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PNG falls short in first trip to state championship since 1999 losing to South Oak Cliff 24-34

12News would like to congratulate the Indians on a great season!

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Port Neches-Groves Indians fell short in Friday night's state championship game, losing 24-34 to South Oak Cliff.

The Port Neches-Groves earned a trip to state after beating Liberty Hill 42-14 Friday, December 9, 2022. Friday night was the Southeast Texas team's first time playing in a state title game since 1999.

The Indians faced defending State Champion South Oak Cliff in the 5A-Division II State Championship.

The Indians originally lead South Oak Cliff 17-12 at halftime. The Bears came back after halftime gaining 22 points in the second half of the game, eventually beating the Southeast Texas team.

If the Indians had secured the win, it would have been their football title since PNG topped Odessa Permian in 1975.

The game took place in Arlington's AT&T Stadium. From near and far, Southeast Texans showed support for and cheered on the Indians throughout the game.

Many Southeast Texans watched the game from area bars or listened in via the radio from the comfort of their own homes. Thousands traveled almost 300 miles to support the Port Neches-Groves Indians. 

Related: Southeast Texas man braves freezing cold in shorts, purple shirt to support PNG Indians ahead of Friday night's game

One Southeast Texas man even supported the team from more than 8,000 miles away at the South Pole. Zeke Mills wore shorts and a purple T-shirt, braving the freezing temperatures to show support for a community that supported him. 

Others counted against the Indians. Analysts with Dave Campbell’s Texas High School Football predicted that the Indians would lose to South Oak Cliff, however, they did believe the game would be close.

12News would like to congratulate the Indians on a great season!

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