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District 14-4A’s Third Place Up for Grabs When Hallsville Hosts Texas High

Hallsville’s Thaddeus Fagan (27) runs the ball while Hayden Wall (78) blocks during the Bobcats’ 54-49 loss at Mount Pleasant. Hallsville can clinch third place in District 14-4A with a win Friday vs. Texas High. (Richard Shoemaker, ETSN.fm)

Texas High Tigers (3-5, 2-2)
vs.
Hallsville Bobcats (6-3, 2-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Bobcat Stadium, Hallsville

Coaches
Texas High: Barry Norton
Hallsville: David Plunk

Last week
Texas High: def. Marshall, 20-6
Hallsville: lost to Mount Pleasant, 54-49

Playmakers

Texas High

  • LB Anthony Rhone, Jr., 6-1, 205 (107 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries)
  • RB Treveon Walker, Jr. (115 carries, 776 yards, 4 TDs; 25 catches, 289 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DT Jonathan Hunt, Sr., 6-0, 285 (53 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • RB Javon Thomas (87 carries, 406 yards, 3 TDs)
  • WR Jarion Anderson (20 catches, 255 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB Clete Norton (58 of 130, 574 yards, 4 TDs, 8 INTs)
  • DE Joseph Meredith, Sr., 5-10, 190 (43 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries)
  • LB Darius Crowell (62 tackles)

 

Hallsville

  • QB Macailyn Wilder, Jr., 5-10, 175 (16 of 27, 213 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 109 carries, 821 yards, 18 TDs)
  • DE Coby Bradford, Sr., 6-1, 205 (58 tackles, 26 for loss, 11.5 sacks, 1 forced fumbles, 20 QB pressures)
  • LT Hayden Wall, Sr., 6-4, 270
  • S Cayden Ferrill, Sr., 5-10, 195 (68 tackles, 16 for loss, 1 sack, 4 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 4 PBUs)
  • QB Austin Toney, Sr., 6-3, 185 (114 of 172, 1,378 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs; 6 rush TDs)
  • RB Thaddeus Fagan, Sr., 6-0, 190 (103 carries, 627 yards, 4 TDs; 18 catches, 172 yards)
  • DB Jesse Navarro, Sr., 5-9, 170 (60 tackles, 4 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries)
  • DB Santos Estrada, Sr., 5-9, 175 (41 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 13 PBUs)
  • WR Andre Jones, Jr., 5-9, 170 (49 catches, 692 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DT Tray King, Sr. (43 tackles, 20 for loss, 3 sacks)

 

Just the facts

  • Texas High averages 17.3 points per game and allows 25.9.
  • Hallsville averages 34.2 points per game and yields 24.4.
  • After averaging 10.0 points per game in its first four contests (1-3 record), Texas High  has scored 24.5 points per game during district play (2-2 record).
  • Hallsville allowed 15.5 points per game during a six-game win streak, but has yielded 46.0 per game during its last two contests, both of which were losses.
  • Hallsville’s Macailyn Wilder has run for 487 yards and 11 touchdowns in four district games, averaging 9.2 yards per carry.
  • Wilder ran 23 times for 211 yards and five touchdowns in last week’s 54-49 loss at Mount Pleasant.
  • Hallsville’s Austin Toney has thrown for at least 151 yards in six consecutive games.
  • Texas High is 7-4 vs. Hallsville since 1988.
  • Texas High has won three consecutive games vs. Hallsville.
  • Texas High beat Hallsville 12-10 in their last meeting in 2009.

 

 

Texas High DT Jonathan Hunt. (Courtesy Texarkana Gazette)

Key matchup: Texas High’s defense vs. Hallsville’s two-quarterback system. There’s an old saying that if you’ve got two quarterbacks, you don’t have one. Well, don’t tell that to coach David Plunk and Hallsville. They’ve run a two-quarterback system the vast majority of the season, and pass-first QB Austin Toney and run-first QB Macailyn Wilder have both produced in crucial situations. Toney has thrown for almost 1,400 yards and has been a very consistent performer with his six consecutive 150-yard efforts. Wilder has become the Bobcats’ top rushing threat, teaming with tailback Thaddeus Fagan to average a combined 160.9 rushing yards per game. Wilder’s 18 rushing touchdowns put him among the top 15 scoring leaders in East Texas. Considering all of that, Texas High must have a big game from some of its top defensive playmakers, such as defensive tackle Jonathan Hunt and standout junior linebacker Anthony Rhone, who has 45 more tackles than any other Tiger.

 

Hallsville QB Austin Toney. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don’t be surprised if: Texas High’s defense keeps this game close into the second half, but Hallsville’s offense wins a couple of third- and fourth-quarter matchups to propel the Bobcats to the victory. Both teams are already in the playoffs and know their seeding: Division II No. 2 for Hallsville, Division I No. 2 for Texas High. But third place is something to play for, so that should give each team an incentive. Hallsville has lost two games in a row, but the Bobcats lost those games by a combined 12 points to the two teams at the top of the 14-4A standings: Sulphur Springs and Mount Pleasant. Texas High lost to those same teams by a combined 32 points. Additionally, Hallsville beat Marshall and Pine Tree by a combined 60 points, while Texas High beat those same 14-4A foes by a combined 31 points. The transitive power isn’t an exact science, but those numbers suggest that Hallsville is the favorite in this fight for third place in 14-4A, and with home-field advantage in a regular-season finale, the Bobcats could take advantage of the circumstances.

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