HENDERSON LIONS (2-2)
AT
CHAPEL HILL BULLDOGS (1-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Bulldog Stadium, New Chapel Hill. Radio: KISX 107.3-FM, Tyler

Coaches
Henderson: Dickey Meeks
Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton

Last week
Henderson: def. Jacksonville, 37-13
Chapel Hill: def. Palestine, 34-14

Next week
Henderson: Idle
Chapel Hill: at Gilmer

Playmakers
Henderson

  • RB Diamante Wright, Sr. (85 carries, 450 yards, 4 TDs)
  • DT Contrell Phillips, Sr., 6-1, 230 (5 sacks)
  • DE Bo Brady, Sr., 6-0, 195 (4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • LB Jamaal Kind, Sr., 5-10, 185 (45 tackles)
  • QB Janson Moore, Sr., 6-1 180 (36 of 63, 580 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 23 carries, 75 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ATH Patrick "Monster" Brown, Sr., 5-10, 175 (24 carries, 187 yards 1 TD; 11 catches, 138 yards)
  • OL Nick Siler, Sr., 6-4, 255 (committed to Air Force)

Chapel Hill

  • RB/S Joseph Clark, Jr, 5-9, 175 (42 carries, 309 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB Andrew Black, Jr., 6-0, 180 (20 of 57, 377 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs; 27 carries, 110 yards)
  • WR/DB Gabriel Robinson, Jr., 5-9, 150 (7 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Corey Starks, Sr. (6 catches, 131 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ATH Jamarcus McCowin, Sr. (22 carries, 160 yards; 1 catch, 39 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Londreyus Johnson, Sr. (27 carries, 134 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Jr., 6-2, 190

Just the facts

  • Friday night's District 16-3A opener is a rematch of the 2010 Class 3A Division I state champion game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Henderson rode a quick start to capture a 28-21 win and the first state title in school history.
  • Henderson head coach Dickey Meeks won a state title as head coach at Chapel Hill in 1989, his first year on the job. In seven years with the Bulldogs, Meeks compiled a record of 47-31-4 record.
  • The Lions haven't exactly been a model of consistency through four weeks, alternating wins and losses each week. Henderson dropped its opener to Plano Prestonwood (56-21), followed by a 26-14 win over Nacogdoches, then lost to Hallsville (21-20) before winning last week against Jacksonville (37-13).
  • Chapel Hill, which went 28-2 in the previous two seasons, snapped a three-game losing streak last week at Palestine. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers and rolled up a season-best 423 yards.
  • The Bulldogs scored 34 points last week, which equaled their point total through the first three weeks of the season.
  • Henderson and Chapel Hill have met 19 times since 1980 with the Lions holding a 15-4 edge in the series over that time span.
Henderson ATH Patrick "Monster" Brown. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Chapel Hill RB/LB Wesley Thompson. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Chapel Hill offensive line vs. Henderson defensive front. With an entirely new group of starters on the front line for the Bulldogs, early-season struggles were to be expected. In Chapel Hill's first three games, the Bulldogs averaged just 275 yards per outing. Chapel Hill blew that number out of the water last week against Palestine. So it appears the young linemen are beginning to make strides, which will only help the similarly inexperienced skill players around them. The Bulldogs will need to continue to show improvement this week against a Henderson front that has recorded an astounding 22.5 sacks in four games. If Chapel Hill is unable to slow the Lions pass rush, it could be a long night for its offense, putting a ton of pressure on its defense to replicate last week's impressive performance.

Don't be surprised if: Chapel Hill's offensive game plan calls for quick screens in the passing game and an array of draws in the running game to keep the Bulldogs protected against a talented Henderson defensive line. The more Chapel Hill can divert attention from the middle to the edge, the more success the Bulldogs should have moving the football. It's also important that Chapel Hill establishing a strong running game in the hopes of wearing down the Lions' defense in the second half.