Thursday, October 22, 2015

Final La Porte 31 Port Arthur Memorial 24

The La Porte Bulldogs faced off against Port Arthur Memorial Titans in their annual tilt this past Friday and the emotions ran high as they always do in this rivalry. This game has been decided by 7 points or less for the last few seasons.

A somber beginning to the game, as Port Arthur Offensive line coach John Clayton Jr passed away the previous weekend.  A ceremony including a helicopter landing at midfield took place before the game.  Prayers go out to the Port Arthur family and friends, players and coaches.

The Titans were understandably fired up to start the game, but La Porte made some key plays on their opening drive including a big 3rd down conversion from Junior Quarterback Austin Upshaw to Junior Wide Receiver Damian Phillips keeping the drive alive.  From there the Bulldogs two big running backs, Senior Nathan Redd and Junior Cobra Jones, would reel off big runs into Port Arthur territory.  Redd capped the drive finding a big hole on the right side to open the scoring with a one yard run and a 7-0 La Porte lead.

A short kickoff and Memorial wasted little time. Their first play from scrimmage was a wide receiver screen and a untouched 51 yard touchdown pass.  The game was quickly tied at 7 in the 1st quarter.

The teams traded punts and Memorial would put the pressure on La Porte going to the end of the 1st quarter.  The Bulldogs fumbled on a run up the middle near midfield.  Memorial completed a pass with a diving catch to the La Porte 10 yard line. Penalties gave the Titans extra tries and Senior running back Kameron Martin punched in a 5 yard score to put Memorial ahead 14-7 at the end of the 1st.

The two teams traded turnovers to start the second quarter.  La Porte's Senior Cornerback Vincent Chachere picked off his 5th interception of the season, but the Bulldogs fumbled it away again.  The teams traded punts and Port Arthur had a fourth and 1 at their own 28 yard line.  This would change all of the momentum as La Porte came up with the stop on a incomplete pass and took over deep in Port Arthur territory.  Another big 3rd down Upshaw to Phillips pass would set up a Junior Terrel Bernard three yard touchdown run and a even 14-14 score with three minutes remaining in the half.

La Porte's Darkside defense lead by Senior Defensive End Eric Kendzior and Bernard forced a big three and out, Senior Linebacker Keshun Wells had two big tackles on run plays. La Porte would wind the clock down and Junior Kicker Foster Hillborn would connect on a huge 47 yard field goal as time expired.  La Porte lead 17-14 at halftime.

The third quarter started with the Titans receiving and going on to kick a 24 yard field goal to tie the game at 17.  Then the Bulldogs and Nathan Redd took over.

La Porte moved the ball down the field and Redd, who had 128 yards rushing on the night, scored on a eight yard run giving the Bulldogs a 24-17 lead.

The next play for Memorial was a big interception from La Porte's Terrel Bernard who flashed to the ball in underneath coverage and returned the pick to the 11 yard line.

Two plays later Redd was running through a huge hole created by the big offensive line and scoring his third touchdown of the game, a five yard run.  La Porte now lead 31-17 at the end of the third.

Port Arthur went on a furious comeback attempt, using a 14 play drive and scoring on a 11 yard scrambling run to cut the deficit to one score 31-24 La Porte.

A wild sequence of events would ensue.  La Porte would be forced to punt from midfield and down the ball at the Memorial six yard line.  With a 3rd down at their own nine yard line, Memorial's Kameron Martin shot through a hole in the middle and cut down the sidelines.  The running back seemingly would score the game tying touchdown, however La Porte Senior Linebacker Xavian Henry made what would be a game winning tackle at the one yard line and forcing Port Arthur to get the touchdown the hard way with 4:30 left in the game.  The Titans fumbled the exchange on the next play and La Porte Junior Logan Nichols recovered.

From there La Porte had no trouble running out the clock as the running game pounded the ball for two first downs and ended the game with a La Porte 31-24 victory.

La Porte moves to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in district play.  This week is homecoming and La Porte will have a big test with Beaumont West Brook (6-2, 3-1) coming to town.  This game will possibly determine playoff positioning and is the biggest game of the year for the Bulldogs.  Hope everyone comes out to enjoy this really good La Porte team!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Final La Porte 41 Baytown Sterling 19

Written by Orange and White reporter Jonathan Perez

A week removed from a win in the Border Battle against arch-rival Deer Park, the Bulldogs returned home on a gorgeous Friday evening to face an old rival, the Baytown Sterling Rangers, in what has been dubbed the “Bridge Battle”, as the two cities are linked by the Fred Hartman bridge. The Bulldogs were looking to avenge last years 27-16 defeat, and once again there was a media spotlight on this rivalry game. 

