PALESTINE WILDCATS (3-2)
AT
PITTSBURG PIRATES (1-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Pirate Stadium, Pittsburg

Coaches
Palestine: Lance Angel
Pittsburg: Robert Manley

Last week
Palestine: def. Athens, 49-0
Pittsburg: lost to Dallas Prime Prep, 28-20

Next week
Palestine: idle
Pittsburg: vs. Paris North Lamar

Playmakers
Palestine

  • QB Gee Clark, Soph. (208 passing yards, 3 TDs last week vs. Athens)
  • RB Ben Luckett, Jr., 5-11, 180 (4 carries, 111 yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Athens)
  • WR Jordan Anthony (5 catches, 129 yards, 1 TD last week vs. Athens)
  • RB Darrius Stephens, Sr., 5-10, 160 (64 rushing yards, 1 TD last week vs. Athens)
  • WR Kenneth Weaver (43-yard TD catch last week vs. Athens)

Pittsburg

  • QB Garrett Truitt, Jr., 6-4, 190 (58 of 117, 802 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs; 31 carries, 85 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Derek Allen, Sr., 5-10, 165 (37 carries, 274 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Teriyan Cuba, Soph., 5-9, 170 (18 carries, 148 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 34 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Kel Wallace (12 catches, 223 yards)
  • WR/DB Dee Moton, Sr., 6-1, 175 (9 catches, 104 yards; 17 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • LB Sir Charles Perkins, Soph., 5-9, 165 (61 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble)

Just the facts

  • Palestine had its most lopsided victory of the season last week, building a 35-point halftime lead and cruising past Athens.
  • The Wildcats did whatever they wanted on offense last week, rushing and passing for more than 200 yards.
  • On the season, Palestine averages 29.4 points per game and the defense allows 17.6
  • Pittsburg has struggled out of the gate, dropping three consecutive since its season-opening win over Wills Point. Last week, the Pirates became Dallas Prime Prep's first victim of the season.
  • The Pirates are averaging 26.8 points per contest, while giving up 31.3.
  • Palestine and Pittsburg have met in each of the last two seasons with the Pirates prevailing both times, 51-16 in 2010 and 33-28 last year.
Palestine RB Darrius Stephens. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Pittsburg offensive line vs. Palestine defensive front. The Pirates are young at the skill positons and are relying on a big and experienced front five to get things done on offense. The OT combination of Brian Taylor (6-3, 270) and Shawn Albright (6-4, 240) present a challenge to any defensive front based on their size advantage, which will again be the case this week against an undersized Wildcats D-line. Palestine, while small, is faster than most defensive fronts and relies on its speed to disrupt the timing of opposing offenses. And the

Pittsburg RT Brian Taylor. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Pirates' spread attack is all about timing between quarterback Garrett Truitt and his fleet of receivers. Pittsburg has not run the ball very effectively since the opener, so it's important the Pirates O-line keeps Truitt upright and the offense on the field.

Don't be surprised if: Pittsburg attempts to get running back Derek Allen back on track. Allen ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns in the opener against Wills Point as the Pirates rushed for 249 yards as a team. Since then, Pittsburg is averaging just 127 rushing yards per game. Coincidentally, the Pirates have lost three in a row. Defense has been Palestine's calling card so far this season, and if Pittsburg becomes too one-dimensional, the Wildcats' job on defense becomes much easier.