Memorial dances Ball away; rematch with Temple set
Titans 45, Tornadoes 14
Memorial 3 28 7 7 — 45
Ball 7 0 0 7 — 14
Mem — Kenny Pham 24 FG, 5:02
Ball — Clarence Dalton 1 run (Gabriel Ramos kick), 0:34
Mem — Jones 20 run (Pham kick), 8:15
Mem — Elijah Hines 6 run (Pham kick), 6:15
Mem — Hines 12 run (Pham kick), 4:47
Mem — Teajawon Mack 34 pass from Jones (Pham kick), 1:04
Mem — Hines 35 run (Pham kick), 8:50
Mem — Hines 1 run (Pham kick), 10:20
Ball — Tony Robbins 14 pass from Thomas Farmer (Ramos kick), 4:21
First downs 15 12
Rushes-yards 46-332 32-97
Passing yards 94 135
Total yards 426 232
Comp-Att-Int 8-15-0 12-24-1
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 7-62 7-52
RUSHING — Mem: Hines 22-142, Jones 15-117, Ireon Brown 3-15. Ball: Deonte Hunt 6-38, Dalton 12-36, Jackson 7-12.
PASSING — Mem: Jones 8-15-0, 94. Ball: Martavian Jackson 9-17-1, 89; Thomas Farmer 3-7-0, 18.
RECEIVING — Mem: Xavier Hull 3-39, Hines 2-17. Ball: Michael Fox 3-60, Robbins 3-23, Jaden Bennett 4-19, Fitzroy Vanhorne 2-17.
WEBSTER — There seemingly was no better place than on NASA Parkway for Port Arthur Memorial’s offense to take off.
Playing with the flu, senior quarterback Keitha Jones started a second-quarter Memorial resurgence with a 20-yard touchdown run, and the Titans earned a second straight trip to the Region III semifinals with a 45-14 win over Galveston Ball inside Challenger Columbus Stadium on Friday evening.
Jones had 117 yards on 15 carries with the lone touchdown, but Elijah Hines racked up four touchdowns and 145 yards on 22 carries.
Hines said Jones practiced with a mask but practiced as if he wasn’t sick.
“He’s our leader, and he’s done a tremendous job,” Harrison said. “He was under the weather a little bit, but he knows the importance of being on the field. He did a tremendous job leading the football team.”
Memorial will take on Temple at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Prairie View A&M University. Temple, which beat Magnolia West 41-13 on Friday, eliminated Memorial 39-7 in the third round last year, en route to a state runner-up finish.
“Like I told you about Vidor, I’d be dishonest if I told you I wasn’t” looking forward to a rematch with Temple, Harrison said. “We’ve been looking forward to this game. They put us out of the playoffs last year, so this year, we’re looking forward to a second chance against them.”
The Titans (9-1) scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter, largely behind Jones’ rushing. His first touchdown run gave the Titans a 10-7 lead.
“We just had to come out and play hard,” Hines said. “For the last couple of games, we haven’t come out and played hard [but] for the second half, but today we showed out.”
Ball (6-5) was flagged for hurdling on a Memorial punt early in the second quarter to sustain the scoring drive. Jones converted a fourth-and-5 with a 6-yard carry to the Ball 23 and scored two plays later.
The SMU verbal commit turned in a 45-yard run on his next series, setting up Hines’ first of two rushing touchdowns of the quarter. The 6-yard carry put Memorial ahead 17-7, and Hines’ 12-yard tote helped them capitalize off a low snap in punt formation that dropped the Tornadoes deep in Memorial’s red zone.
Jones threw his only touchdown pass to Teajawon Mack from 34 yards out with 1:04 left, and the Titans were up 31-7. Jones completed 8 of 15 passes for 94 yards with an interception.
Memorial’s defense held Ball to 63 first-half yards and 232 for the game. The Tornadoes seemed to overcome a slow start with punts on their first two series and went ahead 7-3 on Clarence Dalton’s 1-yard dive.
That score was set up by Deonza Yoakum’s interception of Jones and 11-yard return late in the first quarter.
The Titans, who finished with 427 yards, took the early lead on a 24-yard Kenny Pham field goal.
“I think it was some things that Ball was doing,” Harrison said. “Our kids stayed calm and trusted the process that we had gone through in our gameplan. We continued to execute the gameplan and had some success and got up on them in the second quarter.”
Ball tried to establish momentum early in the second half and earned a pair of second downs before Javontae’ Hopkins picked off Martavian Jackson and returned it 35 yards. Hines covered the remaining 35 yards with his third touchdown run.
The Tornadoes would reach the red zone three more times, only to score on their next-to-last possession on Tony Robbins’ 14-yard reception from Thomas Farmer.
Deonte Hunt had six carries for 38 yards and Dalton 12 for 36 to lead Ball. Stephfan Lorthridge 52 yards on three carries, all on the Titans’ last drive.
I.C. Murrell: 549-8541. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews
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