Titans talk centers on playoff preparation: Long-awaited unbeaten regular season at stake
A win on Friday against Friendswood in Memorial Stadium gives the Titans the first undefeated regular season in the school’s 19-year history. The last time a Port Arthur high school football team went undefeated was 1993, when Stephen F. Austin finished the regular season 10-0.
The Titans (8-0, 6-0 in District 9-5A Division I) take on Friendswood (3-5, 3-3) at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium.
Even with the chance at history, head coach Brian Morgan said he and his team are focused on winning the game and moving on to the playoffs.
“(The potential for an undefeated season) is not something we’re going to talk about,” Morgan said. “I haven’t heard the players talk about it. I think, while it would be nice to finish undefeated, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.”
Morgan said an undefeated regular season would ring hallow if the Titans were to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
Memorial enters the game with the district’s top offense and defense. The Titans score an average of 31.6 points per game, and the defense has only allowed an average of 16 ppg.
“We’re trying figure out who all is going to play, how many snaps and who is going to touch the ball how many times,” Morgan said. “We are trying to balance that as well as win. We also want to make sure we are playing well going into the playoffs.”
Friendswood brings the district’s third-highest offense and second best passing attack.
Morgan said Mustangs quarterback Luke Grden might have the best arm the Titans have faced all year.
“The quarterback has been back for a couple of weeks now,” Morgan said. “You can see why, on the film, they were picked to win the district. He is a really good player. He throws it really, really well. They have some big receivers and a big tight end. They have an ability to score points. They are, for sure, the best arm talent we have faced. That will be a good test for us, for sure.”
The Mustangs’ three district losses were close contests — all being decided by no more than 10 points.
Baytown Lee currently leads the district in passing offense. When Memorial matched up against the Ganders two weeks ago, the Titans defense gave up two touchdowns on busted coverages, but Memorial bounced back to finish the game with a 48-28 win.
The Titans are the only defense in the district to have not allowed more than 1,000 yards passing or rushing all season.
Memorial’s top-ranked rushing attack will see the third-worst rushing defense in the Mustangs. The Titans have accounted for nearly 2,000 yards rushing, which is approximately 400 more yards than second place. Friendswood has given up 1,500 yards on the ground.
District 9-5A Division I standings
Team Dist. Over.
Port Arthur Memorial 6-0 8-0
Baytown Lee 4-2 6-2
Goose Creek Memorial 4-2 5-3
Beaumont United 4-2 4-3
Friendswood 3-3 3-5
La Porte 2-4 4-4
Baytown Sterling 1-5 2-6
Galveston Ball 0-6 1-7
Beaumont United at Goose Creek
La Porte at Galveston Ball
Friendswood at Memorial
Baytown Sterling at Baytown Lee