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Jacksonville Tries to Pull First-Round Upset of Lancaster

Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown looks for an open receiver against Whitehouse on Oct. 12. (Noreen Nartia, ETSN.fm)

Class 4A Division II Region II
Bi-District Playoff

Jacksonville Indians (4-6)
vs.
Lancaster Tigers (9-1)

7:30 p.m. Thursday
City Bank Stadium, Forney

Coaches
Jacksonville: Chris Taber
Lancaster: Chris Gilbert

Next week: Winner plays Hallsville or Lucas Lovejoy in a 4A Division II Region II area playoff.

Playmakers

Jacksonville

  • ATH D.D. Franklin, Sr. 6-1, 180 (68 of 107, 1,027 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs; 74 carries, 383 yards, 2 TDs; 31 catches, 585 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Darrell Minifee, Sr., 5-11, 160 (60 catches, 697 yards, 5 TDs)
  • QB Carter McCown, Soph., 6-2, 165 (90 of 166, 1,247 yards, 13 TDs, 9 INTs)
  • WR/DB Londedric Taylor, Sr., 5-11, 170 (18 catches, 343 yards, 6 TDs)
  • RB Stacey Cummings, Jr. (50 carries, 201 yards, 3 TDs)

 

Lancaster

  • QB Demarcus Ayers, Sr. (67 of 119, 1,005 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs; 102 carries, 857 yards, 11 TDs)
  • RB Joseph Paden, Sr. (119 carries, 847 yards, 10 TDs)
  • ATH Nick Harvey, Jr. (11 of 29, 282 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; 42 carries, 509 yards, 4 TDs; 30 catches, 474 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR Nick Alexander, Jr. (14 catches, 286 yards, 4 TDs)
  • DE Daeshon Hall, Sr., 6-6, 220 (committed to Texas)

 

Just the facts

  • This is Jacksonville’s 12th playoff appearance since 1996. The Indians’ best season came in 2000 when they reached the state quarterfinals.
  • Because of injury, the Indians have used two quarterbacks this season. Sophomore Carter McCown and senior D.D. Franklin have combined to pass for 2,247 yards and 25 touchdowns.
  • Jacksonville’s offense averages 26.9 points per game, while the defense surrenders 33.3.
  • The Indians and Tigers share one common opponent — John Tyler. Lancaster defeated JT, 26-21, back in September, while Jacksonville was drubbed 59-7 three weeks ago.
  • Lancaster reached as high as No. 2 in the state rankings before suffering a 17-0 loss to Red Oak on Oct. 27.
  • The Tigers average 35.9 points per game offensively, while their defense gives up an average of 14.3.

 

 

Jacksonville ATH D.D. Franklin. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

 

Jacksonville WR/DB Darrell Minifee. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Lancaster quarterback Demarcus Ayers vs. Jacksonville defense. Ayers has served as the Tigers’ offensive catalyst in 2012 with 1,852 total yards and 24 touchdowns. The dynamic playmaker has shown the ability to burn opposing defenses with both his arm and his legs. Ayers averages 15 yards per completion and 8.4 yards per rush. So keeping him contained will be priority No. 1 for a Jacksonville defense that’s had marginal success against versatile quarterbacks this season. Against John Tyler, Jacksonville limited Lions QB Greg Ward to 262 total yards. The Indians also held Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes to just 14 completions in 34 attempts, forcing an interception. If Jacksonville can slow Ayers and the Lancaster offense, the Indians have enough playmakers on offense to make it a game.

Don’t be surprised if: This is closer than most expect. Lancaster is the clear favorite, but Jacksonville has starting quarterback Carter McCown back after he suffered a injury in the John Tyler game. With McCown taking snaps, that allows D.D. Franklin to wreak havoc in the passing game where he is second on the team in receptions and yards despite starting five games at QB this season. Lancaster has a solid pass rush with Texas commit Daeshon Hall at defensive end, but McCown and Jacksonville had success in the season opener against a good defensive front in Carthage by getting the ball out of McCown’s hands quickly and letting the playmakers at receiver go to work.

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