Atlanta Rabbits (1-0)

vs.

Henderson Lions (1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Lion Stadium, Henderson

Coaches

  • Atlanta: Matt McClure
  • Henderson Phil Castles

 

Last week

 

Next week

  • Atlanta: vs. Daingerfield, Sept. 12
  • Henderson: vs. Rusk, Sept. 12

 

Playmakers

Atlanta

  • QB Chase Musgrove, Sr., 5-11, 175
  • RB DeQuan Allen, Sr., 6-0, 185
  • LB Cameron Schulz, Sr., 6-0, 200
  • WR Eddrick King, Sr.
  • OL Cole Davis, Sr., 5-10, 245
  • DB Jeremy Smith, Jr.
  • DB D'Corey Larry, Jr.
  • DL Tristan Allen, Soph.

 

Henderson

  • QB Zane Boles, Sr., 6-5, 210
  • RB Randy Davis, Sr., 6-0, 180
  • WR Tristan Lary, Sr., 6-2, 190
  • LB Dalton Goode, Sr., 5-11, 205
  • LB Seth Hensley, Sr., 5-11, 205
  • DL Zach Allen, Sr., 6-1, 190
  • RB/WR LaKendrick Vanzandt, Soph.
  • DL Cardarius Caldwell, Jr.

 

Just the facts

  • Atlanta and Henderson have met six times since 1990. Henderson leads the series over that span, 3-2-1, after winning their last meeting in 2009.
  • Both Atlanta and Henderson have won state titles since the turn of the 21st Century. Atlanta won the Class 3A Division II title in 2003, while Henderson claimed the 3A D-I crown in 2010.
  • Atlanta put up 41 points in its season-opening win over New Boston last week. The Rabbits scored more than 41 points four times in 2013.
  • The cumulative 2013 record of Atlanta's non-district opponents this year was 37-25.
  • Since 2000, Atlanta has compiled an overall record of 75-85.
  • Henderson snapped Athens' 13-game regular-season winning streak with last week's victory.
  • The cumulative 2013 record of Henderson's non-district opponents this year was 41-19.
  • Since 2000, Henderson has compiled an overall record of 82-77.

 

Henderson QB Zane Boles. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Henderson passing game vs. Atlanta secondary. In his first full season at starting quarterback last season, Henderson's Zane Boles laid the foundation for what could be a special senior year for he and his Lions teammates. We saw a glimpse of what Henderson may be capable of this year with last week's impressive road win at Athens, which had won 13 consecutive regular-season games. Boles and his talented collection of skill players, including running back Randy Davis and receivers LaKendrick Vanzandt and Tristan Lary, were more than Athens could handle last Friday night. The offensive line, which entered the season with several new faces, also performed well in the season opener, which should make second-year head coach Phil Castles excited about the future. But the future includes this week's game against an Atlanta team coming off a strong Week 1 performance of its own.

Henderson WR Tristan Lary. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Atlanta made surprisingly easy work of New Boston, which reached the 2A Division I state semifinals in 2013 for the first time in school history and has several key pieces returning to the field this year. The Rabbits' success on offense wasn't as unexpected as how strong Atlanta played defensively last week. New Boston has seven starters back from an offense that averaged more than 34 points per game in 2013, but managed only one touchdown against Atlanta's defense on Friday. It's that type of defensive performance that will be needed this week in order to knock off Henderson on the road.

Don't be surprised if: Friday's game ends up being one of the area's most competitive games of the week. Each team has solid contributors on offense. Atlanta features dual-threat quarterback Chase Musgrove, star running back DeQuan Allen and receiver Eddrick King, who can be a game-changer in the passing game. Henderson is led by Boles, but Davis and Vanzandt are two of the fastest players in all of East Texas, and Lary's size at receiver will cause matchup problems for most defensive backs. When you get two teams as evenly matched as Atlanta and Henderson appear to be together on the same field, the game often hinges on which team makes the fewest mistakes. It may only take one or two breakdowns late in the game to decide this one.