PRUETT COLUMN: Week 1 football report
Published 3:57 pm Saturday, August 6, 2016
Football came back this past Monday, and the first team on the field was the Port Neches-Groves Indians at 5:30 a.m.
I made the rounds to each of the three schools in Mid- and South County and am thrilled to give a report from each squad.
Let us start with the Port Arthur Memorial Titans. The big news, of course, has been the Titans’ drop down to Class 5A and rightfully so.
Memorial has struggled the last few years in Class 6A, going 3-7 in back-to-back seasons.
It is hard to imagine the Titans missing the playoffs this year when playing in District 22-5A.
Cornberback and LSU commit Kary Vincent Jr. highlights the players to watch on the Titans roster. He has the speed to cover anyone with 4.4 speed. Vincent is also a very intelligent player.
Memorial will also run out receiver DeAndre Angelle, who runs a 4.38 40-yard dash, and he can burn past most defensive backs.
There were several times the Titans had both Vincent and Angelle back for punt returns. It is easy to guess there will be a lot of opponents’ punts going out of bounds this season instead of testing either of those guys.
Watch out of for junior running back Elijah Hines, who has 4.3 speed. I was told this week Hines is in line for the starting job and will make fans wonder where he was last year.
Now on to Nederland, where the story this past week was who was not at practice. We have touched on that story enough and will not get into it anymore.
Who is with the Bulldogs is big, senior offensive lineman Corbin Smith. The Rice commit stands 6-5 and weighs in at 305 pounds.
The Bulldogs’ starting quarterback competition is down to junior Marshall Lange and sophomore Blaysin Fernandez.
We don’t know much about either of these two young men, but then again we didn’t know much at this time last year about Mitchell Lebaron. He went on to throw for 1,663 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs will likely run the ball more this year behind Smith with running backs Sean Nguyen and Devon Simmons getting the bulk of the carries. Also, remember, the Bulldogs do bring back receivers Dean Fisher and Connor Perkins, and both are great pass catchers.
Port Neches-Groves coach Brandon Faircloth reported this week sophomore Roschon Johnson is the Indians’ starting quarterback. Johnson is young, but he has already gained the respect of his teammates.
Two different players this week at two different times told me Johnson was the hardest working player they have ever seen.
One of Johnson’s receivers told me the summer started off with Johnson sending text to offensive players saying: ‘Do you want to go to the field and practice.’ By the end of the summer those texts from Johnson said: “Be at the field at 5.”
The main two targets this season for Johnson will be Texas A&M commit Keynel McZeal and Dylan McGough. McZeal can make circus catches look easy and McGough has the size and speed to turn into a great threat for Faircloth.
The Indians’ defense took a hit with Parker Shults being out for the season. Austin Bost in the secondary will make a lot of plays and so will linebacker Logan LeJeune.
That is it for this week. It is good to have football season back. It has been a while since I said thank you to our readers. We appreciate you all. Have a great week.
Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe