No sweat: Another fast start puts Titans in regional semifinals

Published 12:50 am Sunday, November 20, 2016

**CORRECTS final score**

HUMBLE — The Port Arthur Memorial Titans are wasting no time in this year’s playoffs setting a tone of dominance.

The Titans raced out to an early 21-0 lead Saturday against Fort Bend Elkins at Turner Stadium and went on to win 45-14.

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It is the second week in a row the Titans have jumped out to big leads in the playoffs. Memorial led 21-0 last week against New Caney Porter in a 49-3 victory.

This is the first time since 2011, when Memorial reached the state semifinals, it has reached the third round of the playoffs and fourth regional quarterfinal appearance for the Titans in school history. Memorial faces Temple at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the Berry Center in Cypress.

“We emphasize getting off to a quick start, and that is what our guys did today,” Memorial coach Kenny Harrison said. “Then we just tried to hold on there at the end. We tried to run the clock, run the football and get out of here with a win. The quick starts begin in practice. We emphasize it all week long.

“The one game we had a blunder in, we had a slow start and had a hard time coming back. After learning from that mistake, we want to start fast every single day.”

The Titans once again rode the legs of junior running back Elijah Hines. He rushed for 183 yards on 25 carries with two touchdowns.

His second one of the afternoon put Memorial up 21-0 early in the second quarter.

Memorial would go on to lead 31-0 with 7:50 left in the first half after a 19-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Kadon Harrison.

Harrison only attempted eight passes in the game, completing five of them with 55 yards and one interception.

Coach Harrison had a special moment with his son after the game as both greeted each other with a bear hug.

“I love it,” Harrison said. “I have another week to be around him [Kadon] and to get on him and spend time with him. That goes for the other kids, but it is special because I know it will be coming to an end and he will be going off to college.”

Several other Titans had big moments for Memorial on Saturday.

Senior defensive back and LSU commit Kary Vincent Jr. collected his eighth interception of the season and also caught a touchdown pass, his second receiving TD in as many weeks.

Senior linebacker Odis Mack also had an interception and junior running back Kobi Martin was superb off the bench, once it was time to get Hines out the game.

Martin rushed for 120 yards on 13 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Titans ran for 379 yards on 52 carries against the Knights.

Memorial’s dominance of this game was established early.

The Titans defense that collected 10 sacks a week ago against Porter held Elkins to 29 yards in the first quarter. The Knights had five yards rushing and 24 passing while Memorial put up 14 points and 129 yards in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Hines had 164 yards and two scores in the first half as Memorial rolled up 264 yards in the opening two frames.

Elkins’ offense sputtered in the first half with 65 yards on the ground and 24 in the air. The Knights only picked up three first downs in the first half.

Tickets to the Memorial vs. Temple game go on sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the ticket office at Memorial Stadium. Student tickets are $4 and adults are $7. Tickets bought at the gate Saturday will cost $10. For more information, call 984-4896.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2435. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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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