The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
There was a play last year when Port Neches-Groves Indians running back Brant Halfin went down and he was not sure he was getting up.
The opponents were the Nederland Bulldogs. Halfin was a member of the junior varsity squad and his hopes were to soon be brought up to the varsity level by Coach Brandon Faircloth.
Faircloth had those same hopes.
Halfin said the injury at first left him with worried he would ever walk again. The good news was he walked off the field under his own power and now the injury is a thing of the past.
Halfin is not only a member of the varsity Indians this year, he is a very important piece to an offense that leads District 20-4A with 382.3 yards per game.
The first-year starter has 1,108 yards on 211 carries, with 11 touchdowns. He gives Faircloth’s offense a much-needed balance to an attack that has thrown for 2,157 yards in 2013.
“Brant is our homerun hitter,” Faircloth said. “He really does it all from his running back position. He has great speed, can catch out of the backfield and does a tremendous job pass blocking. He truly works hard at each of those duties.”
Halfin does not seem to be satisfied at this moment. He and his Indians teammates clinched a playoff spot this past Friday with a thrilling 22-21 win over Beaumont Ozen. Halfin now has the 17th most rushing yards in a season in the storied PN-G history.
Yet Halfin is not done, and he doesn’t want anyone to think the Indians are simply going to enjoy what they have already accomplished and call it a season.
“Of course, making the playoffs is great but we have to win one more game,” Halfin said. “We still have Livingston on our schedule and we have to take this game first. It is still one game at a time around here.”
Halfin quickly pointed to his offensive line for his own success. He also acknowledged how the rest of the PN-G offense makes his job very easy come Friday nights.
“It is all about my big guys up front,” Halfin said. “Those guys work so hard every day in practice and make it easy for me to find holes. Sometimes I cannot believe the size of the space I have to run through. Plus, throw in the fact defenses have so much to worry about when playing our team. Jeremiah (Rose) can do so much on offense and Ky (Walker) is a great quarterback. Guys like Reece Wardlow and Kaleb Sparks also make defenses stay honest. They cannot key on just one of us.”
One of Halfin’s favorite times this season came against the Central Jaguars. Halfin and the Indians needed three overtimes to overtake the Jaguars, 31-29.
Faircloth said Halfin carried the ball 40 times for 206 yards and did everything he could to make sure PN-G got the win.
“It doesn’t matter if he carries the ball 40 times or 10 times, Brant just wants the offense to move the ball,” Faircloth said. “That night we decided we were going to rely on our running game and Brant stepped up. He is a team player. He only is concerned with our team getting the win.”
Halfin said he also enjoyed the fact he got to be a part of a throw-back pass against the Jaguars.
“The Central game was just a blast to be a part of,” Halfin said. “Scoring touchdowns is always fun but my favorite part of running the ball is outrunning someone. I love seeing my line get a huge block and turning on the jets. One of my favorite moments this year was against West Orange-Stark.
“It was only my second varsity start and I got to say I got the chance to outrun Deionte Thompson. Thompson is a great player who is headed to a school like Alabama. It was a long run so that was fun to get the best of a great player for at least one play.”
Indian Inklings: Halfin’s grandfather is Billy Halfin. Billy Halfin is a well-known outdoorsman in Southeast Texas who used to star on a television segment each week…Brant Halfin said after he graduates from high school he plans to enlist in the Navy and will one day hope to walk on and play football with the school…He is a Philadelphia Eagles fan and stuck with a fellow running back as his favorite player — the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy.