Titans put first defeat of season behind them

Published 12:28 am Friday, November 11, 2016

There is no time to sit back and wonder what could have been for the Port Arthur Memorial Titans in the eyes of coach Kenny Harrison.

The time is now if the team wants to compete for a Class 5A Division I state championship.

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Memorial starts that quest at 7:30 tonight at Texan Drive Stadium against the New Caney Porter Spartans. The winner of this game faces the winner of Houston Madison and Ford Bend Elkins.

“We told them our last day discussing Vidor was this past Monday,” Harrison said in reference to the team’s 31-21 loss to Vidor last Friday. “We haven’t talked about it since. We understand what the playoffs mean. If you show up and you are still focusing on last week’s game, you will be picking up the following Monday.

“It’s all about having a sense of urgency and it’s about being the best team we can be from here on out.”

Harrison and the Titans are back in the playoffs following a two-year absence while playing in District 21-6A. The Titans can call themselves tri-champions of District 22-5A, sharing the crown with Vidor and Port Neches-Groves.

“That last game was a wake-up call for us,” Harrison said. “I see a different focus and mentality in our kids. They are ready to get back on the field. We didn’t have to do much.

“If we could have played another game Friday night, we would have been ready. We wanted to get back on the field as soon as possible. I am excited about us having the opportunity to play at Porter.”

Porter comes in as the fourth-place team in District 21-5A behind Crosby, New Caney and Barbers Hill.

The Spartans offense averages 340.1 yards per game with a bulk of those yards coming via the passing game. Jake Hall has thrown for 2,055 yards on 145-of-229 passing with 21 touchdowns and only one interception.

Shane Carney leads Porter with 43 receptions for 840 yards and nine touchdowns.

Memorial counters with a defense that led District 22-5A by giving up 187 yards per game.

The Porter defense has to contend with an explosive Memorial offense led by junior running back Elijah Hines. He led 22-5A with 1,337 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Kadon Harrison’s 1,740 yards passing were second most in District 22-5A. He threw for 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

De’Andre Angelle led the Titans with 37 receptions for 598 yards and nine touchdowns.

Porter’s defense has allowed 272.9 yards per game.

“Porter is a very good football team,” Harrison said. “They are solid in all three phases. In order for us to beat them, we are going to have to be sound in all three phases, too. They come out of a very competitive district over there and they have beat some good football teams this year.

Porter High School has only been open since 2010, and this is the team’s first winning season. The Spartans were 1-9 last year and 2-8 in 2014. Porter’s lone losses this season were to Barbers Hill and New Caney.

Porter’s season got off to a quick start with 37-34 overtime victory over Crosby on Sept. 15.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe



• When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

• Where: Texan Drive Stadium, Porter

• District records: Memorial 7-1 in 22-5A; Porter 6-2 in 21-5A

• Series record: First meeting

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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