Wild PNG shootout includes overtime, onside kicks and 91 points

Published 12:34 am Saturday, October 30, 2021

PORT NECHES — Despite scoring 35 unanswered points and having a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, the Port Neches-Groves Indians fell 49-42 in overtime to Texas City Friday night.

On the opening play of overtime, Texas City running back Caleb Bell powered through PNG defenders to score on a 25-yard run.

PNG answered with a 20-yard strike that put the Indians on the 5-yard line, but that was as close as they got as quarterback Cole Crippen was forced to throw the ball away with a defender in his face on fourth down.

The PNG defense celebrates after Ryley Chiasson (3) comes up with an interception. (Chris Moore/The News)

The Indians were down 21-0 to start the game, but rallied back with huge second and third quarters.

After scoring 14 points in the first half, PNG opened the third quarter with a surprise onside kick. On fourth and two, PNG running back Koby Trahan ripped off a 37-yard run to tie the game at 21-21.

READ MORE: Memorial seniors shine in big win over Baytown Sterling.

On the ensuing kickoff, Texas City mishandled the kick, which was recovered by PNG in the end zone for a touchdown. PNG lead 28-21 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

After exchanging punts, Trahan found the end zone once again to give the Indians a 35-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

That was the biggest lead of the game for the Indians. TC responded with a 35-yard score. After a long drive by the Indians, Crippen found Chance Prosperie for a 5-yard touchdown.

A drive by the Stings ended with a 2-yard run by Bell and was followed by a surprise onside kick by Texas City.

PNG running back Koby Trahan looks for a running lane. (Chris Moore/The News)

Bell scored on a 6-yard run to tie the game at 42-42 with 5:35 left in regulation. Neither team was able to muster anything with the remaining time.

The Stings’ top-ranked defense elected to take the field first to start the game, giving PNG the ball to start. The decision paid off as the Indians went three and out on their opening drive.

Texas City’s offense came out hot, scoring on a deep pass for a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

On the second drive for the Indians, a promising drive stalled, forcing PNG to settle for a long field goal. The kick was good but a personal foul call gave the Indians a fresh set of downs.

However, PNG would’ve rather took the tree points in hindsight as PNG threw a pick in the end zone on fourth and goal.

A couple of plays later, Texas City quarterback Jacob Duran connected with Donovan Avery on a 47-yard touchdown pass to give the Stings a 14-0 lead.

PNG quarterback Cole Crippen preps for a pass with Texas City’s Evan Tullos on his heels. (Chris Moore/The News)

The PNG offense continued to struggle, turning the ball over on downs on the ensuing drive.

The Indians defense came up with a huge play when a tipped ball fell in the hands of Ryley Chiasson. The momentum swing was short lived as Crippen turned the ball over on the next play with a pick on a screen pass.

Texas City’s Caleb Bell scored two plays later on a 30-yard run to give TC a 21-0 lead 8:50 left in the first half.

Crippen was able to shake off the mistakes and found receiver Landon Guarnere for a 35-yard score for their first points of the game.

PNG’s defense also came alive, forcing and three and out on the next drive.

PNG running back Koby Trahan carries the ball during the first half against Texas City. (Chris Moore/The News)

The Game Ball Goes To…Bell, who had 23 carries for 162 yards.

Other Key Stats…Trahan had 23 carries for 123 yards. Guarnere had 11 catches for 133 yards and Prosperie finished with nine catches for 131 yards. PNG had 319 passing yards and 152 rushing yards. Texas CIty had 181 yards on the ground and 252 yards through the air.

The Play of The Game Was…The 25-yard run by Bell in overtime won the game for the Stings. Bell broke multiple tackles and punctuated a fantastic performance.

Up Next…PNG closes out their regular season on the road against Santa Fe at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Texas City will take on Barbers Hill.