District of Doom Rivals Chapel Hill + Kilgore Meet Again With Spot in 3A D-I Semifinals On the Line
Class 3A Division I Region II
Chapel Hill Bulldogs (9-4)
No. 2 Kilgore Bulldogs (12-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Winner plays Stephenville or Lubbock Cooper in a 3A Division I state semifinal.
- RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 185 (committed to ULM; 127 carries, 979 yards, 11 TDs; 7 catches, 41 yards; 125 tackles, 12 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 3 PBU)
- QB Andrew Black, Sr., 6-1, 180 (179 of 318, 2,551 yards, 27 TDs, 11 INTs; 150 carries, 1,271 yards, 20 TDs)
- WR/DB Gabriel Robinson, Sr., 5-8, 160 (53 catches, 993 yards, 12 TDs; 48 tackles, 5 INTs, 5 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- OL/DL Keith Minor, Sr., 6-3, 237 (118 tackles, 15 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 QB pressure, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
- OL/DL Shaquille Warren, Sr., 6-3, 235 (83 tackles, 16 for loss, 7 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- WR Jeffery Minor, Jr., 6-0, 170 (41 catches, 472 yards, 5 TDs; 16 carries, 150 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB/LB Jesse Mumphrey, Sr., 5-9, 175 (73 carries, 506 yards, 8 TDs; 86 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure, 3 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, 1 PBU)
- DL Kevone Kennedy, Sr., 6-2, 230 (75 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 QB pressure, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Caleb Bragg, Sr., 5-11, 190 (121 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 PBU)
- DB Deundre Phillips, Soph. (84 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 INTs, 8 PBU, 3 forced fumbles)
- S Sammy Guzman, Sr., 6-0, 180 (22 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INTs, 2 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 def. TD in 3 games)
- S D.D. Mumphrey, Sr., 6-0, 185 (11 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU in 2 games)
- RB/DB Ja'Braylon Franklin, Soph. (45 carries, 273 yards, 3 TDs; 29 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- WR Lex Heckel, Sr., 6-1, 195 (27 catches, 356 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Malik Walker, Sr., 5-11, 175 (34 carries, 341 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Kevrin Justice, Jr., 5-11, 170 (154 carries, 1,464 yards, 28 TDs; 2 catches, 39 yards)
- RB Davieonta "JuJu" Brown, Sr. (135 carries, 1,072 yards, 15 TDs; 2 catches, 57 yards)
- ATH Benny Colbert, Sr., 5-10, 170 (32 of 57, 682 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs; 76 carries, 522 yards, 6 TDs)
- DL LaDarrin Anthony, Sr., 6-0, 257 (82 tackles, 19 for loss, 11 sacks, 30 QB pressures, 3 forced fumbles, 1 kick block)
- DL D.Q. Scott, Sr., 6-0, 252 (65 tackles, 15 for loss, 9 sacks, 20 QB pressurs, 3 forced fumbles)
- ATH Aaron Foy, Sr., 5-11, 165 (16 carries, 272 yards, 2 TDs; 12 catches, 347 yards, 4 TDs; 25 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 INTs, 6 PBU, 1 kick block)
- S Jake Brantley, Sr., 5-10, 185 (108 tackles, 9 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 5 recoveries, 4 INTs, 1 PBU)
- OL Clay Wiley, Sr., 6-2, 285
- OL Blake Guthrie, Jr., 6-2, 251
- WR/DB Joseph Shepherd, Sr. (3 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD; 34 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 8 PBU)
- WR Nick Orange, Jr., 6-3, 180 (15 catches, 223 yards, 2 TDs)
- TE Jared Wood, Jr., 6-3, 180 (6 catches, 191 yards, 4 TDs)
- LB Kris Haynes, Jr. (111 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 sacks, 6 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT)
- DL Caleb Wood, Sr. (60 tackles, 12.5 for loss, 9.5 sacks, 13 QB pressures, 1 punt block)
- FB Jacobie Vidal (59 carries, 365 yards, 5 TDs)
Just the facts
- Chapel Hill is averaging 44.4 points and 504.6 yards per game -- 303.4 rushing and 196.2 passing.
- For the season, Chapel Hill has run 835 plays from scrimmage for an average of 7.9 yards per snap.
- Since its 42-25 regular-season loss to Kilgore, Chapel Hill has won four straight.
- During the four-game winning streak, Chapel Hill is averaging 49 points and 530.8 yards per game -- 349 rushing and 181.8 passing.
- In its last four games, Chapel Hill has run 267 plays from scrimmage for an average of eight yards per snap.
- The cumulative record of the four teams that defeated Chapel Hill this season -- Whitehouse, Carthage, Gilmer and Kilgore -- is 47-4.
- Chapel Hill was held to a season-low 37 rushing yards in its regular-season loss to Kilgore, but did manage a season-high 356 yards through the air.
- Head coach Thomas Sitton's playoff record at Chapel Hill is 12-1 -- the only loss a 28-21 defeat to Henderson in the 2010 3A D-I state championship game.
- In its four losses this season, Chapel Hill was outscored by an average score of 48-27. In wins, Chapel Hill is outscoring opponents on average, 52-24.
- Chapel Hill is 3-1 all-time in state-quarterfinal games.
