The Port Arthur News
Port Neches-Groves at Beaumont Central
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Thomas Center
Records: PN-G (2-3, 1-1 District 20-4A); Central (1-4, 1-1)
Last year: PN-G 28-14
Series: PN-G leads 7-6
Radio: AM 1450, AM 1550, legacysportsnetwork.com and pngindians.com
PN-G capsule: The Indians are 1-1 for the first time in district under head coach Brandon Faircloth. The previous two seasons, PN-G started district play 0-2 and were 2-0 in Faircloth's first season in 2009. ... Last week's 35-6 loss to LC-M was the biggest loss for PN-G in the series since a 42-0 setback in 2006. That game also came at Bear Stadium. This year’s loss also ended a three-game winning streak for the Indians against the Bears. ... Friday's five INTs was also a first under Faircloth and was the first time the Indians have been picked off five or more times since Harrison Tatum had five INTs in that 2006 game against LC-M. ... Senior Kaleb Clark has been a special teams whiz for the Indians this year. Clark is leading 20-4A in punting with an average of 37.5 yards per punt. The speedy senior is also averaging 27.5 yards on kickoff returns this season with one score. ...
Central capsule: The Jaguars dropped their first four games of the season this year before beating Lumberton 38-9 last week. Central opened the season with a 23-20 loss to Port Arthur Memorial, followed by a 26-19 loss to West Brook, a 14-0 loss to West Orange-Stark and a 47-27 loss to Ozen. ... Quarterback Robert Mitchell has returned to form this season, after struggling through an injury-plagued 2011 campaign. Mitchell has completed 51.5 percent of his passes for 658 yards with four TDs and three INTs this season. The senior has also rushed for 177 yards with two TDs. ... Mitchell's brother, Garrison, is the Jags leading receiver with 14 catches for 162 yards. Nicalus Rhone has 13 catches for 214 yards this season. ...Central's offense is averaging just 232 yards per game this season, second-to-last in 20-4A. The Jaguars have made a big chunk of that through the air, averaging 164 yards passing per game.
Faircloth said: “They are athletic. They run around really well. They fly around to the football. They have some good skill kids, starting with the quarterback. They’ll be all we can handle. (Mitchell) is really good and has been ever since his sophomore season. He’s got a great arm. That ball comes out of his hand so pretty. He can spin that football. He makes plays happen and he extends plays. You can get to him and he’ll make you miss, extend it and find someone downfield. Every play, you just hold your breath.”