Titans not talking past as playoffs start with home game
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Memorial Head Coach Brian Morgan sees some similarities between the first round playoff opponent and teams the Titans have faced this year.
That, combined with the fact the Titans have been in playoff mode for the better part of three weeks, the coach said his team should be in a good position.
“I think they are Kingwood Park with better skill players,” Morgan said. “They have a really good running back. They have a really good receiver with No. 11, and he can really run. No. 6 can go. The quarterback is a big guy, similar to Kingwood Park. They have a big tight end in No. 5. They have a big o-line like PNG. They’re running back reminds me of Nederland’s running back.”
On paper, the Titans (9-1, 7-1) are favored over McKinney North (7-3, 4-3), but Memorial knows all too well that seeding can only mean but so much in the playoffs.
For the third consecutive year, the Titans will host a playoff game, but fans of the team hope this go around has a different outcome than the previous two postseasons. The slump dates back before rule changes allowed the top-two seeds to host playoff games on their home fields. The Titans are 0-4 over the past four seasons in the first round.
In years past, Morgan used the mistakes of the previous teams as cautionary tales. This year, he is taking a different approach.
The past two years, Memorial matched up against Fort Bend Hightower, who made deep playoff runs despite a low seeding in the district. The new alignment paired Memorial’s District 8-5A Division I with a district from the Dallas area.
“Our team is way different,” Morgan said. “We are playing a way different team, as far as skill and talent level. That doesn’t mean we are going to win, but this team isn’t Hightower.”
This year, Morgan said he hasn’t mentioned past seasons at all with this group. He also said playing against a team from Dallas presents its own unique challenges.
“We are used to playing the Houston area,” he said. “It is easier to get some coaches on the phone that played a Houston team. This is all hearsay. You have to call some people you don’t really know. It is just different. There is only so much you can tell on film.”
The new district alignment gives Memorial a fairly substantive advantage as the home team. The road teams in the contests between the two districts will have to travel about five hours for the first round, which is a task Memorial avoided by earning one of the top-two seeds.
“I think it is important to stay in a routine as much as you can,” he said. “You wake up and go through your normal day and go to your classes. There isn’t anything different. You leave at the same time and stretch at the same time. The crowd has been great all year and I expect them to be great this week. A five-hour drive isn’t something I want to do. They can still come down and beat us, but I still wouldn’t want to do it.”