Memorial Titans route La Porte in district opening shutout victory

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Memorial Titans were looking to send a message as they opened district play on Friday evening.

The La Porte Bulldogs received that message loud and clear as the Titans rolled to a convincing 34-0 win on a perfect night for football at Memorial Stadium.

“Our guys were focused and determined tonight,” Memorial Coach Brian Morgan said. “We had a great week of preparation. You saw a lot of upset guys after last week’s loss. I was proud of the way they played tonight.”

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The Titans scored on their first four possessions, as the visiting Bulldogs had no answer for a Memorial offense that was clicking on all cylinders.

After La Porte went three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, the Titans struck quickly, capping their first drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by Adrian Hayward. Luis Blanco added the first of many PATs to put Memorial up 7-0 with 4:48 remaining in the opening period.

The Titans made it 13-0 just 58 seconds later after La Porte fumbled the ensuing kickoff. The short drive culminated with an 8-yard TD pass from Jah’mar Sanders to John Mayon. Memorial boosted the lead to 20-0 before the quarter ended on a 1-yard scoring effort by Ja’quailon Chaney.

Sanders threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter, connecting with Kelly Blanchette on a 36-yard play and with Hayward for a 47-yard touchdown.

The Titans had 285 yards of offense in the first half, while La Porte had just 52. The Bulldogs did have the better of the time-of-possession battle in the first half, holding the ball for 12:50, while the Titans had the ball for 11:10.

“We came up with some big plays and had a tremendous first half,” Morgan said. “We just controlled the ball in the second half and did what we had to do to put the game away without risking any injuries.”

Sanders threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns. The Titans finished the game with 348 yards of offense, while La Porte finished with just 96 yards.

“Our defense stepped up big tonight,” Morgan said. “We didn’t allow any big plays.”

Play Of The Game: Take your pick, but the 47-yard scoring strike from Sanders to Hayward that closed out the scoring was a thing of beauty.

Game Ball Goes To: Memorial linebacker Jayden Fisher, who anchored the Titans defense. “He’s a leader for us,” Morgan said. “But there are many players who had tremendous games tonight.”

Other Key Stats: Memorial ate up the clock in the second half, holding the ball for 15:22, compared to just 8:38 for La Porte.

The Titans had 149 rushing yards, with seven players carrying the ball at one time or another.

Next Up: The Titans head to Baytown on Friday to face the Goose Creek Memorial Patriots at 7 p.m.

La Porte returns home to entertain the Baytown Lee Ganders at 7 p.m. Oct. 1.

“We have to focus on our game plan and prepare for next week,” Morgan said about the game with Goose Creek Memorial. “We have a standard to uphold.”

— Written by Pat Murray