Port Neches-Groves explodes for 72 points in playoffs over Galena Park

Published 12:45 am Saturday, November 13, 2021

HOUSTON – Junior Cole Crippen passed for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns to lead Port Neches-Groves to a 72-20 rout of Galena Park in the Bi-District round of the Region III Class 5A-Division II playoffs Friday night at Galena Park ISD Stadium.

Crippen completed 15 of 22 passes for 304 yards. Chance Prosperie hauled in eight passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Landon Guarnere had four catches for 80 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass. Koby Trahan rushed 13 times for 114 yards and two TDs.

“Proud of our players. We knew it was going to be a tough test. Galena Park had a great season and are really well coached,” said PNG coach Brandon Faircloth. “We started fast and got control of the game, then we kind of lost some footing. Credit to our kids who just keep playing and never got down.

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“Our O-Line did a great job of protecting. Koby (Trahan) did a great job running the football, which opened some things up in the passing game. Chance (Prosperie) is a huge weapon for us, and him and Cole (Crippen) were able to take advantage of some things.”

PNG (7-4) advances to the Area round of the playoffs, where PNG will meet Montgomery, which defeated Nacogdoches, 35-21.

The Indians totaled 460 yards of total offense compared to just 208 for the Yellow Jackets.

“Coach Woodard and our defensive staff do a great job of getting the kids ready to play,” said Faircloth of his team’s defensive effort. “That’s a tough offense to play against, the triple option. So, you’ve got to be really disciplined and do your job. I thought our kids did an excellent job of executing the game plan.”

Leading 34-13 to start the third quarter, PNG kept up the scoring in the second half. After fumbling the ball away deep in Yellow Jacket territory on their first drive, the Indians got the offense back rolling on their second possession, which was set up by Torryan Hinton’s second interception of the game.

Trahan raced down the right sideline for 24 yards to the 1. Shea Adams scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to push the lead to 40-13.

A Nick Gardiner fumble recovery set up the Indians next scoring drive. Again, PNG just needed two plays. Crippen hit Prosperie for 35 yards to the 3. Trahan scored on a 3-yard TD run to make the score 47-13 with 6:25 left in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets put together their only scoring drive of the second half. A’marion Kelly raced 63 yards for a touchdown to cut the PNG lead to 47-20.

PNG responded with its third scoring drive of the quarter. Crippen had a 33-yard completion to Landon Guarnere and a 36-yard completion to Prosperie. Crippen capped the drive with a 6-yard TD pass to Daylon Bergeron to extend the lead to 55-20.

The Indians closed out the scoring with 17 points in the fourth quarter. Crippen and Prosperie connected for the third time in the game, this time for a 34-yard scoring strike. Adams scored on a 16-yard run to push the lead to 69-20. Tate Sandell closed out the scoring with a 37-yard field goal to provide the final margin, 72-20.

It was a roller coaster of a first half for the PNG. The Indians scored on their first two plays from scrimmage. The first was a 58-yard scoring strike from Crippen to Prosperie and a quick 7-0 lead.

After a 19-yard punt by the Yellow Jackets, PNG took advantage of the good field position with another scoring strike from Crippen to Prosperie, this time for 34 yards. The Indians led 14-0 with 7:37 left in the first quarter and looked like it could be a rout.

Galena Park (8-3) responded with its first scoring drive on the night on its fourth possession of the game, which was set up by a Kennon Thomas interception. Jose Barrientos scored on a 2-yard run to cut the Indians lead in half at 14-7.

The Yellow Jackets forced a PNG fumble on its ensuing possession, which was recovered by Sebastian Bernal. Quarterback Ivan Reyes called his own number on a 7-yard TD run. The extra point was no good to make the score PNG 14-13 with 2:19 left in the first quarter.

PNG responded with three touchdowns in the second quarter to retake command of the game. The Indians used some razzle dazzle to extend their lead to 21-13. On a wide receiver reverse, Guarnere hit Bergeron for an 8-yard TD. The drive was set up by a Torryan Hinton interception.

GP muffed the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered by the Indians’ Aubrey Perkins at the Yellow Jackets 40. Koby Trahan scored four plays later on a 9-yard TD run. The extra point was no good due to a low snap to make the score 27-13.

The Indians closed out the first half scoring when Hinton scooped up a A’marion Kelly fumble and raced 35 yards for a touchdown. That made the score 34-17 with 1:51 left in the second quarter, which is what it remained at halftime.

THE GAME BALL GOES TO…Chance Prosperie who caught eight passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Defensive game ball goes to Torryan Hinton who had two interceptions and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

THE PLAY OF THE GAME WAS…Torryan Hinton’s first interception of the game with 6:37 left in the second quarter. PNG was clinging to a 14-13 lead and that swung the momentum back to the Indians.

— By Daucy Crizer, Special to the News