, Port Arthur, Texas


September 7, 2013

Port Arthur Memorial wins defensive struggle against Beaumont Ozen

PORT ARTHUR — If the Port Arthur Memorial football team could just focus on its defensive effort, the Titans would feel mighty good after Friday’s 14-0 victory over Beaumont Ozen at Memorial Stadium.

But, questions on the offense and more costly mistakes crept in to spoil a dominant shutout victory, as the Titans pick up their first win of 2013 and the eighth straight decision over the Panthers.

“The defense did a tremendous job of coming out and playing extremely hard,” Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison said. “Our kids had enough pride to not let them in the end zone. I was very impressed with that unit. Offensively, we have to get better. We have to get back to work tomorrow. Our goal is to get better each and every week.”

It was the first shutout for Memorial since it beat Baytown Sterling 35-0 last year and the sixth shutout in the school’s history. The Titans only gave up 199 yards in the game and held the Panthers to just 1.7 yards per carry.

That was the fewest yards Memorial allowed in a game since giving up 127 to Houston Bellaire last season.

One of the reasons for their defensive success was how they played Ozen quarterback Javaris Curl, who rushed for over 100 yards last week against West Brook. Memorial held him to 22 yards on 25 carries.

“We understood that the quarterback was elusive,” Harrison said. “We came in with a game plan to take No. 3 (Curl) and No. 16 (Ronnie Ceasar) out. We knew those were the two go-to guys for the offense. When we eliminated those two guys, we were able to minimize the big plays.”

As good as the defense performed, however, the Titans mistakes kept them from scoring time after time.

Take the first series of the game. Junior safety C.J. Levine took the game’s opening kickoff and returned it to Ozen’s 30. Two plays later, though, Memorial snapped the ball over quarterback Tayylor Labrie’s head and Ozen recovered.

That was the first of 11 combined fumbles in the game, most coming on the shotgun snap. Memorial ended up turning the ball over three times, as Labrie was intercepted twice.

The mistakes weren’t solely turnovers, either. Memorial had a potential punt return TD by Roderic Rucker called back by a pair of block in the back penalties on the play.

“Offensively, it’s a work in progress,” Harrison said. “We have some weapons, but we have to keep plugging away at the basics and get better at the simple things. We have to eliminate turnovers. If we can not turn the football over, I think we have a chance to be a pretty good football team.”

Memorial got on the board in the second quarter as Tayylor Labrie capped a 10-play drive with a 10-yard TD run. Labrie set that TD up by completing a third down pass to Albert Jacobs for 26 yards.

But, Labrie struggled to get into a rhythm for much of the night, especially after star wideout Roderic Rucker left the game with an ankle injury.

Labrie was able to find Trenton Swinton regularly on short passes in the flats, as Swinton caught six passes for 48 yards. Jacobs proved a nice complement in the passing game, catching four passes for 110 yards and gaining at least 25 yards on three of the four catches.

“Albert is a returning starter,” Harrison said. “Rucker went down and Albert understood that he would be our guy. He’s a three-year letterman and the kids were going to look to him to step up and make plays. I was very impressed with how he performed today.”

The running game, too, struggled to find consistency. Sophomore Kameron Martin led the way with 10 carries for 54 yards while junior Corey Dauphine had seven carries for 20 yards.

Martin also set up the game’s final score. On fourth-and-1 with time running out in the third quarter, Martin took the handoff at the Panthers 36 around the left side on a sweep. The speedy sophomore jetted around the corner and may have had a touchdown, but the ball was knocked out of his hands and bounced into the end zone.

That’s where Titan receiver Travon McClain was waiting to fall on it, earning himself a touchdown and giving Memorial a two-score lead.

Memorial (1-1) will travel to Houston Westside next week in non-district play.

Text Only
  • Trophy stab 1.jpg WEST COLUMN: Bum Phillips trophy an impressive piece of work

    There was lots of excitement around the Port Arthur News this week, with the long-awaited delivery of the magnificent Bum Phillips trophy that will be presented annually to the winner of the Nederland-Port Neches-Groves football game.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ned 13U Babe Ruth wins

    It was a much better day Saturday for the Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team compared to Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • MOORE COLUMN: Flounder dream started in Bridge City

    The first flounder that grabbed my attention lived in what is now the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area in Bridge City. 

    July 26, 2014

  • ESTRADA COLUMN: PED update /Key injuries with contrasting outcomes

    The results of Saturday night’s UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown event were not available as of the time of this writing. It will be covered in a future column.

    July 26, 2014

  • TODORA COLUMN: Hermsen rattles racks in Monday Seniors League at Max Bowl

    Mondays Seniors League had some nice scores this past week. Rick Hermsen started with a 263, finished with a 270 and fit in a 212 in the middle for a nice 745.

    July 26, 2014

  • Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0

    The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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 You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • 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.

    July 21, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog