Wildcats end Indians’ season on penalty kicks

Published 12:53 am Saturday, April 2, 2016

BAYTOWN — The Port Neches-Groves Indians’ playoff lives came down to penalty kicks and the team being without all-state keeper Bryce Meche.

Meche told PN-G coach Chad Luttrull he could not go after suffering from cramps, and Angleton took advantage to win the match 5-4 on kicks after a 3-3 tie.

Ryan Billeaud had the only miss for the Indians (17-3-6) in the fourth attempt.

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“Your heart has to go out to these kids,” Luttrull said. “Not playing overtime this year kind of hurt us. We were prepared, but it was an extra 20 minutes. Angleton played but once. My heart goes out to my kids.”

The two teams battled through two extra periods in overtime.

PN-G senior Gunnar Nicholson put the Indians ahead 3-2 with 22:52 left in the second half off an assist from senior Koby Jones, who was all over the field in the first half.

The Indians all but dominated the first half and led 2-1 at the break.

Jones put the Indians on top 1-0 on a penalty kick with 24:29 left in the first half. He put his second goal into the back of the net at the 12:52 mark.

Angleton’s Luis Ordonez got the Wildcats on the board with 6:13 left when he knocked a rebound shot past Meche.

The Indians played most of the first half inside the Wildcats’ half of the field. PN-G finished the first 40 minutes with nine shots.

Angleton came close to tying the match late in the first half when Meche came out of the box to block a shot. He was unable to corral the ball, and a shot by Angleton sailed to the right of the goal.

It was Ordonez who tied the match on an own goal at 3-3. It came with 18:43 left in the match.

PN-G played against the wind in the second half and in the first overtime period.

Meche showed signs of cramping in the overtime sessions and then said the pain was too much. This took backup keeper Harlan Cook off the bench and into the match at a very intense part of the season.

“Bryce said he couldn’t go and couldn’t push off his foot,” Luttrull said. “Harlan is a great goalie and he got to saving one or two of them. We told him all he needed to do was save one or two and we will keep going. Harlan did the best he could especially coming off the bench. It was unfortunate we didn’t have Bryce, but if you can’t push off your foot you can’t make a save.”

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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