Gladewater Bears (0-0)

Vs.

Daingerfield Tigers (0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Mickey Mayne Tiger Stadium, Daingerfield

Coaches
  • Gladewater: John Berry
  • Daingerfield: Aric Sardinea
Next Week
  • Gladewater: vs. Pittsburg, Sept.5
  • Daingerfield: at Malakoff, Sept. 5
Playmakers

Gladewater

  • DL/FB Daylon Mack, Sr., 6-1, 330 (98 tackles, 35 for loss, 5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 1 PBU, 1 blocked kick, 1 safety; 47 carries, 296 yards, 10 TDs; 1 catch, 36 yards; committed to Texas A&M)
  • DL Quanterius Turner, Jr., 6-2, 281
  • FB Justice Centers, Jr., 5-11, 218 (141 carries, 900 yards, 9 TDs; 28 catches, 296 yards, 1 TD)
  • DB Daylon Gordon, Sr., 5-10, 155 (128 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 INT, 11 PBU, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • RB Marcello Jackson, Jr., 6-0, 174 (101 carries, 549 yards, 4 TDs)
  • QB Nick Canaguier, Sr., 5-10, 150 (77 of 152, 961 yards, 6 TDs; 49 carries, 222 yards, 4 TDs)
  • RB Darnell McKnight, Soph., 5-11, 195 (70 carries, 413 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Bailey Glenn, Sr., Sr., 5-7, 140 (16 catches, 263 yards, 1 TD)
  • LB Austin Blanco, Jr., 5-11, 195 (114 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 3 recoveries, 1 INT, 1 defensive touchdown)
Daingerfield
  • WR/CB Jessie Biles, Sr., 5-10, 175 (77 tackles, 3 INTs)
  • DL Dominik Allen, Sr. (83 tackles, 25 TFLs, 7 sacks)
  • WR/DB Denzel Mims, Jr., 6-4, 175 (19 catches, 222 yards, 3 TDs)
  • QB/DB Malik Higgins, Sr., 6-1, 185 (423 yards, 6 TDs)
  • C/DT Logan Lile, Sr., 5-10, 210
  • DT Darrian Terry, Jr., 6-3, 260
Just the facts
  • Friday's game will be John Berry's first as Gladewater's head coach.
  • Daingerfield's Aric Sardinea is 1-2 in season openers. The two losses came against Gladewater.
  • Friday's game will be the third consecutive season the two teams have met.
  • Daingerfield returns seven starters from a 10-4 2013 campaign and Class 2A Division I regional finalist team.
  • Gladewater reached the Class 3A Division II regional championship game and finished its year 7-7 overall. The Bears have 17 starters returning, excluding running back James Reese who tore his ACL in fall camp. The offense has nine returning starters to the defense's eight.
  • With Reese out, fullback Justice Centers should get a lot of carries. Reese rushed for 1,700 yards as a junior, so it's a huge loss.
  • Gladewater's Daylon Mack is considered one of the best defensive tackles in the nation, and he ran for about 300 yards as a part-time fullback. He is a high-profile Texas A&M commit.
  • Daingerfield will be working with virtually a new brand new skill players cast on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Daingerfield only has two returning defensive players, but both were big-time contributors last season. Defensive back Jessie Biles recorded 77 tackles and three interceptions as a junior. Defensive lineman Dominique Allen had seven sacks, 25 tackles for loss and 83 total tackles in 2013.

 

Logan Lile and a fairly experienced Daingerfield offensive line will have to flourish against Gladewater's defensive front. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Daingerfield's passing offense versus Gladewater's pass defense. There's no question the Tigers are outgunned in the trenches when on offense. Gladewater's Mack and junior defensive end Quanterius Turner are giants on the high school level. It will take some ingenuity to reduce the role the two defensive linemen play in the game. Fortunately, most of the Tigers offensive experience is along the offensive line. Daingerfield will probably attempt to run off-tackle away from Turner and the middle gaps occupied by Mack, but the defensive line as a whole and the linebackers have stopped the run before.

The best solution for the Tigers is testing the Gladewater pass defense. Daingerfield will have to do an excellent job in pass protection to get that accomplished. Denzel Mims is a promising junior receiver and a huge target down the field at 6-4 and 175 pounds. He caught 19 balls for 222 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Of course, Gladewater safety Daylon Gordon recorded 135 tackles last season. Odds are Daingerfield will have to finish most of its scoring drives with a hard run up the middle.

Don't be surprised if: Gladewater wins a third straight season-opener against Daingerfield. The Bears have a depth advantage, an experience advantage and the elite talent factor. This game has not been very important for the Tigers in the past. Sardinea's squad reached the regional finals last season and the Class 2A Division I state championship game in 2012 after season-opening losses against the Bears. Gladewater needs to be sharp. Pittsburg, Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas Moore, Carthage and Kilgore round out the non-district schedule, and the district opener is against Tatum.
Gladewater junior defensive end Quanterius Turner is someone to watch closely this season. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)