Marshall + Pine Tree Try to Stay Alive in District 14-4A Playoff Race
Marshall Mavericks (2-5, 1-1)
Pine Tree Pirates (3-4, 0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Pirate Stadium, Longview
- Marshall: Clint Harper
- Pine Tree: Derrick Hennigan
- Marshall: won 64-59 vs. Mount Pleasant
- Pine Tree: lost 35-13 at Hallsville
- Marshall: vs. Texas High
- Pine Tree: vs. Sulphur Springs
- QB Justin Hart, Soph. (77 of 142, 1,091 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs)
- RB Deondre Osborne, Soph. (62 carries, 293 yards, 3 TDs; 9 catches, 151 yards, 3 TDs)
- ATH Jaque Kuykendall, Sr. (76 carries, 544 yards, 7 TDs; 10 catches, 75 yards)
- WR Marek Reyes, Sr. (25 catches, 354 yards, 2 TDs; 27 carries, 158 yards)
- WR Mitchell Leonard, Sr. (19 catches, 334 yards, 1 TD)
- DB Dontavius Boyd, Sr. (50 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
- DB Tacory Robinson, Sr. (24 tackles, 2 INTs)
- OT Chett Munden, Jr., 6-5, 292
- QB Dalvin Manns, Sr., 6-0, 200 (100 of 175, 1,776 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs; 73 carries, 341 yards, 7 TDs)
- QB Caleb Chumley, Sr., 6-5, 220 (99 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 rushing TD vs. Hallsville)
- WR Mason Hays, Jr., 6-1, 175 (37 catches, 847 yards, 8 TDs)
- WR Douglas Morgan, Jr.
- LB Dakota Lynn, Sr.
- DB Carlos Johnson, Sr.
- WR Jonathan Giddings, Jr.
- RB Quay Ward, Jr.
Just the facts
- Marshall is 21-9-1 vs. Pine Tree since 1966.
- Marshall won last year’s meeting 49-29.
- Pine Tree won 28-21 in 2011, one of only two Pirate wins in 13 games against Marshall since 1986. The other came in 2002.
- Marshall averages 23.5 points per game and allows 46.3.
- Pine Tree averages 29.3 points per game and allows 41.3.
- Marshall’s first seven opponents are a combined 33-14, including a 25-1 record for the Mavericks’ first four foes: Kilgore, Longview, Bossier City Parkway, and Whitehouse.
- Marshall’s two wins came against teams that are a combined 3-11 (Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant).
- Pine Tree’s first seven opponents are a combined 26-23, including a 23-4 record for the four teams that have beaten PT: Kilgore, Nacogdoches, Texas High, and Hallsville.
- Pine Tree’s three wins came against teams that are a combined 2-20 (Van, Center, Jacksonville).
- Marshall has won two of its last three games after starting the season 0-4.
- Pine Tree has lost four of its last five games after starting the season 2-0.
- Both teams have lost to Hallsville. The Bobcats beat Marshall 48-23 on Oct. 11 before beating Pine Tree 35-13 last week.
Key matchup: Marshall’s secondary vs. Pine Tree’s passing game. Pine Tree’s passing attack has sputtered a bit since the schedule has gotten tougher, but there’s no denying that quarterback Dalvin Manns and receiver Mason Hays are dangerous.
Hays has been one of East Texas’ best big-play receivers since the beginning of the 2012 season. After averaging 24.3 yards per catch as a sophomore, Hays is gaining 22.3 per reception this year. He’s already eclipsed his reception and yardage totals from a year ago.
Another factor is the return of senior Caleb Chumley, an athletic, 6-foot-5, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback who missed PT’s first six games with a toe injury. Chumley and Manns split time against Hallsville and combined for 224 passing yards in the loss at Hallsville.
Marshall’s offense rolled in last week’s 64-59 shootout victory against Mount Pleasant, but the defense certainly showed it can be susceptible. While Pine Tree might not have the consensus No. 1 recruit in East Texas running routes for the Pirates — that’d be Mount Pleasant’s K.D. Cannon, a Baylor commit — Hays and company have proven they’re capable of torching defenses. Marshall needs a big game from Dontavius Boyd, Tacory Robinson, and the rest of the Mavs’ secondary.
Don’t be surprised if: Marshall is in for another shootout. Both teams have piled up points at certain points this season, while struggling mightily against the strong defenses on their schedules.
Marshall is more likely to lean on its running game with Jaque Kuykendall and Deondre Osborne, but sophomore quarterback Justin Hart has assembled a solid season throwing the ball. Marek Reyes is Marshall’s leading receiver dating to last season, when he caught a team-best 53 passes.
The question for Pine Tree: which quarterback will it lean on? If one gets hot early, will he get the nod the rest of the game? The good thing for Pine Tree is that both are capable of putting up big numbers, especially against a team allowing more than 46 points per game.
If Marshall wins, the Mavs are well on their way to a playoff berth and PT is all but knocked out of the postseason race. If Pine Tree wins, the Pirates keep hopes alive for their first playoff berth in more than a decade.