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CHRIS MOORE — Tough Titans deserve supportive city behind them

The Memorial Titans football team has a chance to accomplish something that has not been done in the high school’s 19-year history Friday by completing an undefeated regular season.

If the Titans (8-0, 6-0 in District 9-5A Division I) beat Friendswood (3-5, 3-3), they will post Port Arthur’s first undefeated high school football regular season since the 1993 Stephen F. Austin squad did it.

The undefeated Titans can beat opposing teams any number of ways. They boast the top-rated defense and offense in the district. Quarterback Jah’mar Sanders is second in the district in rushing and passing yards. Their receiver has a district-leading 15 yards per carry and a running back that leads the league with 39 yards receiving in junior Adrian Hayward.

None of that was a typo. That is how talented they are.

The offense averages 31.6 points per game and the defense has only allowed an average of 16 ppg.

The team has a host of endearing characters from the tough Sanders, to the two University of Texas commits in junior cornerback Jaylon Guilbeau and defensive end Jordon Thomas. We can’t forget about heady Branden Chaney and Jayden Fisher, the latter of which was kicked out of practice multiple times for loving football so much, he continuously hit teammates too hard.

When I tweeted out the feature story on Fisher and his sheepish grin when talking about his early exits from practice, multiple members of the Titans defense and coaching staff retweeted the story with some version of “I love it” as the caption.

In an uncertain, coronavirus-infected year, the Titans have been a bright spot of excellence.

And yet, the buzz around the program seems down. For Memorial to be the only public high school in the city, it feels like we should be seeing more black and red as the Titans near perfection and a playoff run.

This crazy year has been down and many are going through tough times as we enter the belly of the cold holiday season. That makes finding something to rally around all the more important.

This isn’t the Titans team of a few years back that would play themselves out of games with boneheaded personal foul penalties. This team plays four quarters, pops opposing offenses and can beat defenses any number of ways. They enjoy themselves but have a mature sense of awareness of time and place.

This team represents the hardnosed city whose name is displayed across the front of the jerseys.

It is completely reasonable to not want to go sit in a crowded stadium during a pandemic, but there should be more support for a team on the verge of history. Cars should be adorned with Memorial flags. Yard signs should have the numbers of their favorite players in front of homes. It should be impossible to go three blocks without a reminder of which high school team plays in Port Arthur.

Chris Moore is the sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.

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