Palestine Wildcats (7-2, 3-0)
vs.
Fairfield Eagles (6-3, 3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Fairfield

Coaches
Palestine: Lance Angel
Fairfield: John Bachtel

Last week
Palestine: def. Mexia, 63-24
Fairfield: idle

Playmakers

Palestine

  • RB/LB Jadarrius Beasley (5 carries, 117 yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Mexia)
  • RB Darrius Stephens (7 carries, 98 yards, TD last week vs. Mexia)
  • QB Gee Clark, Soph. (9 of 18, 139 yards, 3 TDs last week vs. Mexia)
  • DB Jordan Anthony (96-yard interception return for TD last week vs. Mexia)
  • WR Sheldon Watson (33-yard TD reception last week vs. Mexia)

 

Fairfield

  • QB Aaron Cain, Sr., 6-2, 171 (68 of 144, 857 yards, 8 TDs, 9 INTs; 43 carries, 299 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Andre Welch, Sr., 6-0, 215 (190 carries, 970 yards, 11 TDs)
  • RB Larry Rose, Jr., 5-11, 168 (87 carries, 663 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR Chris Lide, Jr., 6-1, 180 (25 catches, 317 yards, 5 TDs)
  • LB Jeremiah Simpson, Jr., 5-11, 180 (57 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)

 

Just the facts

  • Palestine is aiming for a district title, which it would earn with a win over Fairfield, which won last season's league crown.
  • The Wildcats put up over 400 yards of total offense in their rout of Mexia, which set a season-high for points in a game this year for Palestine.
  • For the year, Palestine averages 34.9 points per game while the defense surrenders an average of 19.7.
  • Palestine is shooting for its eighth win of the season, which would the most since 2006's team finished 9-3.
  • Fairfield, which went 10-0 in the 2011 regular season, has won three straight since enduing a three-game losing streak when the Eagles were outscored by Center, No. 1 Navasota and Glen Rose, 112-36.
  • The Eagles average 28.1 points per game offensively, while their defense is allowing opponents 22.6.

 

 

 

Palestine RB Darrius Stephens. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

 

Palestine DB Ivory Brown. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Fairfield running game vs. Palestine defensive front. The Eagles' bread and butter this season has been their rushing attack, which 230.6 yards per game. However, Fairfield is averaging almost 300 rushing yards per game in district. The Eagles have three players that have run for at least 299 yards on the season. Fairfield is good for about 100 yards passing a game, but quarterback Aaron Cain has thrown nine interceptions to eight touchdown passes. So, if Palestine can take away Fairfield's running game, it will be put pressure on the Eagles to get it done through the air. Fairfield only completes 47 percent of its throws, and hasn't attempted more than 23 passes or thrown for more than 204 yards all season long. Clearly, Fairfield would rather stick to the ground and it will be up to Palestine's defensive front to force the Eagles out of their comfort zone.

Don't be surprised if: Fairfield comes out of the gate a little sluggish after taking last week off. Palestine had one of its best offensive outputs of the year a week ago, so expect the Wildcats to force the action early on. The key for Fairfield will be to not let Palestine built too big of a lead. As mentioned above, the Eagles' offense is run-first and is not a come-from-behind type of team. If Palestine can get out to a two-score lead early, the pressure will turn way up on the defending district champion Eagles.