The fireworks started early, as Sterling tried an onside kick on the opening kickoff, but it was recovered by La Porte. The Ranger defense stepped up and stopped La Porte, but just as he did last week, Sergio Calvillo made another great punt that put the Rangers on the 9 yard line. Soon after, the Dark Side Defense struck, as Sterling quarterback had the ball ripped out of his hand and Terrel Bernard returned the ball for a seven yard touchdown at the 9:18 mark in the 1st quarter. 

However, the Rangers would retaliate quickly. A long catch and run by the Rangers would put the ball on the La Porte 9 yard line. The defense locked down on the next to plays, but on 3rd down the Rangers struck, as the receiver on the screen pass would break several tackles and score from 13 yards out, evening the score at 7 with 5:22 in the 1st quarter.

Surprisingly, the Rangers would attempt another onside kick (the second of many) but to no avail, and the Bulldog running game would go to work, methodically moving the ball down the field. Runs by Austin Upshaw, Cobra Jones, and Nathan Redd, who converted a 4th and 2, would put the Bulldogs on the goal line, and Upshaw would sneak in to put the Bulldogs up 14-7 at the end of the 1st quarter.

The second quarter would begin with La Porte forcing Sterling to punt, with Eric Kendzior leading the way.  La Porte would begin their drive at their own 19. Again, the offensive line would take over as big runs by Cobra Jones and Austin Upshaw marched the Bulldogs up the field. The drive would finish at with 10:01 mark with Upshaw keeping the ball for a 19 yard touchdown, bringing the score to 21-7.

The defense would force another punt, with Kendzior getting another tackle for loss, and La Porte would take over again. The Bulldogs would take to the air more on this drive, and had a nice drive but lost a fumble at the Baytown 22 yard line. 

The Dark Side defense was still angry at the first touchdown, and once again suffocated the Sterling offense. La Porte would start another drive, with nice plays made by Damian Phillips and Nathan Redd would move the Bulldogs to the goal line again, where Austin Upshaw would again sneak in for another touchdown, making it 28-7, and the route was on! 

The relentless Bulldog defense would force another punt, giving La Porte another possession before the end of the half, and Nathan Redd would break ankles as he had a huge run and another great pass and catch from Upshaw to Damian Philips would bring the Bulldogs to the 8 yard line, and with time winding down in the first half Foster Hillborn hit a 22 yard field goal to bring the score to 31-7.

The second half began with fireworks as the Bulldog defense picked off a pass deep in Baytown territory, and the Bulldogs would run it in to make it 38-7. But on the ensuing kickoff the Baytown return man would take the ball 100 yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to 38-13 before the crowd could even settle into their seats. 

The Bulldogs would stop Sterling on the two point conversion, and then Sterling would attempt another onside kick that failed as the Baytown coaching staff was flagged for a delay game, as the weren’t obeying the refs and getting out of the restricted area. La Porte would take over at the Baytown 41 yard line, but this time they would have to settle for a 39 yard field goal by Hillborn to make it 41-13 with 5:44 left in the 3rd quarter. 

The two teams would trade possessions, which included the Bulldogs stopping the Rangers on 4th down. Nothing would come from the ensuing drive for La Porte, and on the next possession the Rangers would score a 37 yard touchdown on a screen pass to make it 41-19, with the Bulldog defense again holding off a two point conversion with about 10 minutes left in the game, but it was too little, too late for the Rangers. La Porte put in the second string, and the Rangers were unable to muster any more offense as the final whistle blew with the final score being 41-19, a dominant victory for the Bulldogs. 

La Porte will get some much-needed rest this Friday as they have a bye week, and will return to action Oct. 16th in Port Arthur, as they play district foe, the Port Arthur Memorial Titans. Gas up your vehicles, Bulldog fans, and be ready to enjoy the sausage, boudin balls, and great La Porte football on the 16th

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Final La Porte 27 Deer Park 24!

Written by Bulldog Blog Contributor Jonathan Perez! Thank you Jonathan!

It was another hotly-contested, sold out, Friday night crowd in Deer Park, Texas, as the 55th annual Border War between the La Porte Bulldogs and the Deer Park Fighting Deer clashed at Ashbier Stadium. This time the Great American Rivalry Series recognized the two schools for having a classic rivalry game, and would present a trophy to the winner. But even before thirty minutes before the game started one didn’t need a national spotlight to see that this game was the biggest game of the calendar for both cities, as the stands were nearly full on both sides and as kickoff drew nearer, both student sections were releasing baby powder and confetti bombs in the air!

La Porte received the opening kickoff and returned the ball to the 21 yard line. Running back Cobra Jones then got the call on the first play of the game on a sweep, then turned on his jets and took the ball 79 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game, which seemed to stun the Deer Park fans and sent the La Porte student section into a frenzy! La Porte then took a 7-0 lead with 11:38 in the first quarter.

The Deer then took over and had a nice drive, converting several first downs as they drove into La Porte territory, but eventually settled for a field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 9:18 in the first quarter. 

La Porte then took over and was forced to punt, however punter Sergio Calvillo, who would have a great night for the Bulldogs, made a gorgeous punt that would pin the Deer back on their own 2 yard line! They were able to get out of their own end zone, but would punt, and a sloppy punt it was as it was downed while still in Deer territory. La Porte would then kick a field goal to add to their lead, 10-3 with 2:25 left in the 1st quarter.

The second quarter began with the Deer driving, but a big sack by senior and Louisiana Tech commit Eric Kendzior ended their hopes. The teams then traded punts, but not without Sergio Calvillo again pinning Deer Park deep in their own territory, this time at the 1 yard line! Nothing came of the ensuing drive, and as time was winding down the Bulldogs attempted a field goal which fell short. However, the Deer Park coaches made a blunder as they called timeout before the kick, which gave La Porte another chance, and on the second attempt the kick was good and La Porte would take a 13-3 lead into halftime

The second half began with Deer Park receiving and it didn’t take long for the fireworks to begin as they connected with a 66 yard pass to cut the lead to 13-10 at the 10:24 mark in the 3rd quarter. Not to be outdone, La Porte runningback Cobra Jones once again went on a sweep and this time ran the ball 70 yards nearly untouched for a Bulldog touchdown, making it 20-10! After trading punts, and once again La Porte’s Sergio Calvillo pinning the Deer at their one yard line, the quarter ended at 20-10. 
The Bulldogs began driving and at the 10:13 mark of the 4th quarter La Porte quarterback Austin Upshaw threw a beautiful, floating pass to receiver Hunter Hebert in the corner of the end zone to make the score 27-10, and the Bulldog faithful went wild! But as expected, the Deer were in no mood to surrender on their home turf, which La Porte had not won in since 2004, and on the next drive, led by runningback Sammy Linton, they would score on a 4 yard touchdown pass with 6:29 left in the game to make it 27-17. 

Deer Park attempted an onside kick but La Porte recovered, and as they drove the Bulldogs elected to go for it on fourth and one on Deer Park’s 38 yard line, but were stopped with four minutes left to play. Once again Sammy Linton of Deer Park would take over, and led the Deer to a two yard touchdown run and the score was cut to 27-24 with 3:02 left in the game. However with no timeouts, Deer Park had no choice but to attempt another onside kick, but was recovered by La Porte. Austin Upshaw, Cobra Jones, and Nathan Redd then went to work, ensuring that the Deer would never get the ball again, and as the clock reached 1:29 the Bulldogs began kneeling the ball, killing the clock and sealing the 27-24 victory! 

This win makes two in a row for La Porte over their arch-rival Deer Park and extends their lead in the series to 29-25-1. Next Friday the Bulldogs will come back home against the Baytown Sterling Rangers, and the ‘Dogs will have revenge on their mind. Be sure to get there early and enjoy barbq and great Bulldog football! 

Final The Woodlands 21 La Porte 0

Written by Bulldog Blog Contributor Jonathan Perez!

It was a big Friday night as the Highlanders from The Woodlands traveled to La Porte in a rematch from last year, in which The Woodlands thrashed La Porte. But this year the Dark Side Defense of La Porte was out for blood, and this was a hard-hitting affair from the opening whistle! La Porte received the opening kickoff and didn’t go far before they had to punt, and the Highlanders began driving into La Porte territory. A huge stand by the Bulldog defense on fourth down meant that La Porte would take over on their own 25 yard-line, and sent a message that the game would be much different from last year!

The two teams traded punts throughout the first half as La Porte entered the game without starting quarterback Austin Upshaw. But once again the Highlanders began driving deep into La Porte territory, reaching the goal line. Once again, the “Dark Side” defense stopped the Highlanders in their tracks and took over. However, the Dogs couldn’t maintain a drive, and even after Junior phenom Terrel Bernard recovered a fumble La Porte couldn’t get within scoring range. Unfortunately with 33 seconds left in the half, The Woodlands did as they completed a long, Hail Mary pass to the La Porte five yard line, and would score a touchdown with just 16 seconds left as they took a 7-0 lead into halftime.

The second half began with The Woodlands receiving the ball, and after a couple of first downs their quarterback made a spectacular 55 yard touchdown run with 8:35 left in the 3rd quarter to extend the lead to 14-0. Once again the Bulldogs received it, and once again they were forced to punt. However, another marvelous fourth-down stand by the Bulldog defense gave them another possession. This time the Bulldogs offense joined in, and began hammering the Highlander defense with their brand of smash-mouth football, and as the 4th quarter began they had a 4th and inches at The Woodlands 14 yard-line, but nothing came of it as the Highlanders made a nice defensive stand themselves. But once again the Bulldog defense showed its teeth, as Vincent Chachere intercepted a pass, his fourth of the season! However the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize, as they were forced to punt yet again, and on the ensuing drive for the Highlanders they made a nice run to the La Porte 1 yard line, then scored on the next play to make it 21-0 with 6:43 left in the game.

The two teams traded punts and neither team was able to do any more damage, even as La Porte recovered a fumble from the Highlander’s punting team with 55 seconds left. The “Dark Side Defense” of La Porte played an absolutely brilliant game against the powerful Highlanders, and should be proud of their efforts tonight. Next week, however, the offense will have to be sharper as they have their first district game and the 55th annual Border War against their arch-rival, the Deer Park Fighting Deer. Be sure to get your tickets early and more importantly, BE early and be loud as the Bulldogs have their biggest game of the year at Abshier Stadium next Friday night! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Final La Porte 30 Bellaire 9

Last Friday night the La Porte Bulldogs matched up with the Bellaire Cardinals for their first home game of 2015.  The Bulldogs put together a big second half to put the Cardinals away 30-9.

La Porte's offense had a slow start adjusting to the size and speed of the Bellaire defenders.  The defense also needed some time for adjustment.  The Cardinals had their best drive of the night on their first possession featuring TCU commit Courtney Lark getting three catches including the 8 yard touchdown reception. The play of the drive was Lark's one handed over the shoulder catch for 25 yards with a defender glued to him.  The Bulldogs defense would tighten up only allowing him 7 catches for 82 yards on the game including a couple interceptions on balls thrown his way, 45 of those yards were on the first drive. Bellaire lead 6-0 after the first quarter.

La Porte's defense made a statement the way they adjusted and held Bellaire to 3 points the rest of the game.  The Bulldogs took the lead going into halftime after a good drive in the second half.  Junior running back Cobra Jones (15 carries 136 yards) put the Bulldogs into Bellaire territory with a 20 yard run.  The drive would be capped with almost a replay of last weeks Austin Upshaw to Jacob Edwards pass touchdown.  This time a 17 yard score on a pass to the flat with Junior Receiver Damian Phillips leading the way taking out two Bellaire defenders with a block.  La Porte lead 7-6 going into the locker room at the half.

The second half would provide some big momentum for La Porte. Punting from the Bulldogs own 37 yard line, Junior Punter Sergio Calvillo knocked a punt over everyone landing at the 10 and rolling to a stop at the 1 yard line.  On the next play Bellaire would have a errant snap and La Porte picked up a safety.  The Bellaire kickoff put La Porte in great field position near midfield.  The Bulldogs wasted little time going 53 yards on 4 plays.  Austin Upshaw got almost all of it on the ground with a 32 yard run and a 17 yard touchdown run.  Just like that, La Porte lead 16-6 with 7:12 left in the third quarter.

The defense was feeling it now.  Senior Cornerback Vincent Chachere got his second interception of the season and the big offensive line of La Porte started to wear on the Bellaire defense.  Upshaw again peeled off a 40 yard run and capped another drive with a three yard plunge and a 23-6 LP lead.

Things got sloppy for La Porte.  Two personal fouls after the touchdown and extra point moved the kickoff back to the 10 yard line.  Another big kick on the kickoff to the Bellaire 20 would keep the Cardinals from getting great field position.  La Porte defense lead by a big play in the backfield from Senior Zech Bowen would force another three and out from Bellaire.  La Porte would fumble the next play after the punt giving the Cardinals the ball at the La Porte 10 yard line.  No problem for the Bulldog defense as they held again.  This time Senior Defensive End Eric Kendzior popped the running back for a three yard loss, and good coverage for the Bulldogs caused two incomplete passes.  Bellaire would  cash in on the field position with a 29 yard field goal.  La Porte lead 23-9 with 47 seconds left in the third.

The fourth quarter featured more sloppiness for La Porte on offense with the defense picking up the pace.  A big sack for Junior Linebacker Terrel Bernard, a fumble recover from Kendzior and a interception from Sophomore Safety Jalen Metz would all stop Bellaire drives after La Porte turnovers.

Upshaw had a huge night running for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns while passing for another touchdown behind a offensive line that was dominant lead by Seniors Logan Jackson, Casey Motley, Luis Atilano, Tristan Lozano and Junior Ryder Rae.  Upshaw scored the last touchdown of the game with 3:26 left to preserve a La Porte 30-9 win.

The Bulldogs are now 2-0 to start the season with a much more difficult stretch coming up.  Saturday La Porte faces Clear Springs in Clear Lake. If the defense can continue to show such improvement over last season it will be an exciting year in La Porte!