Defending State Finalist Kilgore Begins Playoffs Thursday Night Against Rolling Jasper
CLASS 4A DIVISION I
Region III Bi-District Playoff
Kilgore Bulldogs (4-6)
Jasper Bulldogs (7-3)
7:30 p.m. Thursday
Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Jasper: Darrell Barbay
- Kilgore: def. Henderson, 24-18
- Jasper: def. Silsbee, 48-7
- Winner faces Sealy-Stafford winner, Class 4A Division I area playoff.
- RB Kevrin Justice, Sr., 6-0, 180 (140 carries, 796 yards, 9 TDs; 12 catches, 172 yards; committed to Houston)
- RB Jacquorius Smith, Jr., 5-8, 175 (131 carries, 870 yards, 12 TDs)
- WR Nick Orange, Sr., 6-3, 180 (24 catches, 230 yards, TD)
- TE/DE Jarod Wood, Sr., 6-2, 200 (13 catches, 294 yards, 5 TDs; 22 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, recovery, blocked kick)
- LB Kris Haynes, Sr., 5-11, 220 (107 tackles, 18 for loss, 4 sacks, 6 QB pressures, forced fumble, recovery, blocked kick)
- QB/DB William Colbert, Sr., 6-0, 170 (27 of 46, 436 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; 18 carries, 43 yards, TD; 29 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs)
- LB Mason Shelton, Jr. (83 tackles, 6 for loss, INT, 2 fumble recoveries, blocked kick)
- WR/DB Trey Tinney, Jr. (12 catches, 221 yards, TD; 64 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 3 PBUs)
- QB Quentin Williams, Jr., 5-7, 160 (41 of 93, 960 yards, 9 TDs, 7 INTs; 144 carries, 1,254 yards, 17 TDs)
- ATH Randy Spikes, Sr., 5-10, 165 (83 carries, 923 yards, 10 TDs; 26 catches, 681 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Chris Spikes, Sr., 6-3, 175 (10 catches, 112 yards, TD; committed to Lamar)
- LB Isaiah Goins, Sr., 5-8, 205 (63 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks)
- DB Dan Adams, Sr., 6-0, 162 (60 tackles, 2 INTs, 6 PBUs, fumble recovery)
- DE Dontavious Larkin, Jr., 5-11, 215 (29 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, forced fumble, recovery)
- DB JaKeithon Adams, Jr., 6-1, 162 (61 tackles, sack, forced fumble, INT, PBU)
- RB/LB Devonta Hawthorne, Sr., 5-5, 200 (58 carries, 341 yards, 2 TDs; 58 tackles, INT, PBU)
Just the facts
- Kilgore and Jasper each played for state championships in 2004. Kilgore won the 4A Division II title, while Jasper fell in the 3A Division II title game.
- Kilgore is in the playoffs for the 18th time in the last 20 years, while Jasper has made it 11 of the previous 14 seasons.
- Kilgore is 11-3 in the playoffs under head coach Mike Wood.
- Kilgore is averaging 26.9 points and 348.7 yards per game -- 224.7 rushing and 124 passing.
- Kilgore's six losses have come by a combined 44 points.
- Jasper is 3-6 in the playoffs since 2005.
- Jasper is averaging 32.3 points and 433 yards per game -- 310.9 rushing and 122.1 passing.
- Jasper has outscored opponents by an average score of 41-15 during its current six-game winning streak.
Key matchup: Jasper rushing attack vs. Kilgore defensive front. To say the Jasper Bulldogs are on a roll entering Thursday night's 4A Division I bi-district playoff would be a bit of an understatement. Not only has Jasper won its last six games, most of them have not been competitive. Jasper's closest game in six weeks was decided by 16 points, as the Bulldogs begin the postseason averaging more than 40 points per game during their current winning streak. And simply put, Jasper's running game has catapulted the team into a position of Region III contenders in the 4A D-I bracket. The Bulldogs average more than 300 rushing yards per contest, the bulk of which coming from quarterback Quentin Williams and do-it-all athlete Randy Spikes, who have combined to rush for 2,177 yards and 27 touchdowns. Spikes, who is also a threat in the passing game where he averages a remarkable 26.2 yards per catch, is closing in on a 1,000-yard rushing season. He's put up 1,604 yards of total offense and 17 touchdowns both rushing and receiving. Jasper doesn't get too much production from anyone other Williams or Spikes, so containing those in two in particular will be an obvious point of emphasis for the Kilgore defense.
While still formidable, Kilgore's defense is not on par with what it accomplished the previous two seasons. The Bulldogs allow a respectable 21.9 points per game, but Kilgore's previous two teams surrendered averages of 14.9 and 10.3, respectively. Despite the spike in scoring defense, Kilgore is only giving up 292 total yards per game, including a pedestrian 151.3 on the ground. Just last week, Kilgore held a potent Henderson offense to 18 points and 296 yards, as the Bulldogs handed the rival Lions their only district loss of the year. It's that type of defensive performance Kilgore will need to bring to the field Thursday night against another powerful offense in Jasper. Kilgore's offense, despite a formidable rushing duo of senior Houston commit Kevrin Justice and junior Jacquorius Smith, has had its struggles both with injuries and production. Kilgore lost starting quarterback Xaviar Gaona midway through the season and was dealt blows along the offensive line as well, which may explain why Kilgore's offense has fizzled after a strong start to the season. Kilgore averaged 38.3 points through its first three games, but since, the Bulldogs are only registering 22 per game. With an offense that's yet to break out, more pressure will be placed upon Kilgore's defense to get the job done against Jasper.
Don't be surprised if: Big plays end up playing a deciding role in the outcome. Both Kilgore and Jasper have explosive potential on the offensive side of the ball. Jasper quarterback Quentin Williams has put up more than 2,200 yards of offense and accounted for 26 touchdowns, while dynamic athlete Randy Spikes is averaging a robust 14.7 yards per touch with 27 touchdowns of his own. Kilgore, meanwhile, will rely on the legs of Justice and Smith, who have combined for 1,666 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns and each average more than 5.6 yards per carry. Kilgore doesn't throw the ball much, but when it does, the Bulldogs are usually picking up big chunks of yardage. As a team, Kilgore averages more than 15 yards per reception, while one out of every nine catches goes for a touchdown. Jasper has the game's biggest "home run threat" in Randy Spikes, so the big-play edge seems to favor Jasper, but Kilgore's made a living over the last three seasons on big plays in the postseason. Don't think Kilgore has forgotten how to win on the state's biggest stage: the high school football playoffs.