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PNG’s run game resurgence is key to balanced offensive attack

PORT NECHES — Despite heavily leaning on quarterback Blake Bost and the passing game, the Port Neches-Groves Indians hope a recent rushing revival is here to stay.

Senior running back Lance Vaughn had more than 200 yards rushing combined over the past two games. He had 141 yards rushing in a 42-20 win over Dayton Oct. 30.

“Our o-line has really started to jell together and get things going in a great direction,” PNG head coach Brandon Faircloth said. “Anytime you can run the ball and your o-line is playing with confidence, it gives you a great chance to move the ball down the field. I’m really proud of our offensive line. Coach (Peter) Medlock and Coach (Charlie) Feller. Lance played really well and it was good to see him get loose.”

PNG (3-3, 2-1 in District 12-5A Division II) will try to bounce back against Kingwood Park (2-4, 1-2) at The Reservation. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Indians are coming off a 54-28 loss to Barbers Hill.

Faircloth said his message to his team has been for them to be grateful that they get to play more games.

“We have to continue to be resilient,” he said. “That wasn’t our best effort. Give Barbers Hill a lot of credit, but we did not play well. When that happens you have two choices. You can either respond to it or it can make you crawl in a hole. I know how we will respond. We had great practices this week. In sports, when you have a bad outing, you get to go play again. That wasn’t the last game of the season for us. We get to play again and show who we really are this week.”

Faircloth encourages his team to continue to work hard and have fun.

“There is always plenty of mistakes to fix,” he said. “We have to focus on that and become a better team this week. That is really the message whether we win or lose. Anytime you lose a game like that and you feel like you made some critical errors, I can’t wait to get back on the field and get back going again.”

With four games remaining, PNG is looking for at least two more wins to lock up a playoff spot.

“Every week in our district is tough to win,” Faircloth said. “Every time you can get one, you are very fortunate and excited. We just have to worry about one game at a time and finding a way to get four good quarters this week.”

Kingwood Park is coming off a 55-17 loss to the district’s top-ranked Crosby Cougars.

“They have run the ball really successfully this year,” Faircloth said. “They have a really physical offensive line and two good running backs. The quarterback is a really good runner as well. We are going to have to do a good job of stopping it.”