- Kilgore is averaging 43.7 points and 397.8 yards per game -- 320.8 rushing and 77.0 passing.
- For the season, Kilgore has run 545 plays from scrimmage for an average of 8.8 yards per snap.
- Kilgore has allowed 20 points or more just four times all season -- wins over Mount Pleasant (48-20), Chapel Hill (42-25), Gilmer (34-29) and Frisco Lone Star (56-21).
- The average margin of victory for Kilgore this season is 29.9 points.
- Kilgore has outscored its three playoff opponents 126-42 after outscoring its first three playoff opponents 113-35 last year.
- With a win Friday, Kilgore would have 13 wins in a season for just the second time in school history. The only time occurred during 2004's 16-0 state-championship season.
- Kilgore is 23-2 since the beginning of last season -- the only two losses to Stephenville (42-32) in last year's 3A D-I state semifinal and Gilmer (20-14) in last season's regular-season finale.
- Kilgore holds a 27-7 all-time lead in its series with Chapel Hill, and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
- Head coach Mike Wood is 35-14 in his four seasons at Kilgore. His predecessor Mike Vallery was 35-13-1 in his first four years at the helm.
- Kilgore is 2-3 all-time in state quarterfinals.
Key matchup: Chapel Hill offensive line vs. Kilgore defensive line. The only team to hold Chapel Hill to less than 170 rushing yards all season was Kilgore, which limited Chapel Hill to just 37 yards and 1.9 yards per carry. Despite a big night from quarterback Andrew Black, who passed for a season-high 356 yards, Chapel Hill struggled to do what it does best: run the football. Chapel Hill averages more than 300 yards per game on the ground, eclipsing the 500-yard plateau three times in a game this season, including its 38-14 area-round playoff win over Crandall. Simply put, when Chapel Hill struggles to run the football, the Bulldogs struggle to win. In its four losses this season, Chapel Hill averaged just 158.3 rushing yards. Conversely, Chapel Hill averages 375.1 yards on the ground in wins. Chapel Hill may not have the biggest 3A offensive line, but what it lacks in size it makes for in athleticism and conditioning. Chapel Hill's offense moves a break-neck pace, averaging 64 plays per game. By moving fast, the offensive line can be in position to catch a defensive front gasping for air off guard. And one small defensive breakdown is all it takes for Chapel Hill's talented backfield.
Black is the team's leading rusher, averaging almost 100 yards per game. But four other players -- not counting the injured Texas Tech commit Joseph Clark -- have at least 34 carries on the season. Wesley Thompson, a recent ULM commit, gets most of the action at running back and has come on strong during Chapel Hill's four-game winning streak, going for 334 yards and two touchdowns over his last four games. Jesse Mumphrey, Ja'Braylon Franklin, Malik Walker and even Jeffery Minor should all see carries Friday night. In all, Chapel Hill has had 12 different ball carriers and eight of them have scored at least one touchdown this season.
Stopping the run happens to be the Kilgore defense's specialty. Through 12 games, Kilgore is allowing just 77.5 rushing yards per game, which includes the masterpiece against Chapel Hill, which could be considered its most impressive performance all season. Kilgore's defense, anchored by senior linemen LaDarrin Anthony and D.Q. Scott, has amassed a whopping 90 tackles for loss this season -- an average of 7.5 per game. Forcing opposing offenses into second- and third-and-long situations by stopping running plays behind the line of scrimmage allow Kilgore's trio of Anthony and Scott and Jared Wood to pin their ears back and go after the passer. Those three have combined for 29.5 of Kilgore's eye-popping 47 sacks on the season. While Kilgore's offense has improved immensely from last season, its defense is still the heartbeat of the team and Kilgore's season will travel as far as its defense will take it.
With as bad as Chapel Hill struggled with its running game against Kilgore earlier in the season, it would not be surprising to see Chapel Hill use the play-fake and take shots early in the passing game to soften up the Kilgore defensive front. Typically, Chapel Hill likes to establish the running game first to set up the pass, but against a dominant defense like Kilgore, Chapel Hill may not be afforded that luxury. Chapel Hill may not need 300 rushing yards on the ground to be effective on offense, but will definitely need more production than it got in the regular-season encounter in order to have a chance at pulling off the upset.
Don't be surprised if: Chapel Hill comes out the aggressor and tries to get Kilgore on its heels at the outset. If there's one thing an underdog always needs it's a fast start. The atmosphere should be electric, the forecast calls for below-freezing temperatures by kickoff, a chance of precipitation and a stiff wind from the north blowing 10-20 mph. Whichever team can ignore the periphery and maintain its focus on the task at hand the best, should be able to weather an early storm -- literal or figurative. Each team has played in big games in front of big crowds this season. Chapel Hill faced off with Whitehouse in front of a packed-house at Rose Stadium, went on the road to face perennial state power Carthage, went through the usual suspects in the "District of Doom" and survived three rounds of the playoffs. Kilgore's non-district slate may not have been as daunting, but it did face off with Gilmer for the 16-3A title in front of a standing-room only crowd of more than 8,000 and came out victorious after a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter. Both teams have prepared all season for a matchup like this, and the winner could use the outcome to launch them into next week's state semifinal with loads of confidence.