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Bullard-Henderson Loser Will Have Uphill Battle to Reach Playoffs

Henderson’s Randy Davis narrowly avoids a tackle against Chapel Hill during their game Sept. 28 in New Chapel Hill. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Bullard Panthers (6-1, 2-1)
vs.
Henderson Lions (4-3, 2-1)

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

Coaches
Bullard: Shannon Wilson
Henderson: Dickey Meeks

Last week
Bullard: def. Chapel Hill, 42-41 (2OT)
Henderson: def. Spring Hill, 42-14

Next week
Bullard: vs. Gilmer
Henderson: at Kilgore

Playmakers
Bullard

  • QB Colton Mebane, Sr., 5-10, 180 (69 of 120, 1,191 yards, 12 TDs, 3 INTs; 70 carries, 396 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Brentavian Henderson, Soph. (72 carries, 511 yards, 12 TDs)
  • WR Haden Bryant, Sr., 5-10, 170 (30 catches, 682 yards, 9 TDs)
  • WR Sal Guilliano (16 catches, 203 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR/LB Zack Holladay, Sr., 5-10, 185 (9 catches, 160 yards, 3 TDs; 11 tackles vs. Chapel Hill)

Henderson

  • ATH Patrick “Monster” Brown, Sr., 5-10, 175 (9 of 18, 212 yards; 60 carries, 461 yards, 4 TDs; 18 catches, 317 yards, 2 TDs; 1 punt return for TD)
  • RB Diamante Wright, Sr. (117 carries, 561 yards, 9 TDs)
  • WR Jamie Anthony, Sr., 6-2, 175 (11 catches, 344 yards, 1 TD)
  • DE Bo Brady, Sr., 6-0, 195 (40.5 tackles, 13.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one recovery)
  • OL Nick Siler, Sr., 6-4, 255 (committed to Air Force)

Just the facts

  • This is the first-ever meeting between Bullard and Henderson. Bullard has been a Class 2A school for most of its existence, while Henderson was in 4A up until 2010.
  • The Panthers have six wins on the season. Bullard has won more than six games just three times in school history, including last season’s historic 8-5 season.
  • Bullard is averaging 38 points per game on offense, but just 27.3 in three district games. The Panthers give up an average of 12.3 per game. However, 41 of the 86 points Bullard has surrendered on the year came last week against Chapel Hill.
  • Henderson is just 4-3 on the season, but the combined record of the teams that have beaten the Lions this season (Plano Prestonwood, Hallsville and Gilmer) is 19-3.
  • The Lions are fairly balanced on offense, averaging 194.3 rushing yards per game and 149.6 through the air.
  • On the season, Henderson is averaging 28 points per game. On defense, the Lions give up an average of 21.7. However, in its four wins, Henderson is allowing just 11.8 points per game.
Bullard WR Haden Bryant. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Henderson ATH Patrick “Monster” Brown. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Patrick “Monster” Brown vs. Bullard defense. Ever since moving the all-everything athlete Brown to quarterback, opposing defenses have had a hard time keeping tabs on him. Last week against Spring Hill, he rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, caught a 39-yard TD and passed for 60 yards on five completions. While Janson Moore didn’t do anything to lose the starting quarterback job, it became obvious to the Henderson coaching staff that their best playmaker wasn’t getting the ball in his hands enough. By inserting Brown at quarterback, Henderson has a potential game-changer touching the ball on every snap. It will be up to a Bullard defense, which is coming off its worst defensive performance of the season, to find an answer for the multi-dimensional Brown.

Don’t be surprised if: Both teams play their best game of the season. With Bullard and Henderson tied for the third and final playoff spot with just two more weeks left after Friday, the loser of this week’s game might ultimately find itself on the outside of the playoff race in 16-3A. Chapel Hill is one common opponent these two teams share. While Henderson handled the Bulldogs, 24-6, on Sept. 28, the Lions were the beneficiaries of four Chapel Hill turnovers, and Bullard has done an excellent job of not killing itself with costly miscues.

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