DEER PARK —
Port Arthur Memorial at Deer Park
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Deer Park’s Clay Abshier Stadium
Directions: Take 1-10 West to Beltway 8, exit Beltway 8 South. Continue on for about five miles and take the Red Bluff Rd/Pasadena Blvd exit. Turn left onto Ramsey Dr./W San Augustine St. and travel about a mile and a half. Turn right onto Texas Avenue. The stadium will be on the left behind the school.
Records: Memorial (4-0); Deer Park (2-2)
Last year: Did not play
Series: First meeting
Radio: Legacysportsnetwork.com with pregame show 30 minutes before kickoff.
Memorial capsule: The Titans will feature a slightly different looking backfield this week. Freshman Kameron Martin will still get the start at tailback, but defensive backs Devin Cockrell and Darius Lemora will see their first action this season at the position. Cockrell was set to play tailback last season before his knee injury against Central, while Lemora has played some tailback in each of the past two seasons. Junior receiver Albert Jacobs will see some snaps at cornerback this week as well, while Jacody Boone should fill in some at “Bandit.”… The Titans will also be back to full strength on the offensive line. Sophomore left tackle Vernon Samuels missed the past two games with a knee injury, but is back and should solidify the young Titan offensive group up front. … Talented defensive lineman Matthew Romar needs two more rushing TDs to become just the fourth player in school history with double-digit rushing scores. Romar has seven carries for 48 yards and four TDs this season. … Memorial finished off its third straight perfect non-district record by beating Houston Bellaire last week. Titans head coach Kenny Harrison improved his career record to 32-11 and has an outside shot at getting to 40 wins in just his fourth season as a head coach.
Deer Park capsule: The Deer were a playoff team from District 22-5A last season under head coach Chris Massey. Deer Park finished the season 10-2 with a perfect 5-0 district record. The Deer beat Beaumont West Brook 31-30 in the bidistrict round of the playoffs last season before falling 47-7 to Pearland in the area round…. The Deer have had an up-and-down start to the 2012 season. They opened up with a 29-6 victory at Clear Lake before losing 46-19 to Spring and 34-27 to 21-5A nemesis Clear Creek. Deer Park bounced back last week with a 43-27 victory over Dickinson. …The Deer have the most passing yards of any team in 21-5A this season, but have just the fifth-best offense by average yards per game. The Deer are averaging 322 yards per game. Defensively, the Deer are giving up the second-most yards in the district at 348.5, just ahead of Baytown Sterling’s 377.8. … Senior receiver Eric Luna was a first-team all-district pick last season in 22-5A. Luna finished last season with 42 catches for 768 yards. He has 12 catches for 169 yards this season. … Quarterbacks Connor Means and Caleb Martin have rotated through playing time this season, but Means has been the bright spot for the Deer. The junior has passed for 575 yards, completing 57 percent of his passesw while throwing five TDs and two INTs. Martin is 7 for 12 passing for 52 yards. … The Deer’s leading rusher is Noah Cano, who has 61 carries for 335 yards and five TDs.
Harrison said: “The one thing I’ve noticed is they play hard. They’ve been down in some ballgames and their kids have played for a full 48 minutes. That’s a quality football team. We have to come out and be sound in all three phases. Deer Park has a good running back and a very good receiver (in Luna). They want to run the football. We’re going to have to be sound on defense to disrupt what they want to do.”
Massey said: “We’re young, especially on offense. We have a junior offensive line and a junior quarterback. The seniors we do have didn’t get a lot of varsity experience. We’re more mature on defense, but we still have a long way to go on that side of the ball. Memorial is very athletic. Their QB (Ricky Fisk) is a special guy. WE have to stop him. That’s not making light of the rest of their offense, but everything they do revolves around him. Defensively, they’ve big, physical players and much more speed than we do.”
DEER PARK —
Port Arthur Memorial at Deer Park
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