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FOOTBALL: Life moves fast … and so does ‘Titan Tempo’ offense

Memorial (4-0, 1-0) at Goose Creek Memorial (1-3, 0-1)

• 9-5A-I Football; 7 p.m. Thursday, Stallworth Stadium, 2509 E. Archer Rd., Baytown; www.lsnsports.com

Friday night, Brian Morgan coached Memorial to a home victory over Galena Park.

Three days later, his wife Jess gave birth to their second child, Madison Joelle. Three days after that, the Titans (4-0, 1-0 in 9-5A Division I) will be back in action to take on Goose Creek Memorial (1-3, 0-1).

How did coach Morgan, 35, put maybe his best week ever everything in perspective?

“Not much sleep,” he said Tuesday. “You go from a good victory and good win here at home, and we knew we were going in [Monday] for the baby … we were excited and ready to get that done, and now get a chance to prepare for Goose Creek on a short week, on a rainy week, so it’s moving fast. That’s for sure.”

So is his “Titan Tempo” offense, a unit that often throws opponents offbeat.

Port Arthur Memorial’s 35-7 win over Galena Park (2-2, 0-1) might have taken more than 3 hours to complete, but the Titans’ offense needed less than a minute on each of its first three series to score.

Quarterback Kam Ladia and receiver Alex Ned covered 74 yards on a touchdown pass that took 11 seconds. The next series went 73 yards in five plays — but lasted only 52 seconds, not even five times the amount of time Ned’s touchdown took.

The last drive took five plays and 57 yards — in 53 seconds. Each of the drives included at least one big play, as Branden Chaney (31-yard run) and Chan Rubin (44-yard reception) went for touchdowns.

“Well, hey, that’s what we expect,” Ladia said. “We didn’t plan on that. We just move fast, execute on that and score touchdowns.”

To Morgan, “Titan Tempo” is more about knowledge of the offensive scheme than it is the speed of the offense itself.

“It’s not as fast for our guys,” Morgan said. “It was fast in the spring. But they understand what to do. There’s a lot of terminology, and they picked it all up.

“If you ask them, it’s not fast, it’s what they know.”

Said Ned: “All we’ve got to do is get our mental reps down, and we’ll be OK.”

While “Titan Tempo” is Morgan’s brainchild, the rest of his coaching staff played roles in planning the offense, which nets 275.3 yards per game.

“Everybody has had a hand in it,” offensive coordinator Zach Bass said, “from the kids to the coaches to the community. It’s more of a mindset than it is necessarily moving-on-the-field fast, but it’s an effort to move fast in the weight room, move fast around the school building and move fast on the field. It’s the brainchild of coach Morgan, but he’s put it on the shoulders of all the coaches and athletes and community members and stakeholders in the program to support that idea.”

Imagine the offensive speed that defenders like junior strong safety Colton Mitchell have to face in team drills on a daily basis.

“It’s tough,” said Mitchell, who intercepted Galena Park twice (including a 48-yard pick-six return) and recovered a Yellowjackets fumble. “Our receivers are great. They’re great route-runners, the quarterback can really throw the ball down the field. It’s really good competition at practice.”

Morgan had to move fast after Madison was born at 12:39 p.m. Monday to make it to practice on a short week. Adding a second child — Madison has a 3-year-old brother, Mason — means life will be much faster in the Morgans’ household, the coach said.

“[Mason] was fired up for Madison to get here,” Brian Morgan said. “It’s something that we’ve known was going to be in the middle of football season.”

Let alone his first season as the Titans’ head coach.

“It worked out that it was on Monday, not a Friday night,” Morgan said. “I told my wife she’s a good wife. She held her in there until Monday.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

**CORRECTION 10/4/18: Memorial competes in District 9-5A Division I for football**

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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