Good to be home: Memorial blanks Ozen, now 2-0
Titans 41, Panthers 0
Ozen 0 0 0 0 — 0
Memorial 12 23 6 0 — 41
Mem — Keitha Jones 2 rush (kick failed), 8:12
Mem — Elijah Hines 16 rush (kick failed), 3:29
Mem — Jaime Rodriguez 20yd FG, 8:25
Mem — Hines 5 rush (Rodriguez kick), 4:44
Mem — Jamal Dorsey 13 pass from Jones (Rodriguez kick), 2:16
Mem — Tariq Malik 8 pass from Jones (kick failed), 0:09
Mem — Hines 49 run (kick failed), 10:35
First downs 8 17
Rushes-yards 23-37 40-311
Passing yards 101 138
Total yards 138 449
Comp-Att-Int 5-17-3 10-19-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-40 10-68
RUSHING — Ozen: Dominique Morris 5-19, Ja’Marion Eaglin 7-17. Mem: Hines 14-118, Kobi Martin 16-103, Jones 6-93.
PASSING — Ozen: Morris 1-6-1, 89; Zachary Vaughn 5-11-2, 13. Mem: Jones 8-14-0, 118; Kameron Ladia 2-5-1, 20.
RECEIVING — Ozen: Julius Rattler 2-89. Mem: James Francis 3-36, Tavian Gipson 1-35, Malik 2-25, Terrance Lee 2-20.
If Port Arthur Memorial shows improvement and wins by 30-plus points, that usually makes coach Kenny Harrison happy.
This time, the Titans won by 41 in their first home game of the season.
“It feels great,” quarterback Keitha Jones said. “The fans came out and gave us a great atmosphere. It’s great to be back on this Titan field, and I loved it.”
Memorial scored on its first seven possessions and its defense rose to the occasion after giving up some big plays from Ozen in a 41-0 win on Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a game,” Jones said. “They have athletes. We have athletes. You’re going to have big plays in a game. You just have to make them make one more big play and keep going.”
Jacob Washington picked off two passes and returned them for a total of 97 yards, one of them going for 77 yards. Greg Laday had the other interception for Memorial (2-0, 2-0 in 22-5A).
Offensively, the Titans scored on each of their first seven drives, coming away with a touchdown on six of them. Keitha Jones completed 8 of 14 passes for 118 yards and touchdowns to Tariq Malik and Jamal Dorsey (one each), and the quarterback also ran six times for 93 yards and a score.
Jones weaved for 56 of them to open the Titans’ first drive of the second quarter.
Elijah Hines rushed for three touchdowns and 118 yards on 14 carries. His long of 49 yards accounted for all of the second-half scoring.
Ozen (1-1, 1-1 in 22-5A) was coming off a 28-16 win over Baytown Lee, but failed to take advantage of opportunities in the first half.
The Panthers had a punt blocked in the first quarter, but Memorial touched the ball on the return attempt and Ozen pounced on the ball at its own 8. Three plays later, Dominique Morris scrambled out of the end zone and connected with Julius Rattler for 59 yards to the Titans’ 32.
The drive ended on a bad snap with the quarterback not looking and Braydon Williams recovering at the Memorial 48.
Morris also rushed for 20 yards and completed a 30-yard pass to Rattler on Ozen’s next series. Washington stopped that drive with his first interception.
“He’s a solid player,” Harrison said of Washington, a junior defensive back. “He came up from the JV last year as a quarterback, so he’s used to having the ball, and he has great ball skills from playing quarterback. He’s just a solid, sound player in our secondary, and he’s just going to get better.”
Zachary Vaughn and Morris shared time at quarterback, the pair combining for 5-of-17 passing for 101 yards and the three picks. Ozen mustered 37 yards on 23 carries.
Next for Memorial is a next-door showdown at Nederland, which beat Lee at home Tuesday.
“I’m just looking forward to the challenge,” Jones said. “Going away playing against Nederland, I know their crowd is going to be there. Our crowd is going to be there. It’s going to be a great game and great atmosphere. I’m ready for it.”
I.C. Murrell: 549-8541. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews