1) Offensive explosion in Port Neches
Enough cannot be said for the Port Neches-Groves Indians win over the Class 3A West Orange-Stark Mustangs Friday night at the Reservation. PN-G’s 37-34 win over WO-S was the Indians first win against the Mustangs since 1996 and the Indians did it in style. It is very unusual to see a Mustangs team give up 37 points in a single game, let alone 424 yards and 20 first downs.
WO-S prides itself on defense yet the Indians rode on the backs of quarterback Ky Walker who threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns and running back Brant Halfin who rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns.
So the next game should be a breeze for the Indians correct? Dead wrong, as on Thursday PN-G must travel to face one of the state’s best in Humble Summer Creek. Summer Creek had a great run last year and was ranked No. 6 last week in the state rankings. This will be a tough one.
2) Big win for Smalley, Bobcats
This game had it all and ended with a lot of folks saying Friday’s Orangefield 30-22 win over Jasper was one of the biggest in school history. The victory is certainly the biggest in the Josh Smalley era.
Orangefield running back Carl Wiley has his name up for player of the week honors with 225 yards on the ground on 36 carries. Get this folks, the Bobcats ran the ball 62 times for 362 yards against a very good Jasper football team. Sounds almost like BYU against Texas, doesn’t it.
The Bobcats trailed by a point in the second half after scoring a touchdown and Smalley went to the air to take the lead for good. Smalley called for a two-point conversion and Mason Sonnier caught a pass from backup quarterback Carmichael Wiley to give Orangefield the lead.
Orangefield students did what any great student section does after a big win, they rushed the field. Though next time, the students should wait until both teams have shaken hands and talked to their coaches. Safety always comes first.
3) Titans get defensive against Panthers
Port Arthur Memorial has been known for its offense the last few years, yet this past Friday it was the defense of Kenny Harrison’s team which shined bright in a 14-0 win over Ozen.
The Titans limited the Panthers to only 68 rushing yards and 131 yards in the air in the shutout win. It was a great time for the defense to stand tall because the Memorial offense struggled against Ozen with just 250 yards in the game.
Ozen put the ball on the ground six times against Memorial, yet only lost one fumble, while the Titans fumbled five times and only lost one fumble.
Memorial will have to shore up the turnovers. The Titans did throw two interceptions Friday, before heading to face Houston Westside at Delmar this week.
1) Offensive explosion in Port Neches
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BEAUMONT — It may be just the second year of the program’s revival, but the Lamar softball team has already established a tradition: Winning the home opener on a walk-off home run.
Casey Cromwell’s three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Lady Cardinals a 6-4 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Ford Park in the first home game of 2014 for Lamar and the Southland Conference opener for both squads.
Lamar, which won its first game last year over UTSA on a walk-off home run by Ashley McDowell, cruised to an 8-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana in Saturday’s nightcap.
“This is why I love playing at home,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “The fans really get us pumped up, and we respond.”
Cromwell hit two home runs in the opener for Lamar (5-9 overall, 2-0 Southland). Beverly Corry also homered for Lamar. Shannon Millman (3-5) was the winning pitcher for the Lady Cardinals in both games, working 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in the first game before firing a three-hit gem in the nightcap.
“We got tremendous pitching for both Shannon and Tina (Schulz) today,” Bruder said. “We also got some great defense, and that really helped us.”
Candyce Carter and Jenna Holland homered for Lamar in the second game. Carter had three RBIs in the game, while Holland and Julianne Viator added two RBIs apiece.
Carter closed out the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving grab in center field to turn what looked to be a sure double off the bat of Brittney Tschoepe into the final out of the game.
The two teams wrap up their three-game series with a single contest at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Park. All senior citizens 55 and older receive free admission.
“It’s always tough to sweep a team,” Bruder said. “We know Sunday’s game will be tough.”
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