Calm & collected: Check out why Titans quarterback Jah’mar Sanders was named Player of the Week

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A soft-spoken sophomore, Jah’mar Sanders and the Memorial Titans displayed a similar level of calm in earning their second straight victory.

The calmness was evidence of an aura of confidence.

Surrounded by senior playmakers, Sanders settled in early and completed 14 of 22 passes for 211 yards in pacing Port Arthur’s Titans to a 20-12 win over Goose Creek Memorial on Thursday. That earned Sanders The News’ Player of the Week honor for Week 6.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It’s kind of major,” Sanders said. “I trust them a lot because they play more than me, so I hold them accountable.”

Seniors Tavian Gipson and Kason Williams handled the accountability well.

Gipson finished with 88 yards on seven receptions and Williams turned a pass into a 44-yard reception to set up a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Williams rushed for another touchdown in the frame.

“I just try and make sure I keep his confidence up,” Gipson said. “I know when Jah’mar has his confidence, he plays lights out, running and passing.”

Sanders also collected 69 yards on 15 rushes.

His ability has allowedSanders to lead the Titans in rushing with 277 yards on 54 carries (5.13 per carry average). That ranks ninth in District 9-5A Division I, and his 622 yards passing are fourth.

His level of confidence might not resemble that of a typical sophomore.

“He’s pretty calm when things break down in the pocket,” Titans coach Brian Morgan said. “He’s pretty calm and does a pretty good job keeping his eyes downfield. He’s pretty calm on the sideline even when things aren’t going good, so that’s good to see a lot of times.

“It probably matches my demeanor and everything, too. He’s pretty calm and laid back, which we can communicate well and don’t have to yell and scream a lot at him and just get him to understand what we’re trying to do.”

Now 3-2 and 2-0 in district, the Titans might feel a sense of excitement as they welcome New Caney (5-0, 2-0) to Memorial Stadium on Friday.

Then again, they might not.

“Not really fired up,” Sanders said. “Just trying to stay calm. We’ve got to keep playing aggressive, playing smart, and we’ll win some more games.”

Other big performances of the week in Mid- and South County from Week 6:

  • For Memorial, Branden Chaney had 56 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown and caught two passes for 37 yards.

In Port Neches-Groves’ 18-10 win at Vidor on Friday:

  • quarterback Blake Bost completed 17 of 28 passes for 136 yards and rushed for two touchdowns;
  • Brady Nail and Peyton Proenza combined for 13 catches and 98 yards; and
  • Tate Sandell drilled a 29-yard field goal to begin an 18-0 second-half rally.

In Nederland’s 40-14 loss against Barbers Hill on Friday:

  • Quarterback Bryce McMorris completed 12 of 25 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown;
  • receiver Kyndon Fuselier caught three passes for 118 yards, including a 69-yard scoring reception; and
  • wideout Rene Cunningham hauled in four passes for 65 yards.

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.

email author More by I.C.