Joaquin + Tenaha Meet For Fifth Straight Season-Opener
Tenaha Tigers (0-0)
Joaquin Rams (0-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Ram Stadium, Joaquin
- Tenaha: Terry Ward
- Joaquin: Wayne Gandy
- Tenaha: at Brook Hill, Sept. 5
- Joaquin: vs. Woodville, Sept. 5
- RB/DB Cobe Caraway, Sr., 5-9, 168 (48 carries, 598 yards, 4 TDs; 2 catches, 43 yards, 1 TD; 29 tackles, 1 PBU in 5 games)
- WR/DB DeAndre Thomas, Sr., 6-1, 170 (19 catches, 320 yards, 3 TDs; 2 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD; 32 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 PBU)
- ATH T.J. Thomas, Sr., 5-8, 165 (60 carries, 380 yards, 5 TDs; 5 catches, 39 yards; 59 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 INT, 5 PBU)
- DL Blaine Cummings, Jr. (76 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 PAT block)
- OL Calvin Estes, Jr.
- LB DeMarcus Perry, Jr. (53 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 1 PBU)
- OL Charles Reed, Jr.
- OL Luis Campos, Jr.
- RB/DB Nate Belrose, Soph., 5-9, 165 (180 carries, 1,514 yards, 16 TDs; 12 catches, 326 yards, 2 TDs; 67 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB Jonathan Rico, Sr., 5-8, 163 (178 carries, 1,232 yards, 9 TDs; 4 catches, 43 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Adam Mason, Sr., 5-10, 219 (95 tackles, 3 for loss)
- OL Dalton Wheless, Sr., 5-10, 223
- TE Tristan Hairgrove, Sr., 5-11, 210 (3 catches, 61 yards)
- DL Tristan Smith, Sr., 5-11, 190 (39 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- OL/DL Colby Hamilton, Jr., 6-2, 265 (28 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT)
- OL Rustin Miller, Soph., 5-10, 272
Just the facts
- Joaquin and Tenaha have met in each of the past 10 seasons. The two programs were district opponents during the span from 2004 through 2008. Since then, the Rams and Tigers have played their season-opening game against each other.
- Tenaha has owned a slight edge the last 10 seasons. The Tigers are 6-4 against the Rams.
- Tenaha is 4-1 against Joaquin in season-opening games.
- Joaquin has 11 starters from its 2013 Class 1A Division I bi-district finalist team returning, six players on the defensive side and five players on offense.
- Tenaha also returns 11 starters from a Class 1A Division II state semifinalist campaign last season with six players on the offensive side of the ball and five on the defense.
- Tenaha's most "disappointing" performance in the past three seasons was its semifinal loss last season. The program won the Class 1A Division II state championship in 2011 and made another appearance in the title game the following season.
- Joaquin running back Jonathan Rico and Nate Belrose combined for 2,789 yards last year.
Key matchup: Joaquin's running game against Tenaha's defensive front. There's no doubt the Tigers will have trouble containing the Rams running abilities. Joaquin's offensive line is big, especially for the 2A level. Rico and Belrose's numbers stand alone among the teams' returning players. Fortunately for Tenaha, the streak of all-around athletes continues. Its defensive skill players are impressive. Junior defensive lineman Blaine Cummings is a monster with 76 tackles as a sophomore.
Watch out for Tenaha's DeAndre Thomas. He had 320 yards on 19 catches last season and impressive numbers as a defensive back last season.
Don't be surpirsed if: The game is decided on the final drive. Jaoquin and Tenaha are very evenly matched across the ball, both teams return the same amount of versatile starters and have the exact same amount of returning lettermen overall. Neither team has a depth advantage. The 2014 meeting between Joaquin and Tenaha will have to be earned.