Indians, Patriots meet in Baytown
Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016
PORT NECHES — Coach Brandon Faircloth knows his Port Neches-Groves Indians have only one more tune-up before the District 22-5A schedule comes calling next week.
That means the 7 p.m. game tonight at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium against Goose Creek Memorial becomes even bigger for the 1-0 Indians.
“Thursday night games are all about mental toughness,” Faircloth said. “It is about being prepared. You like to get on a schedule and we have been on one the last four weeks. We scrimmaged on two Fridays and had a game last Friday. Then you have a Thursday night.
“It is good for your team. You never know when you are going to be thrown curveballs like this. Thursdays get here fast. You have to put last week behind you and focus only on Goose Creek Memorial.”
Speaking of last week, the Indians won 54-27 over Silsbee at The Reservation.
Sophomore quarterback Roshon Johnson started his first game at quarterback and scored five first half touchdowns, three on the ground and two in the air. He finished with 229 yards of
Johnson was not alone making plays on offense. Junior running back Preston Hughes rushed for 155 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns and junior receiver Preston Hughes added 116 yards on seven receptions with one touchdown.
“I thought we played almost a mistake free game,” Faircloth said. “We protected the ball on offense and our defense had three, fourth-down stops and a fumble recovery. That is four turnovers our defense got for us.”
The PNG defense did well against a very high-powered Silsbee offense led by running back Calvin Tyler Jr. Tyler and the Tigers racked up 258 yards, 221 on the ground. Tyler alone had 167 rushing yards.
“That is the kind of stuff that wins football games,” Faircloth said. “We got turnovers and protected the football. We made some big plays when we had to. It was a good first week. It is never as good or as bad as you think it is.”
Goose Creek is coming off a 33-0 loss to Tomball Memorial. The Wildcats put up 408 offensive yards on the Patriots and limited Goose Creek to 27 passing yards and 124 in the air.
Faircloth understands his team needs to fine-tune the issues he saw with his team in a hurry because next week the games start to count. PNG opens District 22-5A play Friday, Sept. 10 at Lumberton.
“Lumberton is always ready to play PNG,” Faircloth said. “They are well-coached and have great players. This is our last warm-up and we have to treat it that way. We have to make sure to put our best foot forward Thursday night. We know Goose Creek is going to show us other areas we need to work on.”
Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe