Nacogdoches Dragons (0-4)
vs.
Pine Tree Pirates (1-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Pine Tree Stadium, Longview

Coaches
Nacogdoches: Bobby Reyes
Pine Tree: Derek Fitzhenry

Last week
Nacogdoches: lost to Hallsville, 40-12
Pine Tree: def. Lindale, 28-21

Next week
Nacogdoches: vs. Jacksonville
Pine Tree: at Texas High

Playmakers

Nacogdoches

  • C Jacob Bragg, Jr., 6-3, 300
  • RB Derrick Fields, Sr., 5-9, 182
  • QB Patrick Ledet, Sr., 6-0, 180
  • QB Hunter McClellan, Soph.
  • DE Gregg Roberts, Jr., 6-5, 205
  • WR/DB Michael Dove, Sr., 5-9, 165
  • LB Jadarius Ervin
  • RB Shawn Smith, Soph., 5-10, 185

Pine Tree

  • QB Jake Oden, Sr., 6-1, 175 (26 of 46, 454 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 28 carries, 255 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Victor Hawkins, Sr., 6-1, 185 (17 carries, 269 yards, 2 TDs; 9 catches, 90 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DB Tre Devine, Jr., 5-11, 170 (27 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble)
  • LB Jarvis Wall, Jr. (25 tackles)
  • WR Mason Hayes, Soph., 6-1, 175 (6 catches, 180 yards, 2 TDs)
  • FB Quay Ward, Soph., 5-8, 185 (35 carries, 157 yards)
  • OL Andrew Lee, Jr., 6-2, 270

Just the facts

  • Nacogdoches 13.5 points per game and allows 38.8.
  • Pine Tree averages 24.0 points per game and allows 34.7.
  • Nacogdoches has not score more than 21 points in any of its first four games, and that 21 came in the second half of a 44-21 loss to Carthage when the Dragons trailed 37-0 at halftime.
  • Pine Tree has allowed 41 or more points in two of its first three games.
  • Quarterback Jake Oden has accounted for 58.2 percent of Pine Tree's total offensive output (709 of 1,218 yards).
  • Oden has thrown for at least 140 yards in each of Pine Tree's first three games after passing for 143 yards in all of 2011.
  • Nacogdoches offensive lineman Jacob Bragg has caught the attention of many Division I programs, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, and others.
  • Nacogdoches is 23-5 vs. Pine Tree since 1964.
  • Nacogdoches won 12 consecutive meetings vs. Pine Tree from 1964-75.
  • Nacogdoches has won the last two meetings vs. Pine Tree, including a 42-21 win in 2011, the Dragons' only victory a year ago.

 

Pine Tree QB Jake Oden. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Nacogdoches' defensive front vs. Pine Tree's running game. Pine Tree has shown much more ability to throw the ball in 2012 after averaging barely five pass attempts per game a year ago, but the Pirates still prefer to dictate a game's tempo with their run-first philosophy. Jake Oden, Victor Hawkins, and Quay Ward are all capable runners, and the Pirates have a large offensive line that has allowed them to gain yardage on the ground and through the air so far this season. Nacogdoches has struggled against solid ground attacks this season from Henderson, Lufkin, Carthage, and Hallsville. Keeping Pine Tree's ground game off the field and thus disabling it to dictate the pace will go a long way in the Dragons' quest to get their first win.

 

Nacogdoches OL Jacob Bragg. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: This is a close game with the turnover battle deciding which team is victorious. Pine Tree's 28-21 win against Lindale last week suggests that the Pirates could be Friday night's favored team, but Nacogdoches' level of competition has been significantly higher. That's no shot at Van, Center, and Lindale, teams that have combined for a 10-5 record so far this season. But the four-game stretch of Henderson, Lufkin, Carthage, and Hallsville -- teams that are a combined 13-7 -- is one of the toughest schedules to date in East Texas and could have the Dragons primed for a win, if they haven't gotten worn down too much during the season's first month. Nacogdoches needs more consistent offensive production, regardless of who the Dragons are playing, and they'll need that against a Pine Tree team that hasn't struggled to move the ball under second-year coach Derek Fitzhenry, but has had its share of defensive problems.