District 8-2A Division I

No. 4 New Boston Lions (5-0, 1-0)

vs.

Daingerfield Tigers (2-3, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Mickey Mayne Tiger Stadium, Daingerfield

 

Coaches
  • New Boston: Jamey Thomas
  • Daingerfield: Aric Sardinea

 

Last week
  • New Boston: won 48-6 vs. Queen City
  • Daingerfield: won 26-7 at Redwater

 

Next week
  • New Boston: vs. Redwater
  • Daingerfield: at Hooks

 

Playmakers

New Boston

  • DB Jawuan Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 190 (committed to Northern Illinois)
  • ATH Jeff Gladney, Jr., 5-10, 180
  • OL/DL Wesley Holmes, Sr., 6-3, 280
  • RB Quinn Dedmon, Jr., 5-10, 165
  • DL Dale Roberts, Sr., 6-4, 200
  • OL Hunter Lee, Sr., 6-4, 240
  • RB Devontae Wade, Soph., 5-10, 165

 

Daingerfield

  • LB Calvin Bryant, Sr., 5-10, 175 (51 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 forced fumble)
  • QB Keris Alexander, Sr., 6-0, 166 (48 of 87, 607 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; 28 carries, 73 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ATH Keynon Whetstone, Sr., 6-0, 170 (19 carries, 265 yards, 4 TDs; 6 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD
  • RB Cordarius Anderson, Sr., 5-6, 160 (68 carries, 363 yards, 7 TDs; 4 catches, 62 yards, 1 TD)
  • LB Kelshin Neal, Sr., 5-10, 170 (52 tackles, 10 for loss, 8 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
  • DB Cory Smith, Sr., 5-9, 155 (27 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
  • OL Willie Evans, Sr., 6-4, 335
  • WR/DB Keaton Key, Sr., 5-10, 155 (24 catches, 371 yards, 5 TDs; 7 tackles)

 

Just the facts
  • New Boston and Daingerfield have met 15 times since 1982, including twice in the playoffs. Daingerfield holds a 12-3 lead in the series over that time span.
  • The Lions are 38-7 since the beginning of the 2010 season.
  • New Boston is averaging 40.6 points per game, while the defense is allowing 9.2.
  • The combined record of the five teams New Boston has defeated -- DeKalb, Pleasant Grove, Pittsburg, Paris North Lamar and Queen City -- is 8-15.
  • Daingerfield has won more state titles (six) than any other team in the ETSN.fm coverage area.
  • Since 2008, Daingerfield has compiled a 68-14 record.
  • Daingerfield is averaging 32.6 points per game, while the defense is allowing 25.
  • The combined record of the three teams that have defeated Daingerfield -- Gladewater, Atlanta and Gilmer -- is 10-5.

 

New Boston's Keith Baldwin runs it in for a touchdown in the Lions' 37-7 win over Pleasant Grove on Sept. 6 in Texarkana. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Daingerfield offensive skill-position players vs. New Boston back seven defenders. The Tigers have used a group of three key skill-position options -- running back Cordarius Anderson, athlete Keynon Whetstone and receiver Keaton Key -- to exploit opposing defenses this season, and they will no doubt try the formula again on Friday night. Anderson is the team's leading rusher, averaging a respectable 5.3 yards per carry. His eight total touchdowns on offense lead the team. Whetstone may be Daingerfield's most explosive weapon on offense. The transfer from Ore City has 370 yards from scrimmage with five touchdowns, averaging 14.8 yards per touch. Key is quarterback Keris Alexander's go-to guy in the passing game. He leads the team in receptions and is good for 15.5 yards per catch on average.

Daingerfield QB Keris Alexander. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

New Boston counters with an quick and athletic defense led by Northern Illinois commit Jawuan Johnson. In order for New Boston to claim its second consecutive regular-season win over Daingerfield, the Lions must get solid play from its collection of linebackers and defensive backs. If Daingerfield has trouble making plays in the open field with its talented nucleus of playmakers, New Boston's offense can counter with a physical, ground-and-pound offense that's been rough on opposing defenses so far in 2013. New Boston must limit Daingerfield's big-play effectiveness and use its strength -- a clock-consuming offense -- to melt the game away.

Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is similar to the last two meetings between these teams, which were both decided in the final quarter. Daingerfield is off to a considerably slow start, but a tough non-district schedule has prepared the Tigers for what they will see this week from the biggest obstacle standing in their way of a district title. New Boston, which has faired just fine without the graduated 3,000-yard rusher Damien Haskins, may enter this game feeling it still has something to prove. The Lions wrestled the district title away from Daingerfield in 2012, but a last-minute punt return for a touchdown helped Daingerfield get revenge in the playoffs. The winner of this game will have the inside track for the league championship.