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Down to the wire: Memorial, WB left with little time to clinch berth

MEMORIAL-WEST BROOK MATCHUP

Offense

Memorial: 303.1 yards per game (177.4 rushing, 125.7 passing); leaders, Kameron Martin (senior RB, 890 yards on 135 carries with six touchdowns), De’Andre Angelle (junior WR, 453 yards on 29 receptions) and Marcus Younger (senior RB, 315 yards on 62 carries with four touchdowns)

• West Brook: 404.7 yards per game (199.1 rushing, 205.6 passing); leaders, Joel Denly (junior RB, 1,195 yards on 212 carries with 16 touchdowns), Justin Essex (senior QB, 1,850 yards on 120-of-193 passing with 10 touchdowns and five interceptioins) and Keith Corbin (senior WR, 886 yards on 44 receptions with nine touchdowns)

Defense

• Memorial: 400.9 yards per game allowed (253.3 rushing, 147.6 passing)

• West Brook: 321.1 yards per game allowed (172.4 rushing, 148.7 passing)

Sound bytes

• Memorial coach Kenny Harrison: “Our offensive line has improved. Our rushing yards have picked up. We have rushed for over 200 yards the last couple of games. I don’t know if the first few games if we rushed for 100 yards. Kameron [Martin] has come along and Marcus [Younger] has also done a tremendous job the last couple of weeks. All that comes because of the development of our offensive line. It is a do-or-die for us this week. We have to take care of the football and make every offensive possession count.”

• West Brook coach Kevin Flanigan: This game has a lot riding on it. We know if we win we are in for sure. We definitely want to seal it up and not go into our bye week with it being on what someone else does. The past couple of years we have been off and not fully in the playoffs. We want to win this game and be able to prep that last week by going to watch Pearland play Manvel. This is our first Friday night home game since Sept. 11 against Spring Dekaney. It has been a very long stretch with no time off. I don’t know what has is different about Memorial since the start of the year but they are playing much better. At any point those guys can break one because they have so many talented athletes all over the field. It really is a scary game.

The Port Arthur Memorial Titans are in a spot any team would like to be with two weeks left in the regular season.

Memorial controls its own destiny, even with a 1-3 District 21-6A record.

The Titans take on the West Brook Bruins at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Center. Tonight is West Brook’s final regular season contest as the Bruins enter the game 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the league standings. Memorial ends its regular season next week at home against North Shore (5-3, 4-0).

Channelview is also fighting for the playoffs with a 2-2 district record. The Falcons face Baytown Sterling this week.

“We understand there are three teams with two slots left open,”

Memorial coach Kenny Harrison said. “Only North Shore and La Porte have clinched a spot. As long as there is a window of opportunity, we are going to approach it day-by-day. We are going to work extremely hard to take care of our part.”

Memorial and West Brook have formed as close a rivalry as the two can get in the district schedule, since they are the only local 6A teams.

“We have had some battles over the years,” Harrison said. “We have won some and we have lost some. I don’t expect anything different. Our kids and the West Brook kids grew up playing football together in Pop Warner and then to middle school. It is closest thing we have to a rivalry we have in the 6A level. I am looking forward to a good game.”

West Brook enters tonight with a very balanced offense under coach Kevin Flanigan.

Junior running back Joel Denly has burst onto the scene this year and has 1,195 yards on 212 carries with 16 touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Justin Essex leads the district with 1,850 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. His favorite receiver all year has been Keith Corbin, a University of Houston commit who has 886 receiving yards on 44 receptions with nine touchdowns.

“They have seen us a lot this year because they follow us in the district schedule,” Harrison said referring to how the Bruins play district opponents the week after those teams face the Titans. “They have had an opportunity to watch us all year long.

“We told Kary Vincent he is going to be busy this week. He is our best cover guy and they like to get the ball to Keith. When you have a situation like that, you put your two best players out there and hopefully for us Kary can win that battle and take Corbin out of the game.”

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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