Titans hold own against Oilers

Published 9:16 pm Friday, August 12, 2016

By Michael Sudhalter

Special to The News

PEARLAND — Port Arthur Memorial head football coach Kenny Harrison was proud of how his Titans held their own against perennial state power, Pearland, in the first scrimmage of 2016 on Friday night at Pearland Stadium.

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“We played a quality 6A opponent and came out of it healthy,” said Harrison, who’s entering his eighth season as Memorial’s head coach. “We picked Pearland as a scrimmage opponent because we want to be prepared for the season.”

Teams don’t keep score during scrimmages, but both the Titans and the Oilers scored one touchdown apiece during the scrimmage.

Harrison was pleased with the Titans’ effort, but he said they have a long way to go before kicking off the season on Aug. 27 vs. Panama City (Fla.) Bay at the Thomas Center in Beaumont.

“I liked the way our defense flew around,” Harrison said. “I was impressed with our offensive line. We sustained some blocks up front. As a team, we’ll go back, look at the film and correct some things.”

Position battles continue on the offensive line, in the secondary and at the receiver position, said Harrison.

Harrison said the Titans “showed a lot of character” on Friday, since they played without their top returning defensive back, Kary Vincent (an LSU commit) and their No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Angelle. Harrison said he held both players out of the scrimmage as a precaution, due to “minor injuries,” but he said they’ll be OK to return for the season opener on Aug. 27.

The Titans truly challenged themselves against Pearland, a school with almost double the number of students as Memorial. Pearland finished 11-1 last season, while the Titans missed the playoffs at 3-7.

Memorial is now a large 5A school. They’ll compete in 22-5A where they’ll have nearly 400 more students than any other school. However, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picked the Titans to finish second in the district behind Nederland.

Another plus of being in 22-5A is the lack of travel. With the exception of playing Livingston and Baytown Lee, the other six schools are based in the Golden Triangle.

Harrison, a Port Arthur native who played football for the University of Texas, is eager to have another season of coaching his son, Titans senior quarterback Kadon Harrison, who has committed to Division I Louisiana-Lafayette.

“I love coaching my son,” coach Harrison said. “It’s the best feeling I’ve had in my entire life. I’m living a dream.”