Jacksonville Looks To Get Back In Playoff Race When Indians Travel To Whitehouse
Jacksonville Indians (4-3, 1-3)
Whitehouse Wildcats (4-3, 1-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse
- Jacksonville: Chris Taber
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- Jacksonville: vs. John Tyler, Oct. 31
- Whitehouse: at Nacogdoches, Oct. 31
- QB Carter McCown, Sr., 6-4, 185 (91 of 159, 1,264 yards, 12 TDs, 9 INTs; 76 carries, 488 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Vadall Johnson, Soph., 5-7, 200 (75 carries, 611 yards, 7 TDs; 12 catches, 131 yards)
- RB Datavion Thacker, Jr., 5-9, 180 (67 carries, 504 yards, 9 TDs; 7 catches, 90 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Jeremy McAnally, Sr. (20 catches, 223 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Micah Edwards, Jr. (14 catches, 193 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Ja'Modrick Taylor (45 carries, 257 yards, 4 TDs; 2 catches, 20 yards)
- LB Dedrick Tatum, Jr., 5-8, 160
- OL Franklin Torres, Sr.
- S Justin Dunning, Sr., 6-3, 200 (63 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 INTs, fumble recovery, PBU; committed to Texas A&M)
- QB/CB Nate Brooks, Sr., 6-0, 150 (21 of 32, 218 yards, TD, 2 INTs; 18 carries, 98 yards, 2 TDs; 38 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs; committed to North Texas)
- RB/LB Dominique Hollie, Sr., 6-1, 225 (64 carries, 380 yards, 9 TDs; 6 catches, 69 yards, TD; 51 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- LB Dillan Klein, Sr., 6-1, 210 (56 tackles, sack, 2 QB pressures, fumble recovery)
- WR Trent Williams, Jr., 6-3, 185 (39 catches, 541 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Drew Smith, Sr., 5-11, 185 (37 catches, 478 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Eric Munoz, Sr., 5-9, 165 (32 catches, 367 yards, 3 TDs)
Just the facts
- This is the 23rd meeting between Jacksonville and Whitehouse. Jacksonville leads the all-time series, 12-10, but Whitehouse has won nine straight.
- Whitehouse and Jacksonville are separated by 21 miles.
- Jacksonville is averaging 42.7 points and 482.7 yards per game -- 291.3 rushing and 191.4 passing.
- Under head coach Chris Taber, Jacksonville is 8-20.
- The combined record of the three teams to beat Jacksonville -- Ennis, Lindale and Corsicana -- this season is 10-11.
- Whitehouse is averaging 37.1 points and 460.4 yards per game -- 187 rushing and 273.4 passing.
- Whitehouse is 16-4 under head coach Adam Cook.
- The combined record of the three teams to beat Whitehouse -- John Tyler, Lufkin and Ennis -- this season is 14-7.
Key matchup: Whitehouse rushing attack vs. Jacksonville defensive front. It sounds odd with Whitehouse's recent track record in the passing game, but running the football has become the Wildcats' best friend of late. Second-year coach Adam Cook opted to make a midseason quarterback change last week, starting cornerback Nate Brooks in favor of Jackson Allen after the Wildcats lost their first three district games of the season. The move worked wonders as Whitehouse earned a 38-35 road victory at Corsicana last Friday night, which gave the Wildcats' playoff hopes new life. Despite never playing the position on the varsity level, Brooks performed well. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, and ran 17 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Dominique Hollie added 185 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries as Whitehouse rolled up season-highs in rushing attempts (51) and rushing yards (309) in last week's victory. With the change at quarterback, the Whitehouse running game all of a sudden becomes a more crucial element to its offense.
Jacksonville's defense has struggled for most of the season. The Indians are allowing more than 41 points per game, and have had to rely on their potent offense to keep them in games this season. Despite the surprisingly solid passing numbers for Brooks, who is committed to North Texas as a defensive back, in his debut, at this point most would say Whitehouse's rushing attack has taken over as the Wildcats' most reliable element to their offense. If Jacksonville can contain Whitehouse's backs enough and force the inexperienced Brooks into obvious passing situations, the Indians' defense can begin sending extra rushers in an attempt to force bad decisions and potentially turnovers. With the shortcomings Jacksonville has experienced on defense this season, any kind of positive the momentum the "D" can create by creating takeaways could go a long way in keeping Jacksonville in the game when the fourth quarter rolls around. If Whitehouse is able to dictate the tempo with its resurgent ground game, it could be another long night for Jacksonville's defenders.
Don't be surprised if: Both Jacksonville and Whitehouse put forth their best efforts of the season. By virtue of Jacksonville's stunning five-overtime upset of Nacogdoches last week, both the Indians and Wildcats' playoff hopes suddenly have renewed hope. Whichever team comes out on top Friday night will see their chances of reaching the postseason drastically increase, while the loser's hopes of making the playoffs take a crushing hit. With both teams picking up their first district wins of the season a week ago, the confidence level for Jacksonville and Whitehouse is at an all-time high on the year, and the play on the field should reflect that. One thing to watch is how turnovers will affect the proceedings. Despite Brooks' remarkable showing vs. Corsicana, he was intercepted twice, which could be cause for concern for Whitehouse, which has thrown nine interceptions on the season. Likewise, Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown has thrown nine INTs on the year. Mistakes at inopportune times have defined the up-and-down seasons for both Jacksonville and Whitehouse. Whichever team plays the cleanest on Friday night may end up being the one that saves their season.