Jasper Plays Heavy Underdog Role Against Undefeated Navasota
Class 3A Division II Region III
Jasper Bulldogs (9-2)
Navasota Rattlers (11-0)
6 p.m. Friday
Buddy Moorhead Stadium, Conroe
Jasper: Darrell Barbay
Navasota: Lee Fedora
Jasper: def. Groesbeck, 58-28
Navasota: def. China Spring, 62-16
Next week: Winner plays Coldspring-Oakhurst (9-2) or LaMarque (10-1) in a 3A Division II Region III semfinal.
- ATH Demarcus Collins, Sr., 5-11, 180
- QB Steven Walker, Jr., 5-11, 190
- RB Terrance Cuney, Jr., 5-9, 205
- LB DeAnthony Cuney, Sr., 6-2, 215
- RB Donavan Middleton, Sr., 5-10, 190
- OL Terrell Cuney, Jr., 6-2, 270
- LB Shawn Jones, Sr., 6-2, 225
- OL Dominic Limbrick, Sr., 6-0, 275
- WR Jonavan Limbrick
- RB Deroddrick Hadnot
- QB Ka’Darius Baker, Sr. (161 of 254, 2,946 yards, 37 TDs, 4 INTs; 2 rush TDs)
- WR Solomon McGinty, Sr. (62 catches, 1,281 yards, 16 TDs)
- WR/DB Austin Collins, Sr. (55 catches, 1,109 yards, 17 TDs; 1 rush TD; 43 tackles, 5 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 def. TDs)
- LB Jaylyin Minor, Sr. (110 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- DL Jordan Wells, Jr. (103 tackles, 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles)
- LB Dustin Savensky, Sr. (110 tackles)
- DB Deiontte Taylor, Jr. (47 tackles, 3 INTs, 9 pass breakups)
- RB Derrion Randle, Soph. (45 carries, 381 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB/DB Xavier Creeks, Sr. (48 carries, 529 yards, 5 TDs; 58 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Jake Bauer, Sr. (77 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 kick blocks, 1 def. TD)
Just the facts
- Jasper averages 42.1 points per game and allows 15.9.
- Navasota averages 47.5 points per game and allows 5.4.
- Jasper has shut out two opponents and held four to single digits.
- Navasota has shut out five opponents and held nine to single digits.
- The two teams that have beaten Jasper are a combined 20-2 (West Orange-Stark and Carthage).
- Navasota QB Ka’Darius Baker has thrown 77 touchdown passes and seven interceptions since the start of the 2011 season.
- Navasota’s closest game has been 28 points (36-8 win vs. Coldspring-Oakhurst on Sept. 7)
Key matchup: Jasper’s secondary vs. Navasota’s passing game. There are three things working against Jasper in this matchup: (1) Jasper hasn’t played a lot of teams with stellar passing games; (2) the one team that had one (Carthage) lit up the Bulldogs and scored 49 points, the most Jasper has allowed all season; and (3) Navasota’s passing game is likely the best Jasper will see all year. Navasota QB Ka’Darius Baker has an insane 77-to-7 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio. Solomon McGinty and Austin Collins give Baker two playmaking receivers, and the Rattlers run the ball well enough to keep their opponents from selling out to stop the pass. Even if they do, chances are they can’t stop them. Jasper has the athletes to match speed with just about any opponent, but Carthage proved that you can beat Jasper through the air. There’s no doubt coach Lee Fedora has probably memorized the game film from the Carthage/Jasper contest. If Jasper can’t at least slow down Navasota’s passing game, the Bulldogs have no chance to upset the team that finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
Don’t be surprised if: Navasota’s offensive firepower is too much for Jasper. The Bulldogs have displayed their own propensity to score points much of the season, but they do it mostly via the run. That means that Jasper cannot allow Navasota to build an early lead because chances are, the Bulldogs will have a difficult time using the run game to dig them out of a hole and match scores with the pass-happy Rattlers. Jasper has the personnel to play with Navasota; the team proved that when it took a 24-21 lead at Carthage before the home team’s passing game took over to clinch a 49-31 victory. Navasota is the clear favorite, as it will be for almost every game from here on. It will take a mistake-free game — namely, a turnover-free game — and a strong defensive effort for Jasper to pull off the upset. The Bulldogs are more than capable of doing that, but it’s not likely.