The high school football playoffs show a bright future for the programs
Posted at 12:08 a.m. Wednesday, November 30, 2022
It’s crazy what one season can do.
Heading into the high school football season, people were wondering if Memorial could get over the hump and win a playoff game. People were wondering if Port Neches Groves’ first-year coach would be able to improve on the team’s success the previous season by making it to the third round.
In this way, the questions were answered. Now, we have new questions, but they are more positive.
Is Memorial back? Maybe it’s too early to tell. Does sprinting to the third round pose any expectation of sustainable success?
I think it is. I know anyone who looks at the final score of the game between Longview and Memorial and sees a 51-7 decision wouldn’t think it was close.
But that score doesn’t indicate how much of that game was in the balance early on.
The Titans scored on their opening drive and then held off Longview on fourth down. The Titans turned the ball over three times in the first half and missed a bomb that would have put the Monuments ahead 14-3 going into the second quarter.
If any number of things went differently in that first half, the game could easily have been different for a Longview team that really loves running football.
After the game, the coaches and players felt as if someone had escaped. That is, he believes that the winner of that game will eventually win the state title given the state of the land with the remaining teams.
As for the future, the Giants are losing some talent. Their best players are older players, but they have plenty of young talent that will get them back into the competition over the next few years at least.
In Port Neches, first-year head coach Jeff Joseph got into a difficult situation. He was to replace the coach with the most wins in the school’s long history who had just moved the team into the third round of the playoffs the previous year.
The Indians went on to finish second in the region, an improvement from last season and are poised to play in the fourth round of the playoffs against region foe Fort Bend Marshall.
This is the first time PNG has played in the quarter-finals since 1999, which was also when the team was in the championship game.
PNG’s defense improved while maintaining quality offense, backed by one of the best offensive lines in the state.
It’s not yet specified how far this team will go, but it seems to bode well for the future of the program.
Joseph’s real coaching job next season may come after an exodus of the team’s graduating seniors this year, but that’s high school football.
For now, PNG fans can ride the wave to Round 4 and maybe beyond.
Chris Moore is the Sports Editor at Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.