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Player of the week: Wuenschel racked up 7 catches, 118 yards on road

PORT NECHES — Either Blake Bost makes Kaleb Wuenschel (and other receivers) look good, or Wuenschel makes Bost look good.

“It goes either way,” Wuenschel said. “He makes a bad throw, I make a good catch. If he makes a good throw, I’ll make the catch for him.”

Wuenschel put his determination to catch any ball to work Friday night. His 118 yards on seven receptions earned him The News’ Player of the Week honor following a 48-35 win over last year’s 4A Division II state semifinalists.

And he drew more praise from his head coach.

“Kaleb’s been a great player around here for a long time,” Brandon Faircloth said. “It’s his senior year. He’s worked hard, not just on the football field, but in the weight room, on the track. He’s worked really hard at becoming the best player he can become. And, he’s shown that. He’s a great run blocker, smart kid and knows where everybody needs to be.

“He’s just a very talented, intelligent guy who’s a great Indian.”

Wuenschel accounted for 67 percent of Bost’s yardage as a first-time varsity starter. His performance was among a number strong individual starts for PNG (1-0), a 5A Division II Region III semifinalist last season:

  • Lance Vaughn carried 10 times for 106 yards and a touchdown;
  • Dejaunte Conner rushed eight times for 90 yards and a touchdown;
  • Bost completed 14 of 22 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns with an interception and rushed seven times for 54 yards; and
  • Zane Hernandez rushed for and caught for a touchdown each.

The Indians garnered 451 total yards with the help of an offensive line that just lost right tackle and University of Texas commit Jaylen Garth, likely to a season-ending meniscus tear. Senior left tackle Jackson Hunt injured his arm during the first quarter against Silsbee, but Faircloth said Hunt may be able to return at Huntsville this Friday.

“Jarrett Caillier and Corey Burt did a good job filling in,” Faircloth said. “We rushed for [275] yards, so they were very successful.”

Said Vaughn: “The o-line did real well. We just executed together as a team.”

Other notable performances from Week 1:

  • In Memorial’s 25-20 loss to Deer Park, sophomore quarterback Jah’mar Sanders scored the game’s first touchdown on a 68-yard run and finished 10-of-18 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns with an interception;
  • senior receiver Alex Ned caught a 59-yard touchdown pass; and
  • junior running back Branden Chaney carried 16 times for 65 yards.
  • In Nederland’s 21-20 loss to West Orange-Stark, Josh Mazyck ran 17 times for 122 yards and touchdown with a long of 39 yards; and
  • Kade Scott ran and caught for a touchdown apiece.

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

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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