PN-G run defense faces next test

Published 11:53 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015

PORT NECHES — First it was Baytown Lee’s Javarius Lee.

Then, the Port Neches-Groves defense had to deal with Lumberton’s Timothy Rhodes, Nederland’s Austin Krautz and Beaumont Ozen’s Josh Boyd and Calvin Tyler.

So, why not take on Beaumont Central’s Devwah Whaley?

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The list of running backs in District 22-5A is filled with talent, speed and physicality.

PN-G’s defense is giving up 144.1 rushing yards a game against some of the area’s best runners. The Indians last week held Tyler to 88 yards. He is second in the district with 1,245 yards on 167 carries.

“Coach [Dustin] Templin has had a good game plan all year for stopping the run,” PN-G coach Brandon Faircloth said. “The kids really executed it well last week against Tyler. In order to beat Ozen you have to stop the run. [Quarterback] Josh Boyd and Calvin Tyler are wonderful players. Our kids did a good job of knowing what they had to do to be successful.”

Faircloth and Templin will ask that same defense to show up again tonight at The Reservation when Central shows up with arguably the district’s most talented running back in Whaley.

Whaley has rushed for 1,225 yards on 180 carries with 14 touchdowns. He has scored in the recruiting process as well with showing 20 college offers. The list includes teams like Georgia, Texas A&M, Alabama, Baylor, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU and Texas.

“Whaley is definitely one of the best runners in the district,” Faircloth said. “He has a very bright future ahead of him. He is very physical and fast. Any word you want to use to describe him as a running back, it fits. He has all the tools. We have to be focused on him and use as many Indians as we can to get in there and tackle him. He is a really good player.”

Faircloth joked about the fact the Indians and Jaguars have played five extra quarters over the last two seasons.

“We have an overtime agreement with them,” Faircloth said in reference to last year’s double overtime Central win and 2013’s triple overtime PN-G victory. “If that is what it takes, we will do it. It has been a really close game every year.

“This game is a great warm up for the playoffs for both of us. It’s a big game late in the season. It is what you need as a program to get you going towards that direction. The teams we both have to line up against out of District 21-5A are always tough.”

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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