Elysian Fields Yellowjackets (6-2, 4-1)

Vs.

Arp Tigers (6-1, 4-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Bill Herrington Tiger Stadium, Arp

 

Coaches
  • Elysian Fields: Scott Ford
  • Arp: Dale Irwin

 

Last week
  • Elysian Fields: defeated Frankston, 58-33
  • Arp: defeated New Diana, 53-8

 

Next week
  • Elysian Fields: vs. Winona, Nov. 7
  • Arp: at Frankston, Nov. 7

 

Playmakers

Elysian Fields

  • QB Logan Hughes, Soph., 6-1, 180
  • RB Jacoby Owens, Jr.
  • DL Reese Matthews, Jr.
  • WR Dylan Parker, Soph.
  • DL Anthony Stevenson, Sr.
  • LB Cameron Martin, Jr.
  • OL Luke Rice, Jr.
  • DB Tramell Hudson, Sr.

 

Arp

  • RB Marcalas Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 180 (offer from Colorado State)
  • OL/DL Tyrone Hunt, Sr., 6-4, 230 (committed to UTSA)
  • LB Kalik Hines, Sr., 5-10, 200
  • WR/DB Thomas Reese, Jr.
  • OL Tristan Bowins, Sr.
  • LB Isaiah Baker, Jr.
  • QB Justin Johnson, Jr.
  • DB Jakeithon Medlock, Jr.

 

Just the facts
  • Arp and Elysian Fields enter Friday's game in a tie for second place in District 8-3A Division II.
  • The two teams are in outstanding position for the postseason with a two-game lead ahead of a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots.
  • Dating back to 1990, Arp and Elysian Fields have played 14 times and have a 7-7 record against each other.
  • There's been a lot of heartbreak on the Yellowjackets' side. Three of Arp's wins came in the playoffs.
  • Arp and Elysian Fields played five consecutive years between 2003 and 2007. The Yellowjackets won that time period, four games to one.
  • The two teams played as non-district opponents the previous two years. Arp won both of those meetings.
  • Arp has outscored opponents 278-125, a plus-153 margin of points. Elysian Fields has a plus-67 margin of victory against all opponents, outscoring them 251-184.
  • Both teams share a common loss on the road. It came against league leading Waskom.
  • Waskom defeated Arp, 34-24. Waskom topped Elysian Fields, 49-26,
  • The winner of Friday's game will clinch a playoff spot in the eight-team district.
  • Waskom is already a lock for the Class 3A Division II playoffs, but it could cough up the inside track for the district title with a loss to Troup this week.

 

Elysian Fields' Logan Hughes was named Newcomer of the Year by District 9-2A Division II coaches last season. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Arp's defense versus Elysian Field's defense. The two groups will never square off on the field, but the units could quickly create nightmares for the other side if they get offensive support.

Both teams have a fantastic defensive line. The Tigers' group is anchored by UTSA commitment Tyrone Hunt. Anthony Stevenson gives the Yellowjackets a similar edge. Furthermore, there's a playmaker in each level of both teams' defensive units.

Arp has held all opponents to a district-best 125 points. It's not very close. However, the squad had to grind out some of its wins. It edged a 1-7 West Rusk program in a 32-30 district-opening win. It also had to sweat late in a 16-14, non-district win against Hughes Springs. Both games were in September.

Elysian Fields' defense ranks second in the district with 184 points given up. Its offense has drastically improved since the start of the season. The Yellowjackets opened the season with a 6-3 win against Mineola and lost the next week to Jefferson by a 14-7 score. The team has not failed to score less than 26 points a game since, and that recent low was against Waskom.

Both teams have a dangerous offensive playmaker the defenses will have to watch out for.

Yellowjackets sophomore quarterback Logan Hughes has been very productive through the air. Arp senior running back Marcalas Johnson, who holds a scholarship offer from Colorado State, will lead the charge the other way.

Don't be surprised if: defense wins the day. Both teams can move the ball effectively and score with relative ease against good competition while the defensive units back them up very well. In this game, with evenly matched offenses, it will be up to the defenses to establish a tone.

The team that gets the grip defensively first will most likely be able to use that to build a lead. If all phases of the game click early for both sides, this could easily be the best game in District 8-3A Division II all season.

Arp running back Marcalas Johnson. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)