Hughes Springs + Arp Set for Smashmouth Meeting
Arp Tigers (1-0)
Hughes Springs Mustangs (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Mustang Stadium, Hughes Springs
- Arp: Dale Irwin
- Hughes Springs: Chris Edwards
- Arp: defeated Paul Pewitt, 52-12
- Hughes Springs: defeated Clarksville, 37-17
- Arp: at Franklin, Sept. 12
- Hughes Springs: at Waskom, Sept. 12
Just the facts
- Arp running back Marcalas Johnson, who holds an offer from Colorado State, averaged about 32 yards per run in last week's 52-12 win against Paul Pewitt. He only recorded four carries.
- Future college talent doesn't end for Arp with Johnson. Defensive and offensive lineman Tyrone Hunt recently committed to UTSA.
- Arp did not throw the ball much against Paul Pewitt, but the offensive unit gained 125 yards through the air thanks in large part to Thomas Reese's 83 yards on two catches.
- Hughes Springs runs a Slot-T formation which means you can expect a run-dominant game Friday.
- Hughes Springs opens Mustang Stadium for the first time this season Friday. The program is 7-3 on the first night at the stadium through the past 10 seasons with games historically played against Clarksville, De Kalb and Hooks.
- RB Marcalas Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 180 (4 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD)
- OL/DL Tyrone Hunt, Sr., 6-4, 230 (committed to UTSA)
- LB Kalik Hines, Sr., 5-10, 200 (10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF)
- WR/DB Thomas Reese, Jr. (2 catches, 83 yards; 11 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
- OL Tristan Bowins, Sr.
- RB/LB Isaiah Baker, Jr. (8 carries, 121 yards, 3 TDS; 6 tackles)
- QB Justin Johnson, Jr. (2 of 3, 60 yards)
- ATH Jakeithon Medlock, Jr. (1 carry, 11 yards, 1 TD)
- RB/DB Fred Hopkins, Sr.
- TE/LB Hunter Smith, Sr., 6-1, 215
- OL/DL Paul Calderon, Sr.
- LB Corky Westmoreland, Sr.
- OL Asa Gaul, Sr.
- DB Malik Chism, Jr.
- LB Austin Watkins, Jr.
- RB Gabe Dubose, Soph.
Key matchup: Arp's speed versus Hughes Springs' defense. The Tigers can throw a lot at opponents. Take a look at their numbers from last week. Running back Marcalas Johnson averaged about 32 yards per carry last week in a cruise over Paul Pewitt. Isaiah Barker was not far behind with 121 yards on eight touches and three scores.
Arp's backs could be problems in the return game. That's a problem for the Mustangs. Hughes Springs gave up 105 return yards on six kicks against Clarksville.
Additionally, the Tigers can throw the ball. Quarterbacks Justin Johnson and Kayce Medlock combined to complete six of 10 passes for 125 yards largely in part to receiver Thomas Reese. Reese had 83 yards on two catches.
Fortunately for Hughes Springs, it has some ball hawks. Fred Hopkins and Malik Chism combined for four interceptions and 14 pass breakups last season and should make Arp think twice about airing it out. Hughes Springs' talent in the secondary will allow the team to focus more on the Tigers' running ability.
The Mustangs have a good defensive front with senior Paul Calderon on the defensive line and linebacker Corkey Westmoreland up in support. The two players combined for 11 tackles for loss, six sacks and four quarterback hurries last season.
It will take a great effort to suffocate Arp's dynamic offensive attack, but the talent is there for Hughes Springs.
Don't be surprised if: The game takes less than two and a half hours in real time to complete. Both teams have strengths in the running game and should keep the clock moving while working toward the end zone. If the defenses play up to their potentials, any fourth quarter deficit should be manageable. The problem at that point would be the clock.