District 16-5A’s Late Playoff Scenarios Will Take Shape During Hallsville’s Game With Marshall
Hallsville Bobcats (2-5, 2-1)
Marshall Mavericks (4-4, 3-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Marverick Stadium, Marshall
- Hallsville: David Plunk
- Marshall: Clint Harper
- Hallsville: lost to Pine Tree, 22-17
- Marshall: def. Greenville, 42-14
- Hallsville: vs. Texas High, Oct. 28
- Marshall: at Pine Tree, Oct. 28
- OL Slade Brown, Sr., 6-4, 280
- LB Blair Fernandez, Sr., 5-9, 190
- DL Drew Johnson, Sr., 6-3, 225
- WR Chris Kuler, Sr., 6-3, 180
- WR/DB Ty Meissner, Sr.
- LB James Nelson, Sr., 5-11, 200 (Doubtful due to injury)
- OL Cody Rogers, Sr., 6-5, 240
- RB Josh Taylor, Jr., 5-11, 180
- ATH Cam Haller, Sr., 5-10, 205 (Committed to Texas A&M baseball)
- OL Chasen Hines, Jr., 6-3, 332
- DB/WR Corteze Hurd, Jr., 6-1, 170
- DB/WR Tre Macon, Jr., 5-11, 190
- OL Kameron King, Jr., 6-3, 272
- QB Hunter Herrington, Jr., 5-11, 190s)
Just the facts
- Friday's game is a meeting of District 16-5A's only two one-loss teams.
- Texas High is comfortably in control of the district with a 3-0 record while Marshall owns a 3-1 record and Hallsville possesses a 2-1 record.
- The bottom line is, the team that wins this game will certainly win the district's second place spot if it wins its remaining games afterward.
- The Bobcats hold a game in hand against Marshall and will get to exercise it Nov. 4. Marshall's regular season will end after playing Pine Tree next.
- District 16-5A's outlook for playoff-bound teams isn't great outside of unbeaten Texas High in the top spot. A majority of the seven other teams' wins have come against district competition.
- Marshall went 1-3 against non-district competition. Hallsville went 0-4.
- The Bobcats are 1-2 on the road. The Mavericks are 2-2 at home.
- Hallsville owns a 2-1 record against Marshall through the past three seasons, which coincides with both teams' senior classes being on campus.
- However, the Mavericks won last year's meeting by a score of 56-21.
Key matchup: Marshall running back Cameron Haller and the supporting offensive backfield versus Hallsville's defense.
Haller, a Texas A&M baseball catcher commitment, is quite the football player as well. He surpassed 1,000 rushing yards last week and is nearly 44 percent of the Mavericks' offense.
Marshall's ground game at large, currently at 1,895 yards, is 72 percent of the team's offense. The passing game especially struggled early this season and, even as it recovers, only completes throws about 47 percent of the time with seven touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Hallsville's goal in this game is clear. It needs to slow the opposing running game.
Linebacker Blair Fernandez and defensive end Drew Johnson, both seniors, will be the Bobcats' players to watch as they go up against Haller and the complimentary running backs. Linebacker James Nelson got carted off the field in the loss to Pine Tree last week.
Hallsville must slow Marshall down to stay in the contest. Its own offense averages 24.7 points in district competition, sixth-best of eight teams in the league.
Marshall has averaged 41 points per game against the district.
Don't be surprised if: Hallsville plays an aggressive game.
Without diving into all the complexities of the late chase for the four playoff berths out of District 16-5A, the only way the Bobcats control their own postseason destiny is by winning their final three games.
That could change after outcomes from other district games are learned, but, ahead of kickoff, that's the only sure way Hallsville goes dancing.
If things go south Friday, expect the Bobcats to take some chances to retain possession of the ball. Going for it on fourth down and onside kicks are on the table at the first sense Marshall is on the cusp of taking control of the game.