Lights out: Outage leaves Titans-Wolves clash without winner

Published 1:45 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

Through Week 2, Port Arthur Memorial has played exactly 56 minutes and 13 seconds of football.

That only amounts to one regulation game plus 8 minutes, 13 seconds.

An electrical shortage caused the northwest bank of lights at Memorial Stadium to go out with 2:57 left in the third quarter of Friday’s game against Houston Westside. The game was suspended, with Memorial ahead 34-27, but Westside driving in the Titans’ territory.

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The game will not be resumed or replayed, leaving the Titans 1-0 and the Wolves 0-1. Memorial’s 18-6 win over Panama City (Fla.) Bay last Saturday in Beaumont was stopped with 50 seconds left before halftime because of lightning.

So, in actuality, the Titans have not played a full game. And they won’t get to at least for two more weeks. They’re off next weekend, with Central visiting Memorial on Sept. 16.

By the time the referee announced the suspension, the southwest light bank went out as well.

If not getting in a full game wasn’t bad enough for Memorial, it took 87 actual minutes for the first half of Friday’s game to be completed. The teams combined for 199 yards of penalties on 19 flags before halftime.

For the game, Memorial outgained Westside 314-170 in total yards, thanks in large part of Elijah Hines and De’Andre Angelle.

Hines, a junior, enjoyed a breakout game with 152 yards on 10 carries, and senior Angelle caught touchdown passes of 80 and 48 yards, his only receptions of the game. But Westside sifted through 10 penalties and a turnover to tie the hosting Titans 27-27 at halftime.

The Titans started the marathon half when, on second and 10, Angelle took a zip from Kadon Harrison 80 yards. But the big plays didn’t always come that easy.

The Wolves forced the Titans to punt four times and got a turnover by way of 6-foot-7 defensive lineman Payton Turner’s interception.

Westside’s Jaylyn Williams completed only 7 of 21 for 118 yards and an interception to Kary Vincent Jr., but connected with David Crenshaw on a fade route with 6:24 left in the first period to take a 9-7 lead.

Angelle was a step ahead of his defender on Memorial’s next series for the 48-yard scoring catch. After the teams traded punts, Williams kept the ball 11 yards for a go-ahead score still with 1:09 left in the period and a 17-14 Westside lead.

Then, Hines began his show. The very next play from scrimmage, Hines sprinted 70 yards, dodging two tacklers, to give the Titans the lead back.

The Titans forced the Wolves to punt after eight plays, and Hines — on first-and-25, no less — rushed 72 yards for his second score early in the second frame.

More than an hour of actual time had passed at this point.

No matter to Westside. The Wolves scored on two straight possessions before halftime, getting a 17-yard TD pass from Williams to Dee McCoy and 32-yard Drake Champion-Bell field goal, his second of the night.

Hines turned his hat trick with 7:32 left in the third on an 11-yard carry.

The Wolves drove from their 30 to the Titans’ 37 in nine plays before the game was stopped at about 10 p.m. The game was declared suspended at 10:17 p.m.

Sunday: Reaction from the coaches on the suspension of the game.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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