PORT NECHES —
So far, so good.
The Port Neches-Groves football team kicked off its 2013 campaign at The Reservation in fine fettle. The Indians blanked Hamshire-Fannett in a scrimmage Friday, gaining over 400 yards in the effort.
“Our challenge to our kids in the scrimmage is to play with great effort and play with intensity,” PN-G head coach Brandon Faircloth said. “We’re going to make a lot of mistakes, we know that. I’m very pleased that we did some things well. The first scrimmage against someone else, it’s always going to go a little faster than you think. If you’re going to mess up, mess up going full speed. I thought our kids played with great effort and sometimes that can make up for mistakes.”
Split into two distinct halves, the scrimmage gave coaches and players plenty of work. In the first half, coaches were on the field behind the offensive huddle, as the teams took turns running offensive series.
After a little kicking game practice for both sides, the teams played the second half as an actual half, with two 12 minute quarters and the coaches on the sidelines.
In that second half, PN-G scored three times and kept the Longhorns off the scoreboard completely.
After a disastrous 2-8 season a year ago, the sight of PN-G’s offense purring along and the defense flying to the ball was a welcome one for fans, even in a glorified practice.
Oh, and make no mistake, the offense did hum. Starting quarterback Ky Walker completed 11 of 15 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown, finding Jeremiah Rose with three for 72 yards and Kaleb Sparks with three for 41.
Two players who loom large in PN-G’s plans this season looked great in their varsity debuts under the lights. Halfback Brant Halfin was as good as advertised, carrying six times for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Backup QB Adam Morse, also making his varsity debut, completed 2 of 6 passes for 60 yards and a TD. Morse missed on his first three passes, but found the end zone by hitting Blake Lane with a 5-yard pass on his fourth throw. Morse later connected with Jonah Belaire on a 55-yard pass down the sideline.
“(Brant) did very well,” Faircloth said. “He protected the football. He finished runs and had his shoulders down after contact. Adam had some sophomore jitters. That’s why we do this. He’s a great player and kept a great attitude about it. He didn’t get frustrated and threw a great ball when we got down there.”
The defense, too, looked good in holding down Hamshire-Fannett in both the running and passing games. For the past two weeks, Faircloth has talked up his defense’s speed, and the unit showed that all night.
Outside linebacker Bradley Broussard was one of a number of players who stood out, even though they hadn’t even game-planned for the Longhorn offense.
“Scrimmages are tough because we don’t know their plays,” Faircloth said. “Our defense is lining up out there and we haven’t game planned them or nothing. You just have to play with great effort. You’re playing base defense and you’re not doing all your stuff. You’re not giving yourself a full deck of cards in the scrimmage. What makes up for that is effort.”
PN-G will continue practice next week and will scrimmage Texas City at The Reservation on Thursday.
PORT NECHES —
So far, so good.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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)
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