PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 21, 2013

Talking Points: Looking back on 90th version of Mid-County Madness

Gabe Pruett
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — The 90th edition of Mid County Madness was one that will not soon be forgotten.

It was a great game between two great rivals. It was sad news, though, to learn around 9 p.m. that former Nederland and Port Neches-Groves coach Bum Phillips had passed.

Nederland Coach Larry Neumann said it best after his Bulldogs defeated the Indians, 21-17, that Phillips’ spirit was watching over Bulldog Stadium.

Bulldogs continue to close the gap

PN-G still leads the series 48-35-7 but Nederland is slowly starting to gain some ground.

Nederland has won four straight against the Indians, the first four-gaming winning streak against PN-G since the late 1950s for the Bulldogs.

Neumann is now 15-6 against PN-G is taking over the Bulldogs in 1993.

The Bulldogs won this past Friday by being patient and capitalizing on a huge break late in the game.

Nederland attacked when the time was right and was never rattled. Neumann called on Brandon Dial at the right time and he struck for a long run on his only carry of the night. It came on the game-winning drive.

The Bulldogs also got a huge game from Sage Seay who is this week’s Player of the Week as seen on Page B2.

Indians regroup; focus on Vidor

Port Neches-Groves is sitting at 2-2 in District 20-4A and with three games left the Indians cannot dwell on the Nederland loss for very long.

Vidor will come into The Reservation looking to pull off an upset and the Pirates 1-3 district record does not mean Vidor will simply not show up.

The Pirates have the district’s leading rusher in Sage Smith who has gained over 1,000 yards this season. Vidor’s offense averages nearly 400 yards a game.

PN-G has only lost to Vidor once in Coach Brandon Faircloth’s tenure with the Indians. The Pirates beat the Indians, 49-13, last season. Faircloth is 3-1 versus Vidor since coming to PN-G in 2009.

Speaking of Faircloth, the head Chief has 32 career wins with the Indians. Matt Burnett’s all-time wins record for a head coach at PN-G is 95.

Sterling/Memorial series is not close

The Titans have owned their series against the Rangers since Port Arthur Memorial was formed in 2002.

Memorial boasts a 9-1 series lead against Baytown Sterling. Sterling’s only win came in 2008, 17-10.

This season should be no different as the Rangers enter with District 21-5A’s worst ranked offense and sixth ranked defense.

Memorial was off last week so the Titans coaches have had two weeks to prepare for the 2-6 Rangers.

Sterling lost 51-0 to North Shore this past Friday and the Mustangs did not need 589 rushing yards to beat the Rangers like they did two weeks ago against the Titans.

Instead the Mustangs held the Rangers to 55 total yards and only five first downs.

Fans are to be reminded this game will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium.

Email: gpruett@panews.com

Twitter: @PaNewsGabe