The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Kenny Harrison has had some time to look back on Port Arthur Memorial’s 2013 season since it ended this past Saturday.
He couldn’t find a negative word to use when describing a year that saw the Titans finish second in District 21-5A and advance to the second round. Memorial went 8-4 and was eliminated by Fort Bend Elkins 48-21 in the Class 5A Area Round.
The second round was a step forward from 2012 when the Titans were sent home in the bi-district round.
Memorial this year only lost one game in the district schedule, 49-20 to North Shore.
“When I look back, I see a young team that only got better each and every week,” Harrison said. “We started 16 underclassmen this year and quite a few of those young men produced for us. We had great senior leadership and those seniors allowed our young guys to grow and develop.”
Those underclassmen from this year will have great experience going into next year. Harrison said four of five offensive linemen will be back in 2014 and the offense will also benefit from two running backs being back on the roster.
The offensive line did a great job blocking for both Kameron Martin and Corey Dauphine.
Martin rushed for 1,060 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore while Dauphine added 613 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.
“Those two guys had great years,” Harrison said. “We will expect even more from those guys next year and also from our line. That is an important part of a team and we will have some good ones back next year.”
Harrison watched his offense grow as the season moved on. It was highlighted by an arsenal of receivers and a very talented quarterback.
The receivers were led by seniors who will have to be replaced. Roderic Rucker led the group with 50 receptions for 696 yards and eight touchdowns. He overcame an ankle injury that kept him out of several games. Rucker was not near 100-percent until the Titans faced Baytown Sterling in 21-5A play. He had 12 catches in the 42-0 Memorial win.
Albert Jacobs finished with 44 catches for 598 yards and four scores, Torian Lott added 31 receptions for 327 yards and Trenton Swinton had 23 catches for 311 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Tayylor Labrie finished the year 172-for-276 passing with 2,082 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“Those seniors accomplished quite a bit,” Harrison said. “The ones who were on varsity for three years were a part of the state semifinalist team and they made the playoffs every year. They really kept our program’s tradition moving forward.”
Harrison said there will be three players competing next year for the Titans starting quarterback position. The three are CJ Levine, Kadon Harrison and Kevin Williams. Levine was a star defensive back for Memorial this year with seven interceptions.
“One of those guys will step up and really take the job over,” Harrison said.
Harrison’s best memory of 2013 he said will be the night Memorial ended La Porte’s 25-home winning streak.
The Titans were trailing the Bulldogs by three scores in the fourth quarter, yet showed true grit to win 47-45. The win made the Titans the No. 1 Division II seed out of 21-5A and kept Memorial from playing Manvel in the first round. Manvel defeated Memorial in bi-district in 2012.
“I am excited about the future of this program,” Harrison said. “I really am. I am proud of what we accomplished this year and can not wait until the first practice. We will, like everyone else, be watching realignment in February. I am not concerned with anywhere we go because I am confident in the team we have coming back no matter who we play.”