Indians sharpen up

Published 11:44 pm Friday, August 19, 2016

BEAUMONT — This Friday was much different from the last one for the Port Neches-Groves Indians.

PNG was outscored 21-14 by the West Brook Bruins in the team’s final scrimmage, but it was the improvements on the field that had Brandon Faircloth smiling after the contest.

“The improvements were leaps and bounds,” Faircloth said. “There is no doubt about it. We have resilient guys. They weren’t happy with the result last week. It was a first scrimmage and usually the most improvement you see is from your first scrimmage to your second. I thought tonight we came out and fixed some of those mistakes from last week.”

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One of the biggest improvements came on the offensive side of the ball. The first-string offense was able to move the ball against a very talented West Brook defense.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs held the Indians to no first downs until the midway point of the second quarter a week ago.

PNG picked up a first down on its second series this week when sophomore quarterback Roschon Johnson connected with senior receiver Dylan McGough.

The PNG defense forced three consecutive West Brook three-and-outs to start the scrimmage.

PNG’s third series of the contest was a scoring drive. Senior and Texas A&M commit Keynel McZeal set PNG up at West Brook’s 33-yard line with a grab over a defender’s helmet.

Junior running back Preston Hughes then bruised his way for 27 yards and McZeal then hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Johnson.

McZeal later had a 56-yard reception when he took in a short pass and took off down field.

Johnson again showed off his wheels later in the second quarter with a 24-yard run. Hughes scored the Indians’ last touchdown of the scrimmage from 6 yards out to make it 21-14 with 23.2 seconds left in the second.

“It was good for our offense to get a lot of reps tonight,” Faircloth said. “I thought Roschon did a good job with his decision making and protecting the football. Keynel had a great night tonight. He is a man.

“The defense played really hard tonight and ran to the football. I don’t know if there is a bigger offensive line in the state of Texas than what the West Brook Bruins throw out there. It is like the Dallas Cowboys. That is good for our defensive line to go up against.”

PNG can now focus on the regular season opener set for 7 p.m. next Friday at The Reservation against Silsbee.

“Opening up at home in front of the best fans in the state of Texas, there is nothing better,” Faircloth added. “The first two are non-district games and don’t count for the playoffs, but we want to go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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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