Bruins hold off Indians comeback in scrimmage
BEAUMONT — If Port Neches-Groves’ play against defending Class 6A Division II state finalist West Brook proved anything, it was that Brandon Faircloth’s charges have to clean up allowing the big play.
Although trailing by two touchdowns early in the second period, the Indians rallied behind the passing of junior Blake Bost to make it a ball game before falling 14-10.
“I was really proud of our kids tonight,” Faircloth said. “We got behind early, but we hung in there with an outstanding football team.”
Bost finished the night completing 18 of 25 passes for 172 and no interceptions.
“I’ll take that every night,” Faircloth said. “Blake moved around back there, bought himself some time and completed some big passes.”
The Indians, who produced 11 first downs to West Brook’s nine, did show the ability to run the ball effectively at times. Junior Lance Vaughn led the Indians run game with 33 yards on seven carries. Senior Peyton Proenza led PNG in receiving with six catches for 71 yards.
Besides Zane Hernandez’s 3-yard touchdown run midway of the final period, PNG’s other score came on a 37-yard field goal by sophomore Tate Sandell late in the second period.
While the Bruins had scored on a 51-yard pass play early in the second quarter and a 3-yard plunge late in the first, the Bruins put together pass plays of 39, 12, 10, 51 and 20 yards. West Brook also had a touchdown on the ground of 22 yards and another 51-yard TD strike called back because of penalties.
West Brook displayed speed on its second possession of the scrimmage by connecting for 39 yards over the middle to move the ball to the PNG 5. A 3-yard fullback plunge produced the first score of the night with 2:32 left in the first period.
The Bruins struck agains on their ensuing possession, going 63 yards on just three plays culminating on a 51-yard touchdown strike at the 10:53 mark of the second. On that drive, West Brook also completed a 12-yard pitch play to set up the long TD pass.
It was 14-0, but the Bruins had pass completions of 39, 51, and 20 yards to put the Indians on their heels.
“Although we gave up some big plays, they have great skill people who will do that against a lot of teams,” Faircloth said.
Although the Indians played from behind much of the second quarter, Bost did a fine job dropping back, feeling the pressure and finding open receivers most of the night. In the first two periods, the left-handed signal-caller connected on 12 of 17 for 93 yards.
On Friday, Aug. 30, the Indians open their 2019 regular season on the road at defending Class 4A Division II state semifinalist Silsbee. The Tigers, a 10-5 team in 2018, return almost their entire backfield. It’s a backfield trio that rushed for nearly 3,400 yards and 36 touchdowns a season ago.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
By Larry Bodin, Special to The News
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