High-Powered Offenses Collide in Friday’s 14-4A Opener Between Mount Pleasant + Sulphur Springs
Mount Pleasant Tigers (3-2)
Sulphur Springs Wildcats (3-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Gerald Prim Stadium, Sulphur Springs
- Mount Pleasant: Mart Graham
- Sulphur Springs: Greg Owens
- Mount Pleasant: idle
- Sulphur Springs: idle
- Mount Pleasant: at Marshall
- Sulphur Springs: at Texas High
- WR K.D. Cannon, Sr., 6-0, 160 (committed to Baylor; 36 catches, 636 yards, 9 TDs; 1 KO return TD)
- QB Cullen Grubbs, Sr., 6-1, 200 (88 of 147, 1,271 yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs)
- WR Andrew Flanagan, Sr., 6-0, 196 (23 catches, 287 yards, 3 TDs)
- DB Keanan Brown, Fr. (3 INTs, 2 def. TDs)
- DE T'Nheous Smith, Sr., 6-1, 224
- LB Josh Scoggin, Sr., 5-11, 175
- WR Jaquille Rodgers, Jr., 6-0, 150
- QB Larry Pryor, Jr., 6-1, 185 (88 of 137, 1,104 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs; 67 carries, 392 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Willy Ivery, Sr., 5-8, 180 (77 carries, 508 yards, 11 TDs; 8 catches, 103 yards)
- LB Derick Ingram, Sr. (45 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles)
- FS Zach Spigner, Jr., 6-0, 180 (40 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)
- WR Alex Burney, Sr., 5-8, 165 (22 catches, 285 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Isaiah Lacy, Sr., 5-9, 150 (20 catches, 306 yards, 3 TDs)
- OL Jess Jenkins, Jr., 6-3, 290
Just the facts
- Sulphur Springs won last year's meeting 71-65 at Mount Pleasant.
- Sulphur Springs is 21-12 vs. Mount Pleasant since 1980.
- Sulphur Springs has won 10 consecutive games vs. Mount Pleasant.
- Mount Pleasant's last win against Sulphur Springs was 17-14 in 2002.
- Mount Pleasant senior running back T.L. Taylor, who ran for 564 yards and five touchdowns in the Tigers' first four games, is out with a collarbone injury.
- Mount Pleasant senior cornerback Ladarius Craddock, who has three interceptions in the Tigers' first four games, is out for the season with a knee injury.
- Mount Pleasant averages 37.0 points per game and allows 30.2.
- Sulphur Springs averages 39.2 points per game and allows 40.8.
- After winning three consecutive games to start the season, Mount Pleasant has dropped back-to-back games to Class 3A opponents Kilgore (48-20) and Atlanta (32-14).
- After a 1-2 start, Sulphur Springs has won its last two games: 43-9 at Paris and 77-65 at Corsicana.
- Mount Pleasant senior K.D. Cannon, who holds about 30 college offers, has caught 201 passes for 3,237 yards and 44 touchdowns in 26 games since the start of the 2011 season.
- Sulphur Springs junior Larry Pryor, who is being recruited as a safety, holds seven offers: Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech
- Sulphur Springs senior athlete Willy Ivery holds five college offers: Colorado State, New Mexico, North Texas, Texas State, and Toledo.
Key matchup: Mount Pleasant's defensive front vs. Sulphur Springs' ground game. Mount Pleasant's three-game winning streak to start the year came to a screeching halt during the last couple of weeks as a pair of Class 3A opponents -- Kilgore and Atlanta -- beat the Tigers by a combined 46 points.
Those smaller classification assailants ran the ball successfully against the Tigers, who have had problems in the recent past with stopping strong rushing attacks. Sulphur Springs is not the grind-it-out type of team that Kilgore or Atlanta may be, but the Wildcats' uptempo spread offense certainly depends on a consistent running game.
The bad news for Mount Pleasant is that Sulphur Springs' two best players -- junior quarterback Larry Pryor and senior running back Willy Ivery -- are the Wildcats' primary ball carriers. That duo has combined for 900 rushing yards and 15 touchdown runs in the Wildcats' first five games and averages 6.3 yards per carry.
Mount Pleasant must limit Sulphur Springs' ground game so the Tigers can give standout receiver K.D. Cannon and quarterback Cullen Grubbs as many chances as possible to provide some big plays of their own.
Don't be surprised if: These longtime rivals assemble another high-scoring shootout.
Both teams average more than five touchdowns per game, but they're having similar problems stopping their opponents. That creates the perfect recipe for another long night for the defenses with plenty of points on the scoreboard.
More importantly, this game should have a significant impact on the District 14-4A race. This league appears to be relatively wide open with five of its six inhabitants bringing winning records into this week's action.
Friday's game is the first of three for Sulphur Springs that should have a huge impact on the Wildcats' postseason hopes as they face Texas High and Hallsville during the next two weeks. Mount Pleasant sees Texas High in two weeks.
In other words, there's more on the line than only I-30 bringing rights in this one.