Henderson Lions (2-1)

Vs.

Newton Eagles (1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Singletary Stadium, Newton

 

Coaches
  • Henderson: Phil Castles
  • Newton: W.T. Johnson

 

Last week
  • Henderson: def. Rusk, 50-21
  • Newton: idle

 

Next week
  • Henderson: vs. Daingerfield, Sept. 26
  • Newton: at Orangefield, Sept. 26

 

Playmakers

Henderson

  • QB Zane Boles, Sr., 6-5, 210 (455 passing yards, 4 total TDs, 223 rushing yards)
  • RB/LB Randy Davis, Sr., 6-0, 180 (232 rushing yards)
  • LB Dalton Goode, Sr., 5-11, 205 (19 tackles)
  • LB Seth Hensley, Sr., 5-11, 205 (42 tackles)
  • DL Zach Allen, Sr., 6-1, 190 (12 tackles)
  • RB Lakendrick VanZandt, Jr. (114 yards)
  • DL Cadarius Caldwell, Jr.
  • DB Tre Lewis, Sr., 5-11, 170 
  • OL Trevor Still, Sr., 5-11, 225

Newton
  • QB/DB Roney Elam, Sr., 6-3, 170 (144 passing yards, 48 rushing yards)
  • RB/DB Calum Foster, Sr., 5-11, 175 (144 rushing yards)
  • OL Brent Simmons, Sr., 6-3, 287
  • RB Gabe Foster, Jr., 6-1, 170 (97 all-purpose yards)
  • DB Kirkland Foster, Soph., 5-11, 155 (9 tackles)
  • ATH Jace Thomas, Sr., 5-8, 170 (146 rushing yards)
  • DL Hunter Flanigan, Jr., 6-0, 160 (9 tackles)
  • LB Raylin Davis, Sr., 5-8, 170 (1 fumble recovery)
  • OL/DL Dave Lewis, Sr., 6-0, 265 (10 tackles)

 

Just the facts
  • Friday's game is a meeting between a Class 3A Division II team (Newton) and a Class 4A Division I team (Henderson).
  • The two teams have not met since the start of the new century.
  • Henderson quarterback Zane Boles has thrown for 455 yards. That places him 15th among East Texas quarterbacks through three games. He also has 223 rushing yards for 678 total yards.
  • Newton athlete Roney Elam is a Texas A&M verbal commitment.
  • Henderson has not won three of its first four games since the 2011 season.
  • With a loss, Newton would drop to 1-2. It has not had that record since the 2004 season, a still very successful 12-3 season capped off with a Class 2A Division I state championship appearance.

 

Newton's Roney Elam, a Texas A&M commitment, should see the most time under center in the Eagles' offense. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Newton's offense verus Henderson's defense. The Eagles have been good on offense through two games, but the unit has not reached its top potential. Texas A&M commitment and Newton athlete Roney Elam has 192 total yards as the team's primary quarterback.

Taking on Henderson won't be an easy way for the Newton offense to reach high gear. The Lions' unit allowed a season-worst 28 points in a 28-24 loss to an undfeated Atlanta team. It held a powerful Athens offense to 20 points in a win and kept Rusk a great length away for a 50-21 victory last week.

The Eagles do have a solid all-around ground game responsible for 538 yards in two games. Jace Thomas has 146 yards and Gabe Foster is right there with 144 rushing yards of his own. A committee of five other runners, including Elam, have Newton's remaining 240 yards on the ground.

Henderson would be best served stacking the box, and it has nice size along the front seven. If Newton is forced to go to the pass, defensive back Tresan Ebner has the Lions' two interceptions this season.

When the roles are reversed, Henderson's offense is a balanced attack. Quarterback Zane Boles, at 6-4 and 205 pounds, looks like a pro-style quarterback. His numbers back it up as one of East Texas' best passers in the early season. However, Boles also has more than 200 yards on the ground. Running back Randy Davis has chipped in 232 yards for the Lions' ground game as well.

Boles will have to be very careful though. Elam, projected to be a defensive back at the next level, has two interceptions in two games.

Don't be surprised if: Newton makes a game of it. The Eagles have their share of explosive players returning from a 12-1 team a year ago. It's only a matter of time before Elam and the Newton offense piece it all together in a big game. It's up to Henderson's defense to make sure it's not at the Lions' expense.

Henderson linebacker Dalton Goode. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)