Titans trying to avoid letdown
- Memorial: 358.9 yards per game (180.9 rushing, 178 passing); leaders Elijah Hines (junior RB, 1,011 yards on 106 carries with 12 touchdowns) and Kadon Harrison (senior QB, 1,184 yards on 91-of-130 passing with 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions)
- Livingston: 331.7 yards per game (102.9 rushing, 228.8 passing; leaders Christian Mitchell (junior WR, 1,037 yards on 34 receptions with 15 touchdowns) and Hunter Bland (senior QB, 690 yards on 30-of-59 passing with 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions and 425 yards on 91 carries with 7 touchdowns)
- Memorial: 182.7 yards per game (83.3 rushing, 99.4 passing)
- Livingston: 386.6 yards per game (289 rushing, 97.6 passing)
- Memorial coach Kenny Harrison, on facing a passing team: “Our guys are excited about facing a different style. We have faced a few run teams, but to have the opportunity to see a team that will look to pass before run creates a new challenge for us. I feel real good about our chances to contain this team.”
The Port Arthur Memorial Titans know if they want to continue on the path to a District 22-5A championship, there can be no letdowns.
Memorial faces Livingston at 7 p.m. Friday at Lion Stadium in a game pitting the district’s top defensive back in Titans’ corner and LSU commit Kary Vincent Jr. against Livingston junior receiver Christian Mitchell.
Mitchell has 1,037 yards on 34 receptions with 15 touchdowns. He averages 30.5 yards per catch.
Vincent leads 22-5A with six interceptions. He returned two picks for touchdowns in the first quarter against Nederland on Sept. 30. Vincent held Port Neches-Groves receiver Keynel McZeal to no receptions a week ago in the Titans’ 33-28 win over the Indians.
“It is safe to say you will see No. 5 play him from time to time,” Memorial coach Kenny Harrison said. “We will put our best athlete on their best playmaker. I like our chances from that standpoint.”
The reason being is Mitchell is a huge part of the Lions’ offense. His receiving yards make up 45 percent of Livingston’s total offense this year.
“He is a big-time playmaker,” Harrison said. “I think his biggest accomplishment is the deep ball. He has great ball skills. Every film I have seen him in, he does a great job going up and getting the football. We are going to have to limit his big play ability. Just like every team in this district, I don’t know if you can stop the main guy, you just have to contain him and limit the plays he makes.”
Mitchell had 51 yards on three receptions and a 20-yard touchdown against Nederland and 169 yards on six catches with 75- and 35-yard touchdowns against PNG.
The Titans’ defense ranks first in the district with 182.7 yards given up a game. The unit has recovered seven fumbles and has picked off eight passes. Livingston’s offense has only lost one of eight fumbles and thrown 13 interceptions.
Memorial has its own set of playmakers when on offense. The first is junior running back Elijah Hines, who is now second in District 22-5A with 1,011 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Lions’ rush defense has allowed 289 yards on the ground per game.
Memorial senior quarterback Kadon Harrison has thrown for 1,184 yards with 15 touchdowns and five picks.
Senior De’Andre Angelle is the leading Memorial receiver with 27 receptions for 454 yards and seven touchdowns.
“Our team is very confident,” Harrison said. “They have been confident all season. We have a great group of seniors with a good mix of juniors and sophomores. They come to work every day and they have taken some hard coaching. They really have responded to that this season.”
If the Titans respond to it again with a victory this week, Memorial will be even closer to clinching its first district title under Harrison.
Memorial has never won a district championship outright and shared the title with three other teams in 2006.
Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe
PA MEMORIAL (6-0) AT LIVINGSTON (4-3)
- When: 7 p.m. Friday
- Where: Lion Stadium
- Radio: KOLE-AM 1340
- 22-5A records: Memorial 5-0, Livingston 3-2
- Series record: First meeting