Memorial’s Hines starting to flourish

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Port Arthur Memorial junior Elijah Hines rushed for 152 yards on 10 carries against Houston Westside two weeks ago.
That was just through 33 minutes of action. The last 15 were never played because the two banks of lights on Memorial Stadium’s west side went out.
Oh, what could have been.
“What guys are seeing Elijah do now is nothing new to us,” Memorial senior cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. said. “Elijah has always been a great back. Us having some of the best backs in the nation, you just have to wait your turn. His patience has been great, and now it’s his turn.”
No one knows how much more Hines would have done that night, when the power outage caused the game to be suspended and both head coaches agreed to not finish the game. (Memorial led 34-27.) But his teammates were not surprised.
“He’s an all-around back,” Titans coach Kenny Harrison said. “He has unbelievable hands. His running ability speaks for himself. He does a tremendous job in the passing game, in terms of catching the football, as well as blitz pickup and pass protection. He’s just an all-around running back.”
Pass protection is exactly what the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Hines worked on in the offseason. It’s helped quarterback Kadon Harrison continue to be effective throwing in the pocket and on the run.
Hines has followed a stable of running backs at Memorial, including his cousin and current Auburn freshman Kameron Martin, so he’s followed an example of growing on and off the field.
“First off, protecting the ball, listening, keeping my grades up in school and set an example for the younger ones,” Hines said, adding Martin and classmate Marcus Younger “went hard” in practice and didn’t slack off.
Hines focused on ball security after committing two miscues in a shortened 18-6 win over Panama City (Fla.) Bay in Beaumont. He fumbled a handoff on the Titans’ first possession and then muffed a punt that allowed Bay to kick a tying field goal.
“On the first play of the game, he was wearing a sleeve, and that was his first time wearing the sleeve,” Harrison said. “The ball just slipped out. I wouldn’t say he had a slow start. He took the sleeve off, and the rest is pretty much history.”
Hines had six carries for 43 yards, but was determined to put those fumbles behind him the following week.
He did against Westside, and after an earlier-than-usual bye week, he’s looking to literally put a full game together when Memorial (1-0, 0-0 in 22-5A) begins district play hosting Central (1-2, 0-1) on Friday night. The Titans have only played about 56 of a possible 96 minutes through two games.
“You just have to keep going in practice and working hard until we get that time to play a full game,” Hines said.

A video of Vincent’s monster hit on a Westside player has garnered more than 1,300 likes and 1,100 retweets on Twitter through Tuesday evening.
Westside wide receiver Dee McCoy lay on the field more than 5 minutes before being helped off. The video, which Vincent released the day after the game, lasts only 9 seconds.
“I studied the play on film,” Vincent said. “There’s nothing greater than studying something all week and it happens in the game, so I was ready for it. I hit him in the chest area, the lower chest area. It was just a good hit, high impact. Unfortunately, the guy was hurt, but that’s the game we play.”
McCoy had a touchdown pass and two-point conversion in the game before the hit.

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

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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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