Bulldogs move on: Krautz leads Nederland’s 504-yard attack

Published 12:47 am Sunday, November 15, 2015

BEAUMONT — New Caney brought the offensive tempo and the points. Nederland brought Austin Krautz, its defense and more points.
Krautz rushed for 163 of his 205 yards in the second half, when he scored both of his touchdowns, and Nederland gave District 22-5A its second playoff victory of
2015 with a 42-28 win over New Caney in the 5A Division I bi-district round at the
Thomas Center. That earned Nederland (8-3) a date with George Ranch at 7 p.m. Friday at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s Berry Center.
George Ranch (11-0), which beat Port Arthur Memorial 35-7 in Week 4, defeated Fort Bend Bush 55-14 on Friday.
Krautz, who’s verbally committed to Lamar, had touchdown runs of 78 and 39 yards, both bookending a big second half by the Bulldogs, who led 25-21 at halftime.
He had 18 carries on the night.
“I can’t thank the line more,” Krautz said. “With holes like that, anybody can run through them. I get all the credit for that, but I thank the line more. They deserve all the credit.”
But maybe bigger than Krautz’s latest rushing clinic was Nederland’s ability to contain a New Caney offense that racked up 475.3 yards a game and hold the Eagles
(7-4) to 215. Timmy Ware completed 10 of 21 passes for 127 yards and three touchdown passes, but the Bulldogs sacked him three times in the final 24 minutes.
New Caney was relegated to 7 net yards on 11 second-half rushes.
“We played as a unit, and we practiced as a unit,” Nederland linebacker Vincent Tran said. “We kept saying, don’t get away from yourself, because those stupid penalties we got were crucial.”
The Bulldogs were flagged nine times for 95 yards. The Eagles weren’t playing much cleaner, moving back 90 yards on nine flags.
Take note, Mid-County: Nederland and Port Neches-Groves have advanced to the area round in the same season for the first time since 2004. PN-G will face Angleton at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Barbers Hill.
Nederland trailed for much of the first half and by as much as 14-6 early in the second quarter. Both teams fumbled on their opening possessions before Krautz ran up the middle 6 yards to open the scoring, closing a three-play, 21-yard run.
Toby Carry returned the following kickoff 62 yards to the Nederland 22, and New
Caney got on the board in three plays after Ware connected with Andrew Segovia for 20 yards. Marte Allison had a 45-yard run to boost the Eagles’ next offensive series, which was capped by his 4-yard TD carry to put New Caney up by 8.
“We were nervous a little, but our passing game was working, so we weren’t too worried,” Krautz said. “We knew it would open, just like it always does.”
Mitchell LeBaron quickly helped Nederland turn the tide and completed touchdown passes to Jalin Cunningham (18 yards) and Dean Fisher (5) to make it an 18-14
Bulldogs lead with 4:34 left before halftime. Connor Perkins had a 58-yard snag that aided the go-ahead series.
The Bulldogs used a little trickery and recovered its own onside kick at New Caney’s
44, scoring five plays later when LeBaron found Krautz zipping up the field for a 23-yard TD at the 3:50 mark. But New Caney closed the gap from 25-14 to 25-21 thanks in part to two 15-yard flags against Nederland and a 27-yard haul by David Harvey as he slid out of the back of the end zone.
The Bulldog defense set the tone to start the second half and forced the Eagles three-and-out. On Nederland’s next offensive play, Krautz broke a 78-yard run to pad the lead back to 32-21.
“Our defense rose to the occasion tonight,” Nederland coach Larry Neumann said, celebrating his 24th playoff win in 23 seasons at the helm. “They had heat on the quarterback. We knew he could run and throw. He had nervous feet most of the night. The offense has been good all year.”
It was 35-21 after James Brindza converted a 20-yard field goal, but Harvey had his second TD catch from 34 yards out with 1:39 left in the period to keep the Eagles in it.
Nederland rose to the occasion again, defensively, holding New Caney to two three-and-outs.
Krautz all but put the game away with a 39-yard scoring run on second-and-8 with
48.8 seconds remaining, and a fumble on the ensuing kickoff put the proverbial cherry on top.
LeBaron finished 16 for 30 for 246 yards and two TD passes. Harvey had four catches for 76 yards.

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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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