PHOTO GALLERY – Port Neches-Groves fall to Texas High in regional semifinal – Port Arthur News

NATCHITOCHES, Louisiana – The Port Neches-Groves season ended across state lines as the Indians lost 44-21 to Texas High School in the Region III semi-final at Turpin Stadium on Friday .

Texas High entered the No.6 ranked game in the state and PNG was the lowest seed remaining.

The Tigers jumped early, scoring twice in the first two minutes of play.

After a game three at Port Neches, Texas High School scored in its first play with a run to the center for a 50-yard touchdown to take a one-scoring lead just 37 seconds into the game. The Tigers missed the extra point but others would follow.

In training that followed, PNG quarterback Cole Crippen was selected and he was sent off for a touchdown to bring the score to 13-0 with 10:12 remaining in the first quarter.

“They’re a really good team,” head coach Brandon Faircloth said of Texas High. “When you make mistakes, and that’s their credit, they made games. It didn’t start out the way we wanted it to. I’m just proud of our fight and our efforts to finish strong in the second half. “

PNG entered the board just before the halfway point when Shea Adams scored from two yards to make it 27-7 with: 37 left in the second quarter.

The second half was not much better for the Indians, who failed to convert a back kick to start the third. In the next play, Tigers running back Braylon Stewart hit a 34-yard touchdown to give Texas High a 34-7 lead.

After beating three balls, the PNG defense gave up on a long Stewart run that plunged the Tigers deep into Indian territory. The PNG defense held on and forced Texas High to score a field goal for 37-7.

Crippen was again kidnapped; this time on a deep shot at Chance Prosperie. A few plays later, the Tigers scored again on a 23-yard strike to make it 44-7 late in the third quarter.

With 11:19 left in the game, Crippen found Prosperie on a fade-back route into the end zone to reduce the Tigers’ lead to 44-14.

The two connected again with 2:58 left on a 38-yard pass to bring the score to 21-44. The strike peaked on a 10-play, 90-yard run.

Despite the loss, Faircloth said he was proud of his team.

“It’s not easy being a PNG football player,” he said. “The hours these kids spend and what they do with their bodies to represent PNG, no one does it better. They are so coachable and they play so hard and with so much passion. I am so proud to be their coach. It didn’t finish our way tonight, but they played hard for four quarters.

Preseason standings predicted PNG would miss the playoffs. Friday’s game was the Indians’ fourth round of the third round since 2016.

The game point goes to …The Texas High defense has stifled opposing attacks all season. Friday night was no exception.

For PNG, Trahan played on an injured ankle that kept him sidelined for most of the second half last week. He hasn’t trained all week and finished the game with 81 yards on 15 carries.

Other key statistics…Stewart finished the game with 14 carries for 190 yards. The Tigers finished with 239 rushing yards. Crippen finished the game 19 of 37 for 170 yards.

The game of games was …After beating three and coming out on the first disc, PNG took the upper hand 6-0. Crippen fell back before throwing to his left, where he was intercepted by a Tigers defenseman who pushed his way for a touchdown. The pick of six put the Indians 13-0 two minutes into the game.

Following…Texas High School will face the winner between Crosby and A&M Consalidated in the state quarterfinals.

Jack C. Nugent