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Impressive Titans drop hammer on Central

The Memorial Titans arguably played their best, most complete game in four football seasons in pounding the Central Jaguars for 25 first downs on 463 total yards of offense en route to a 38-0 shutout victory on Friday night.

As productive as the offense was, however, the Titans defense completely dominated the Jaguars. Memorial boss Kenny Harrison said the defense was especially motivated since the Jags owned a 2-0 record against Port Arthur over the last two seasons.

That motivation definitely showed on the field, as Memorial allowed just six first downs and a total of 132 yards of offense.

All six of those first downs came in the second half and 54 of the 132 yards came on Central’s final possession of the game, long after Harrison sent out the second unit.

“Nelson Barnes and the defensive staff did a great job putting together a game-plan this week,” Harrison explained. “They have a young quarterback and we wanted to pressure him early on and we did that. The defensive line really dominated the line of scrimmage. I think that set the tone.”

Juniors Nate Holmes and Terrence Singleton carried most of the load offensively. Singleton reached 100 yards on 17 attempts and punched in a pair of touchdowns. His first came on a 1-yard keeper that put Memorial up 21-0 with 1:24 left in the first half. The Titan field general scored Memorial’s next touchdown when he dove into the endzone from two-yards out, lifting the lead to 28-0.

Singleton also completed 9-of-15 passing for 111 yards.

Meanwhile, Holmes tallied 124 yards on 17 carries, including a 63-yard burst that ultimately led to Singleton’s first touchdown.

The Titans led 21-0 at the half. All three of their scoring drives were capped off by 1-yard runs. Bryce Newcost put Port Arthur on the board on its opening possession, which covered 38 yards and took 4:43 off the clock. Jaylon Howard gave Memorial great field position with his 54-yard kickoff return.

Newcost scored the Titans final touchdown as well. It marked Memorial’s longest touchdown of the night, traveling 14 yards to give Port Arthur a 38-0 advantage. Newcost gained 39 yards on seven carries.

Fisher Romar, who had 28 rushing yards, banged in Memorial’s second touchdown with 5:06 remaining in the first period.

That visit to paydirt was set up by a Central fumble that was recovered by Memorial’s Jaivon Slone. The Jaguars fumbled four times and lost three. Davonte McMillian pounced on the second and Dimitri Davis collected the third. All three fumbles led to Memorial touchdowns.

Following Central’s first time to move the chains, which came on its first possession in the third quarter, Chucky Baker picked off Jaguar quarterback Robert Mitchell.

Memorial coughed up two fumbles and lost one. Singleton also launched a hail mary before the half that was intercepted, giving Memorial two give-a-ways on the evening.

Harrison said that was one of the few negatives for his team, which opens the season with a win for the first time since 2007. The Titans also pitched their first shutout since 2004.

Memorial travels to Beaumont to face Ozen next Friday.

“Turnovers, penalty yards (64) and we need to do a better job, be more consistent in our blocking,” stated Harrison, on areas he wants his team to improve on.

“I’ll need to look at the game film to really know where we hurting on the offensive line but Central is a good team, physical and we expected they would get some penetration. We have two young starters on the line and I know they had some communication problems in the first half.”

Harrison’s complaints about the line were in reference to pass protection, as Singleton made a great deal of his throws while fleeing from blitzing linebackers.

Senior running back Roy Metoyer was the Titans closer for the fourth quarter. He chalked up 50 yards on four attempts. He had 48 on Memorial’s final drive of the game, which set up Newcost’s touchdown run.

Kicker Hulices Nunez also got in on the action when he booted a 17-yard field goal with 6:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. Nunez came on for his field goal after Memorial had a 63-yard drive stalled at Central’s 2-yard line. The Titans used 12 plays and the drive lasted 5:54.

Pressing to get some points, Central had it’s only real threatening drive shutdown at Memorial’s 4-yard line when time expired in the fourth quarter. Central held the ball for the final 2:06 of the contest and moved 54 yards.

With 8.4 seconds to play, Mitchell was looking to get the Jags on the board with a passing touchdown but was flushed out of the pocket and eventually dropped near the sideline for a 1-yard carry.