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Daingerfield’s Kelshin Neal is the + Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week

Daingerfield DT Kelshin Neal. (Courtesy Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD)

Few East Texas football players in recent memory have posted the kind of defensive numbers Daingerfield senior Kelshin Neal boasts through the Tigers’ first eight games.

Neal had another monster performance in Friday night’s 46-0 shutout of Pattonville Prairiland, which marked the Tigers’ fourth consecutive win and gave them a 4-0 start in District 8-2A Division I play.

The undersized but athletic defensive tackle recorded 16 tackles, including a jaw-dropping nine for loss and five sacks to spearhead the Daingerfield defense, which pitched its second consecutive shutout and third shutout of the season. For his performance, Neal is the Queen Defensive Player of the Week.

The huge effort is simply the latest in a string of eye-opening performances.

Neal has two very good seasons-worth of statistics entering the Tigers’ district game at Mount Vernon. In only eight contests, he has 109 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, and 19 sacks. Neal’s tackles for loss and sack totals easily lead East Texas, while he’s among the region’s top 10 in tackles.

Neal played linebacker the last two seasons before head coach Aric Sardinea and the Tiger staff moved him down inside to exploit his speed off the ball.

“This year he is having all of his success just beating people off the ball and he has a motor like no other I have ever coached,” Sardinea said. “He is a nightmare in practice and plays the same way.”

Neal and Daingerfield’s defense have dominated during the Tigers’ 4-0 district start. In that span, Daingerfield (5-3) has allowed 23 total points for an average of 5.8 points per game.

All three of Daingerfield’s losses came to Class 3A schools. Against Class 2A foes, Daingerfield is 5-0 and has allowed 23 points, or 4.6 points per game, with three shutouts. Queen 2013 Defensive Players of the Week

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