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Kilgore’s Physical Running Game Meets Mount Pleasant’s High-Powered Passing Attack

 

Linebacker Jake Brantley and Kilgore shoot for 3-0 at Mount Pleasant on Friday. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

No. 8 Kilgore Bulldogs (2-0)
vs.
Mount Pleasant (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Sam Parker Field, Mount Pleasant

Coaches
Kilgore: Mike Wood
Mount Pleasant: Mart Graham

Last week
Kilgore: at Pine Tree, cancelled (lightning)
Mount Pleasant: def. Terrell, 76-33

Next week
Kilgore: vs. Spring Hill
Mount Pleasant: at Atlanta

Playmakers
Kilgore

  • MLB A.J. Davis, Sr., 6-0, 220 (21 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack)
  • RB JuJu Brown, Jr. (22 catches, 83 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB Cooper Coldiron, Sr., 5-11, 170 (6 of 8, 180 yards, 1 TD; 12 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD)
  • DT LaDarrin Anthony, Sr., 5-11, 225 (12 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 kick block)
  • OLB Jake Brantley, Jr., 5-10, 185 (12 tackles, 1 INT)
  • FB/DE Cornelius Bell, Sr., 6-1, 225 (9 carries, 37 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR/DB Q Brewster, Jr. (2 catches, 60 yards; 7 tackles, 1 kick block)
  • OL Clay Wiley, Sr., 6-1, 280

Mount Pleasant

  • WR K.D. Cannon, Jr., 6-0, 163 (28 catches, 495 yards, 9 TDs)
  • QB Montravious James, Sr., 6-0, 175 (58 of 87, 974 yards, 14 TDs, 0 INTs)
  • RB Terrance Taylor, Jr., 5-9, 165 (35 carries, 279 yards, 4 TDs; 11 catches, 96 yards)
  • WR Andre Flanagan, Jr., 6-0, 200 (10 catches, 134 yards)
  • ATH Laderius Craddock, Jr. (2 INTs; 6 kick returns, 32.3 average)
  • DB Jamald McGill, Sr., 5-11, 170 (3 INTs)
  • SS J.R. Gonzalez, Sr., 5-9, 170 (2 INTs)

Just the facts

  • Mount Pleasant averages 56.0 points per game
  • Kilgore averages 33.0 points per game
  • Mount Pleasant allows 26.7 points per game
  • Kilgore allows 3.5 points per game
  • Mount Pleasant junior receiver K.D. Cannon holds eight college offers: Baylor, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
  • Kilgore did not allow a point in its first six quarters of the season

Mount Pleasant WR K.D. Cannon. (Courtesy K.D. Cannon)
Kilgore LB A.J. Davis. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Mount Pleasant’s passing game vs. Kilgore’s secondary. Kilgore should be able to run the ball, so the Bulldogs will likely be able to produce points. But keeping Mount Pleasant off the board could be a different story. The Tigers have scored 57 or more points twice in three games, including last week’s 76-point outburst in a rout of Terrell. Montravious James has thrown 14 TD passes, nine of which have gone to K.D. Cannon, who will likely be the state’s top receiver prospect in the 2014 class. Cannon had a huge game against Terrell, catching more than a dozen passes for 200-plus yards and four touchdowns. Cannon’s not the only weapon. Andrew Flanagan is another tough matchup for defensive backs, and when Terrance Taylor isn’t averaging about eight yards per carry, he’s catching almost four passes per game out of the backfield. Kilgore will need a strong push from its defensive line to get pressure on James, but the Dogs also must contain the edges and not let the athletic senior QB kill them with his legs. Kilgore’s back seven is the strength of its team from an experience standpoint, so linebackers A.J. Davis and Jake Brantley and defensive backs Benny Colbert and Hector Peralez need to be at the top of their games for Kilgore to keep Mount Pleasant from scoring at will.

Don’t be surprised if: This turns out to be the best game in East Texas this week. Kilgore’s run-first offense and stifling defense against Mount Pleasant’s go-for-it-all passing game makes for one heck of an X’s and O’s matchup. Can Kilgore dictate the pace and force  Mount Pleasant into a style of game it isn’t as comfortable playing? Or can Mount Pleasant do something nobody has done vs. Kilgore yet — score at will — and force the run-first Bulldogs to play catch-up? The contrast in styles and talent on the field for both teams should make for a great non-district game that prepares both teams for their tough league schedules.

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