Titans cruise, total 10 sacks on road
Published 1:56 am Saturday, November 12, 2016
PORTER — The Port Arthur Memorial Titans did not roll out any welcome mats for the New Caney Porter Spartans, who were playing in their first-ever playoff game.
Instead, Memorial turned Texan Drive Stadium into a defensive party in a 49-3 victory in the Titans’ first postseason game since 2013.
The Titans sacked Porter quarterback Jacob Hill 10 times, and one of those ended in a special moment for Memorial senior linebacker Odis Mack.
Jomard Valsin sacked Hill and forced the ball out of the Spartans’ signal caller’s hands. Mack scooped it up and ran it in for his first career touchdown. Mack’s score made it 42-3 with 15 seconds left in the third.
“The coaches were calling good plays for us tonight,” Mack said. “I was excited on the score. That was my first touchdown.”
Mack and the defense limited Porter 202 yards of offense, 65 coming on the ground on 41 carries.
Memorial’s offense was on fire from the start in both the pass and run. Senior quarterback Kadon Harrison threw two touchdowns in his playoff debut and ran in a touchdown with 9:55 left in the first to give Memorial a 7-0 lead.
Kary Vincent Jr. celebrated his first playoff victory with a touchdown — and this one was on offense. The cornerback hauled in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Harrison early in the second as Memorial took a 28-0 lead.
“We wanted to come out and dominate at every position,” Vincent said. “I have never played in a playoff game, so my emotions were high all night.”
The Titans racked up 431 yards, 278 rushing and 153 passing. Elijah Hines had 141 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The game got out of reach with the score 14-0 following a 31-yard touchdown reception by Adrian Williams in the first quarter.
Memorial’s defense forced a three-and-out. On its first offensive play, James Francis went 67 yards for Memorial down to the Porter 4-yard line. Hines then scored on the next play. The scoring drive lasted all of 20 seconds.
“This is a great feeling for our kids,” coach Kenny Harrison said. “It is great after that minor setback that we had a week ago. Our kids came back refocused.”
Harrison was of course talking about last week’s 31-21 defeat to Vidor that cost the Titans the outright District 22-5A championship.
Speaking of that, Vincent no longer feels bad for the loss to the Pirates.
“We definitely came out more focused tonight,” Vincent said. “That was a huge emphasis all week. We will no longer dwell on that loss. We are happy that happened to us at that point in time and not in the playoffs. That is when you are one-and-done.”
Really, the only blemish on the night for the Titans were 13 penalties for 101 yards. Harrison also threw two interceptions, but both came when the game’s outcome was already known.
Memorial’s Keitha Jones picked off a pass from Hall.
The Titans now face Fort Bend Elkins in next week’s Region III area round. Elkins defeated Memorial in the 2013 second round 48-21.
“I definitely remember that night,” Coach Harrison said. “I have been looking forward to playing those guys again since they beat us three or four years ago. They have a good program.
“We are going to have to get back to work and get ready for another good opponent. Again, if we take care of our business, then I like our chances.”
Elkins defeated Houston Madison 28-20 Friday. Elkins came into the playoffs with a 5-5 record while Madison was 8-2.
Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe