By JOHN BLACK
CHANNELVIEW (Sp) - The La Porte Bulldogs were greeted by a stiff north wind and a sparkling new Channelview High School stadium Friday night. They were not greeted, however, by much opposition.
The result was a 56-14 thrashing of the Falcons by the Dogs. La Porte thus remains unbeaten in District 21-5A at 4-0, and the Dogs are also 7-1 on the year with just two games left in the regular season - two big ones. They host unbeaten North Shore at 7 p.m. this coming Friday, and the following Friday they hit the road to go up against once-beaten Port Arthur Memorial.
That Memorial game will likely play a big role in the playoff set up. The Dogs long ago qualified for post-season play, but match-ups are important, and District 21-5A lines up in the opening round with District 22-5A. So starting with one of the Pasadena schools would likely be more appealing than having to open the playoffs against the likes of Manvel.
Anyway, we've got plenty of time to worry about post-season action. Let's focus on the dismantling of an outmanned Channelview team by the Bulldogs. La Porte rode that aforementioned north wind to 28 first-quarter points, and all that was left to be determined after that was the final score.
We will start by noting that the Falcons were definitely no match for the Bulldog offensive line. Tony Briones and Maurice Morris and Jose Garcia and Justin King and Michael Leagan and Michael Rodriguez and, eventually, a host of back-ups had their way with the Channelview defensive front and linebackers. It was an impressive performance.
The Bulldog defense opened with a three-and-out as Victor Holmes and Hoza Scott provided big plays, forcing a punt. La Porte got the ball on the 50, and two plays later it was 7-0. After a pass missed, quarterback Jordan Jackson handed off to running back Johnathan Lewis. Johnathan went wide left, raced down the sideline, started cutting back toward the middle of the field, and made it all the way into the end zone. Eric Medina booted the extra point, and with 10:40 left in the first quarter the Dogs had a 7-0 lead.
Again, the defense held. Corey Lee and Lane Albertson and Alex Jones stopped a run attempt; Jones knocked down a pass; and Garrett Green was in the right spot to stop a pass play. So here came another Falcon punt, into that strong north wind. It did not go very far, and the Dogs got the ball on the Channelview 37.
One play,TD. Jackson threw a strike to Jahvey Mark at the goal line, and he went in for the score. Medina made it 14-0 with 8:55 left in the quarter.
Another three-and-out produced by the Bulldog defense allowed the offense to set up shop minutes later at the Channelview 41. This scoring drive took a bit longer. Keith Whitely got seven yards, then ran for 21 and a first down. He added six more, then followed great blocking into the end zone. That third TD came with 4:43 left in the initial quarter, and the Dogs were up by 21 after Medina's kick.
Credit Mark Guzman and Justin Pickell and Hoza Scott with stopping the next Channelview offensive try, and this punt resulted in La Porte getting the ball on its own 26. So Jackson throws to Britt Grant for 16 yards; he throws to Marks for seven to the 49; and he hands off to Whitely on the third play. Keith stepped off 51 very quick yards from there for his second touchdown of the game, coming with 1:45 still left in that very active first quarter. Medina's fourth kick made it 28-0.
Jared Howard made a nice stop on the next defensive stand, but the Dogs could not find paydirt for a change, so Medina produced a nice punt into the strong wind. Again, the D held as Travis Hudson and Trevor Nelson and Jesse Hickman made big plays. So the offense takes over at the Channelview 46.
TD drive No. 5 included a 15-yard run by Whitely and a six-yard run by Grant and a nice pass and catch, Jackson to Whitely, that produced a first down on a fourth and seven. And from the 22, Jackson lofted a screen pass to Grant in the middle of the field and Britt weaved his way into the end zone with 7:08 remaining in the first half. Medina's kick made it 35-0.
The Falcons then produced one of their two touchdowns on the night, so the Dogs decided to get one more of their own before halftime. They started at their own 39. On second and 10 Jackson handed off to Lewis. Johnathan went off right tackle, put on a burst of speed, outran everyone and scored with 2:25 left in the first half. Medina made it 42-7.
With a host of La Porte players getting the opportunity to see action in the second half, the Bulldogs scored two touchdowns and the Falcons managed one.
La Porte started touchdown push No. 7 at its own 30. Whitely stepped off 16 yards, then added 18. After Lewis got three, Grant added 10 and a first down. Whitely then got 11 yards, before getting a first down at the three. Keith then got two, and Lewis took it in from the one as the Falcon defensive line had absolutely no change against the La Porte blockers. Medina's kick made it 49-7 with 8:10 remaining in the third period.
A few minutes later it was 56-7. That's because the Bulldogs started at the Channelview 39 and Whitely immediately produced a run of 13 yards, followed by an 11-yarder by Lewis. Runs by Clifton Figroa and Grant set up the TD burst by Lewis, and after Medina's kick it was 56-7.
The Falcons got that meaningless score with just over five minutes left in the game, and we will note that Toby Detillier had a nice tackle for a loss on defense, and Jesse Hickman had a sack, and Lewis had a nice kickoff return after the second Falcon TD.
So now come a couple of big games against formidable opponents, and then we start another playoff run.