Titans healthy for homecoming

Published 12:16 am Friday, October 2, 2015

For the first time since preseason camp broke, Kenny Harrison will have a full group of Port Arthur Memorial football starters healthy, barring any injuries during this week of practice, of course.

The Titans (1-4, 0-1 in District 21-6A) could use every body, literally, to turn their season around and please their homecoming crowd.

“The key is, once again, I feel good about our chances when we’re healthy,” Harrison said.

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Like the Titans, Deer Park (2-3, 0-1) is riding a three-game losing streak riding into Memorial Stadium tonight. But the Deer’s losses have not been as decisive as the Titans.

In fact, all three of the Deer’s losses have been by a total of 14 points. After dominating wins over Dobie (52-20) and Brazoswood (42-19), they were edged 36-29 at Clear Creek, 35-31 at home against Conroe Oak Ridge and 27-24 at home by La Porte.

“We’re playing pretty good,” 12th-year

Deer coach Chris Massey said. “We’ve just given up big plays the last three games. We’ve given up eight big-play scores the last three games. If we take away one big play each game, we’re 5-0 and feeling good about ourselves.”

Massey is fully aware of the Titans’ big-play ability. Kadon Harrison’s longest pass this season, according to district statistics, is 59 yards. De’Andre Angelle’s longest reception is 46 yards. Kameron Martin sprung a 30-yard play this season.

None of those plays is uncommon, but if Memorial has its way, such a play can make a huge difference — the very thing Deer Park wants to avoid for good.

“We’ve just got to do better in our fits defensively,” Massey said. “Our kids are playing hard and running to the ball but not always getting to the right spot. Speed’s an issue for us. Most everybody we play is faster than us. We have to be technique-sound to ensure we’re where we need to be.”

The speed battle could be one the Titans easily win in tonight, given Memorial finished second in the 6A state meet last May. But Harrison has placed a bit of focus this week on the Deer’s running game.

Senior Sammy Linton, District 21-6A’s leading rusher, is just 131 yards shy of 1,000 midway through the season and already has 10 touchdowns.

“He’s playing very well for us this year,” Massey said. “He’s a three-year letterman, and you expect three-year lettermen to play well. I think our offensive line is playing very well, too. I don’t think you can rush for that many yards without the offensive line playing well.”

Senior Logan Berryhill has the potential to create big plays of his own for the Deer. He already has 502 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

“A lot of those yards Berryhill has come from play-action passes,” Harrison said. “Our DBs [defensive backs] have to be sound and not fall asleep.”

The homecoming atmosphere might be enough to keep Memorial awake all evening.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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