Blake Ryder wants Santa Fe’s home loss to hurt. But not for very long.
The head coach would like the sting of a humbling 52-7 loss to Port Neches-Groves to be felt across his football squad, starting with himself, following Friday night’s contest at Joe Raitano Stadium.
“I’m going to be in my feelings tonight and hopefully the players are, too, but tomorrow morning come 9 a.m., it’s time to let this stuff go, fix what needs to be fixed and move on,” said Ryder, whose club allowed 49 first-half points.
A talented PN-G offense seemed to score at will in the opening half, though the carnage started early via special teams as Landon Guamere grabbed a punt following Santa Fe’s three-and-out first drive and darted 45 yards for a touchdown.
Santa Fe answered two minutes later as Kyeler Thompson got behind the PN-G secondary and hauled in a Kase Albrecht pass for a 65-yard scoring play.
It would be, however, Santa Fe’s only offensive gasp as PN-G held the hosts to 102 total yards the remainder of the way.
Cole Crippen, PN-G’s senior quarterback, stood tall in the pocket and was razor-sharp, hitting on five first-half touchdowns, including plays covering 33, 13, 10 and 30 yards to shifty wideout Chance Prosperie.
Crippen finished 11 of 15 passing for 235 yards — all in the first half — as PN-G sat its starters the entire second half. Prosperie grabbed five passes for 130 yards, including a 44-yarder to the Santa Fe 2 where he fumbled into the end zone before Guamere fell on the ball.
Guamere, who had four catches and 95 yards, also hauled in a 10-yard TD pass in the half.
Defensively, PN-G was just as stout as it held Santa Fe to 38 rushing yards in 34 attempts.
Santa Fe dropped to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in District 9-5A-II, while Port Neches-Groves improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the district.
Despite the setback, there’s still time and work to be done for Santa Fe with a meeting next week against Texas City, a game which will have huge implications on the fourth and final postseason slot. Texas City fell to Dayton 34-25 on Friday night.
“It’s hard to even talk about playoffs and what we’ve got to do to make the playoffs,” Ryder said. “After a loss like this, you’ve got to figure out what your identity is and go back to work on Monday and work on us.
“We can’t worry about Texas City or (Ford Bend) Willowridge; we’ve got to worry about the Indians right now and what we have to do to fix what happened tonight.”