See how Titans stack up against Porter as district play kicks off Friday

Published 12:32 am Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Memorial Titans start district play this week as they host Porter.

The Titans (2-0) enter the week as the only team in District 8-5A Division I coming off a bye.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

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While the games will start having playoff implications for the Titans, Head Coach Brian Morgan said it is business as usual at Memorial.

“We practice the exact same way this week,” he said. “It is not going to be any different for us. It is not even going to be discussed in that aspect, other than we are trying to go out and win on Friday night.”

Porter (1-2, 0-1) is coming off a 28-21 loss to Kingwood Park and will face the most explosive offense in the district in Memorial.

The Titans average 463 yards per game, while the Porter Spartans average 207.

Porter quarterback Blake Russell has yet to throw an interception this season, but that could change against the Titans’ ball-hawking secondary. The unit has picked off nine passes in two games, with safety Daevon Iles leading the district with four (two returned for touchdowns) and is followed by teammate Nolan Smith, who has three.

Memorial quarterback Davion Wilson has played well for the Titans, connecting on 74 percent of his passes for 468 yards (234 ypg) and two touchdowns. He has also made his presence felt in the run game, rushing for 202 yards on 29 carries and reaching the end zone seven times.

Senior Caleb Goodie leads all Titans receivers with 11 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Ja’Coryn Baker leads the team in rushing with 204 yards on 27 carries.

Titans corner Jelani Chevalier said he and his fellow defenders have to focus on stopping the run. Big run plays have plagued the Titans defense in the first two games. Memorial gave up a 41-yard run to Port Neches-Groves in Week 1 and allowed two runs of 65-plus yards to Nederland in Week 2.

“Overall I feel like we are doing pretty good,” Chevalier said. “We are progressing every week.”

Porter senior Joshua Evans-Pickens and his brother Payton Evans-Pickens, who is a junior, lead the Spartans in rushing.

“They give a bunch of different formations on offense,” Morgan said. “They have two good players that are brothers. They are good with the ball in their hands. You just have to know where they are. You have to line up correctly to stop the run, because of the different formations.”

Morgan said the Titans should not be rusty after having a week off. They practiced three days during the bye week, with experienced players getting more time to heal and rest their bodies.

Morgan said the move also allowed players further down the depth chart to get valuable time.

“I think this was the best bye week we have had since I have been here,” Morgan said. “Everyone was really focused and locked in.”