History escapes Titans: Humble’s 202 yards help Vidor stun Memorial

Published 1:37 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

VIDOR — Friday night was full of surprises.

Kolbie Humble rushed for four touchdowns, and Vidor surprised previously unbeaten Port Arthur Memorial with a 31-21 victory in the teams’ regular-season finale. Now, the Titans (8-1, 7-1 in 22-5A) — who were fighting for their first outright district title and first unbeaten regular season in their 15-year history — have to share District 22-5A’s top prize with the upstart Pirates (8-2, 7-1 in 22-5A), who finished atop league standings for the first time since 1978, and Port Neches-Groves.

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“Very shocked,” Humble said of the outcome. “It’s just an unbelievable shock.”

Humble finished with 202 yards on 18 carries, surpassing coach Jeff Mathews’ prediction by 2 yards.

Mathews had a feeling about Humble’s performance, he said after winning his first district crown in 18 seasons leading the Pirates.

“I told him pre-game you’re going to get 200 tonight,” he said. “‘Coach, I hadn’t had 200 my whole life [he recanted Humble saying].’ He had 200 tonight, and it happened. He’s just a workhorse.”

Humble gained 67 of those yards early in the third quarter on a third-and-2 run all the way to the Memorial 5, where he was stopped by speedster Kary Vincent Jr. The Pirates settled for a field goal to go up 24-0.

But Memorial wasn’t going away so easily. No, not even after losing three fumbles and giving up an onside kick.

“We just made some mental mistakes the first half you just can’t make against a good football team,” Titans coach Kenny Harrison said. “Hey, no excuses. We’re not like no other team in the district where we make excuses when we lose. If you beat us, you beat us. We don’t make excuses like other people. We just lost. They were a better football team than us tonight.”

Quarterback Kadon Harrison engineered back-to-back touchdown drives of three plays or fewer, as Memorial took advantage of two failed fourth-down conversion attempts for Vidor.

Harrison, who completed 9 of 17 passes for 171 yards, had touchdown bombs of 63 yards to Keitha Jones and 41 to Rickey Thomas to bring Memorial to within 24-21. He also rushed five times for 58 yards and a score.

“We just took advantage of some 2-on-2 matchups,” Kenny Harrison said. “They came out and played some man in the second quarter, and we were able to get behind them and do some things. They did a good job of keeping us in front of them. They did an excellent job tonight.”

Following Thomas’ score, Vidor got good field position after a failed onside kick and scored with 4:32 left on Humble’s 8-yard carry.

Vidor’s ability to control the clock was no surprise, but holding Memorial to 73 first-half yards may have stunned the heavily favored Titans. Elijah Hines, who was the only Titan to carry the ball in the half, finished with 57 yards on 16 carries.

The Pirates capitalized on the first of three Memorial fumbles late in the first quarter and turned it into a nine-play, 64-yard march to make the score 14-0 with 6:31 left before halftime. Quarterback Maverick Quirante converted a fourth-and-1 play dragging a bunch of defenders on a 13-yard carry to the Titans’ 4, and Humble rushed for the touchdown three plays later.

A successful onside kick gave possession right back to the Pirates at the Titans’ 48, and it took them just three plays to up the score to 21-0. Quirante’s only pass attempt of the half went to Haylon Leckelt from 33 yards out, setting up Humble’s 13-yard dash.

The Titans went 12 plays from their own 42 with the help of two 11-yard passes by Kadon Harrison. The series, though, ended with Hines’ fumble just shy of the goal line.

Neither team scored on its opening series, although each gained a first down. Humble rushed 22 yards for the opening score to close an 11-play, 75-yard series.

The Titans finished with 286 total yards. Vidor had 384.

But, by no means did the Pirates outdo themselves, Quirante said.

“No, not at all,” he said. “We knew we haven’t played our best game all year. We could bring it out tonight and make an upset. We did. We showed up. We played hard.”

Memorial’s 5A Division I bi-district playoff game was confirmed earlier Friday. The Titans will face New Caney Porter at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at the New Caney ISD stadium.

“We just have to put this one behind us as quick as possible, get back to work Monday and get ready to roll,” Kenny Harrison said.

Vidor will take on Crosby in the 5A D-II bi-district round next weekend, with date and location to be determined.

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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