Indians bury Jags, climb into tie for first
Indians 21, Jaguars 7
Port Neches-Groves 0 14 7 0-21
Beaumont Central 0 0 0 7-7
PN-G — Kody Cropper 22 run (Gunnar Nicholson kick), 9:45
PN-G — Jack Giblin 14 pass from Adam Morse (Nicholson kick), 5:11
PN-G — Dylan McGough 12 pass from Morse (Nicholson kick), 7:02
CEN — Devwah Whaley 1 run (Jose Caldera kick), 7:27
First downs 9 14
Rushes-yards 35-92 30-97
Passing yards 95 129
Total yards 187 226
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-2 11-20-2
Fumbles-lost 1-3 0-5
Penalties-yards 7-47 2-10
RUSHING — CEN: Whaley 27-119; PN-G: Cropper 18-107
PASSING — CEN: Chris Boudreaux 8-16-2 95; PN-G: Morse 11-20-2 129
RECEIVING — CEN: Quentin Derry 4-52; PN-G: Caisen Sullivan 4-54, Giblin 3-35
PORT NECHES — Typically when Mitch Murdock calls out a score over the public address system, Brandon Faircloth and his Port Neches-Groves Indians are too busy to pay attention.
But, when Murdock called out Goose Creek Memorial had defeated Nederland, 18-14, the Indians heard it loud and clear.
It came with the Indians winning 21-7 over Beaumont Central, a score that ended up the final. PN-G (7-2) and Nederland (6-3) are now locked in a tie for first place in District 22-5A with identical 5-1 records.
The Indians finished the regular season at Vidor while the Bulldogs end it with a home game against Lumberton.
“I can’t picture any other way going out,” senior linebacker Trey Rembert said. “Especially, it being Senior Night and doing it in front of these wonderful fans for the last time.”
Rembert was a monster Friday against the Jaguars. He forced a fumble and recovered another and then intercepted a Chris Boudreaux pass all in the first half.
He then got the news late in the game of the Bulldogs’ second loss in two years to the Patriots.
“I heard that score,” Rembert said. “That made this the best night in a long time. It is the best night all year. All it did was put Vidor in my head. We have to make sure to come out next week and practice hard and take care of our end.”
Rembert was the leader of an Indians defense that on Friday held the Jaguars to 92 rushing yards and 95 passing for a total of 187 yards.
Faircloth was quick to give all the credit where credit was due.
“Really, I am not sure how we did that,” Faircloth said. “It all starts with [defensive coordinator Dustin] Templin and our defensive coaches. They put a game plan together to stop Central and tonight it worked.”
Highly recruited Jaguars running back Devwah Whaley went for 119 yards on the ground with a touchdown, but considering he has 20 major college scholarship offers, it was a win for PN-G.
The Indians offense had its moments and finished well below its season average of 425.8 yards per game with 226 yards.
“Our kids just never give up,” Faircloth said. “That is how the Indians have played since 1925. They play with so much pride and they lean on the tradition. It was a great night for our defense. Central is a great team and tonight was just our night.”
Faircloth even admitted he heard the score come across the PA system.
“I did hear it,” Faircloth said. “One of our goals is to win a district championship. Sometimes it’s darkest just before the dawn. We are never concerned with other scores and we just try to win our games. I am just proud of our guys tonight. We are focused on Vidor. We understand the situation. I love these kids and I am so proud of them.”
Quarterback Adam Morse threw for 129 yards on 11-of-20 passing with two interceptions and two touchdowns, one going to Jack Giblin in the second to make it 14-0 and another to Dylan McGough in the third to give PN-G a 21-0 lead.
The Indians first score came with 9:45 left in the first half off a 22-yard run by Kody Cropper. Cropper finished with 107 yards on 18 carries.
“It is a good feeling beating them without having to go into overtime,” Cropper said referring to the double-overtime loss last year to Central and the Indians triple-overtime win in 2013. “It means a lot we have a shot at the district title. Next week is going to be a good game. We are going to play our hearts out.”
The Indians pitched a shutout against the Jaguars until Whaley was able to score from a yard out with 7:27 left in the game.
Central threatened in the first and had first-and-goal at the two but Whaley got nowhere with two runs and then on third-and-goal Rembert forced a fumble and Central recovered.
The next snap went over the quarterback’s head and Rembert was there to recover the ball.
“Our defense played the best game they have had all year,” Morse said. “To hold Whaley like that is a big thing. They won us this game.”