Titans ready for tall task in taking on No. 1-ranked Lobos
Published 12:10 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022
The Memorial Titans are riding the high, coming off a four-overtime victory in the area round of the 5A Division I playoffs.
The Titans (11-1) have their toughest test of the season this week as they take on No. 1-ranked Longview.
Memorial gets to travel back to the scene of their most recent win at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
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The Lobos (12-0) are coming off a 38-17 win over Lone Star in the Area round.
Longview averages 47 points per game, but the team’s defense might be even more dominant, holding opposing offenses to an average of nine points per game.
In the opening round of the playoffs, the Lobos beat Crosby 49-15. The Titans and Cougars met earlier this season in a district contest, in which Memorial came out on top 20-13.
The Titans average 40 points per game and have held opponents to an average of 22 points per game. Memorial has scored 48 and 52 points in the playoffs so far. However, opponents have also averaged 44 points against the Titans.
“I think we understand that they are a really good team and we are a really good team,” Memorial Head Coach Brian Morgan said. “There are only good teams left playing right now. It doesn’t matter who you are playing. It will be a good football team.”
Morgan said his team has to focus on winning each play.
“The players we have are the players we have,” he said. “When you get good teams, there are a lot of good players on both sides of the field. You just deal with that. On Friday night, there will be Division I guys on both teams. At some point they are going to make some plays. At some point, we are going to make some plays. You just hope you make more at the very end when you need them.”
If Memorial can keep it close, they might have an advantage. The Titans have played in five games decided by one possession, winning four of them. The Lobos have only competed in one game that ended with a one-score differential.
The Titans have to find a way to slow down junior running back Taylor Tatum. The four-star back has offers from several Power 5 schools and put on quite the performance last week, racking up 227 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. His performance made him a finalist for the Mr. Texas Football award for the week.
Tatum is not the only one entering Friday’s game as a finalist for the award. Memorial quarterback Davion Wilson also stated his claim with a stellar performance in the area round. He tallied 343 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added 118 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.