PALESTINE WILDCATS (0-1)
AT
JACKSONVILLE INDIANS (1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Tomato Bowl, Jacksonville

Coaches
Palestine: Lance Angel
Jacksonville: Chris Taber

Last week
Palestine: lost to Waco La Vega 24-23, OT
Jacksonville: def. Carthage 34-30

Next week
Palestine: at Kaufman
Jacksonville: at Gilmer

Playmakers
Palestine

  • RB Darrius Stephens, Sr., 5-10, 160
  • QB Brian Gummelt, Jr., 5-9, 170
  • RB/LB Ben Luckett, Jr., 5-11, 180
  • WR Paul Barksdale, Sr., 5-8, 170
  • DT Walter Sheridan, Sr., 6-0, 260
  • LB Jadarius Beasley, Sr., 5-11, 170
  • DB Ivory Brown, Sr., 6-0, 180

Jacksonville

  • QB Carter McCown, Soph., 6-2, 165
  • WR/DB Darrell Minifee, Sr., 5-11, 160
  • WR Kaderrius Buckingham, Sr., 6-4, 190
  • WR Dadrian Franklin, Sr., 6-1, 180
  • DB LaDarius Session, Sr., 6-1, 190
  • LB Bryson Haywood, Sr., 5-11, 190
  • DB Londedric Taylor, Sr., 5-11, 170

Just the facts

  • Palestine has lost back-to-back games, both to Waco La Vega. The Wildcats fell 35-20 to La Vega in the bi-district round of the 2011 playoffs and 24-23 in overtime last week in the season opener.
  • Darrius Stephens didn't touch the ball much, but made a big impact with 120 yards on just 10 carries and two catches for 44 yards.
  • Brian Luckett got the majority of the touches in the red zone, finishing the night with 76 yards and two touchdowns against La Vega.
  • Jacksonville provided East Texas with the biggest upset of the opening week, taking down state power and third-ranked Carthage on the road.
  • Carter McCown, in his first varsity start, drove the Indians down the field for the game-winning score in the final minute. His 11-yard touchdown to Darrell Minifee sealed the deal with 40 seconds remaining.
  • These two Highway-79 rivals, former district mates, resume their season after a two-year hiatus. Palestine and Jacksonville met in 10 consecutive years from 2000-09 with the Indians winning nine matchups.

Key matchup: Palestine running game vs. Jacksonville defensive front. The Wildcats probably do not want to get into a shootout with the Jacksonville's high-powered, spread attack which put up 369 passing yards and four touchdowns against a good Carthage defense. Palestine's offense is solid, but not as explosive in the passing game. The Wildcats' bread and butter is the backfield where Stephens, Luckett and Jarrell Owens combined to rush for 252 yards against a stingy La Vega defense. The more Palestine can control the clock and keep Jacksonville's offense off the field, the more likely Palestine comes away with its first win of the season.

Don't be surprised if: McCown continues to improve behind center for the Indians. The young sophomore is making a start at home against a much smaller and less physical defense than the one he faced the week before. Against Carthage's massive defensive front, Jacksonville called several quick hitters in attempt to avoid the heavy pass rush. This week, head coach Chris Taber may take a few more shots down the field to see if his young QB can make all the throws on Friday nights.