The Orange Leader
It was tough sledding for the Vidor Pirates and the Beaumont Ozen Panthers in their District 20-4A openers last week as Friday night’s game in Pirate Land becomes crucial for both squads as they look to stay in the chase.
Both teams made the postseason last year with the Pirates taking second and the Panthers fourth.
The Pirates (2-2, 0-1) dropped a tough 31-10 decision to 20-4A favorite Nederland (3-1, 1-0) while the Panthers (0-4, 0-1) remained winless with a 33-9 loss to city rival Central (2-2, 1-0).
The Pirates will look to get their vaunted running game going again after they only mustered up 138 yards on 42 carries against a tough Nederland defense last week.
Vidor tailback Sage Smith will look to add to a spectacular season thus far as he has 710 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Freshman back Haylon Leckelt has 144 yards on the ground. Quarterback Geth Simmons has completed 8-of-20 passes for 145 yards with a TD and three interceptions.
Defensively, the Pirates hope to spruce up their run defense after allowing the Bulldogs 281 yards on 29 carries and 409 yards of total offense.
The Panthers have had their struggles in Coach Keeath Magee’s first season. Ozen has been outscored 136-30 but they have played a tough schedule with losses to Port Arthur Memorial, West Brook and Cedar Hill in non-district.
Despite falling to Central by 24 points, the Panthers actually outgained the Jaguars 269-258.
Panther quarterback Javaris Curl has completed 32-of-62 passes for 261 yards and four interceptions. He also leads the ground game with 193 yards on 49 carries.
His favorite target is Kaylon Sellers, who has 12 receptions for 115 yards.
The Pirates held on for a 28-21 victory over the Panthers in Beaumont last season, limiting Ozen to 221 yards while totaling 311 on offense, including 254 on the ground.
Next week the Pirates will hit the road with a trip to Lumberton while the Panthers welcome Livingston to Beaumont in a Saturday matchup.