for most of the year, had a game-high 11 receptions and 115 yards. He hauled in a 23-yard touchdown reception to make the score 35-0 in the third quarter.
“Tayylor seems to be getting better each week,” Harrison said. “He continues to minimize his mistakes. Roderic finally looked to be near 100-percent healthy. He had a great week of practice and I know the off week really helped him heal a little more.”
The Titans finished the game with 428 yards, third most this season.
Corey Dauphine led all rushers with 72 yards on 10 carries and scored the last touchdown of the game from 16 yards out. Kameron Martin, who had a 31-yard touchdown run, added 57 rushing yards on nine touches while Labrie had 43 yards on the ground.
“I am proud of our offense and the game they played,” Harrison said. “The biggest thing is we didn’t have a turnover. We have to clean up the penalties. Most of them came from our receivers trying to make a play and holding on a run play. Those are things we can correct and will work on before next Friday.”
Memorial had 11 penalties for 115 yards. Sterling was flagged eight times for 65 yards.
The Titans can clinch their fifth straight trip to the playoffs with a win next week against Beaumont West Brook. Memorial has defeated West Brook two years in a row after winning last year’s contest against the Bruins, 49-17.
West Brook leads the all-time series 6-5.
“Next week is big,” Harrison said. “It will feel good to play at home. We are at a point in the season where if you aren’t motivated then there is something wrong with you. The kids are focused and we will be ready to play in a big 21-5A game.”