DISTRICT 15-5A

Hallsville Bobcats (5-3, 3-2)

vs.

Pine Tree Pirates (3-5, 2-3)

7 p.m. Thursday

Pirate Stadium, Longview

Coaches
  • Hallsville: David Plunk
  • Pine Tree: David Collins
Last week
  • Hallsville: def. Greenville, 42-14
  • Pine Tree: def. Sulphur Springs, 31-14
Next week
  • Hallsville: vs. Longview, Nov. 6
  • Pine Tree: at Greenville, Nov. 6

Playmakers

Hallsville

 

  • OL Parker Braun, Sr., 6-3, 275
  • RB/DB Lance Hardman, Sr., 6-0, 190
  • TE Coleton Lasseter, Sr., 6-7, 255
  • DL Jonathan Mitchell, Sr., 6-3, 220
  • QB Roger McCuller, Sr., 6-0, 185
  • WR Andrew Southard, Sr., 6-2, 180
  • LB Blair Fernandez, Jr., 5-9, 185
  • WR Ty Meissner, Jr., 5-9, 170
  • RB Josh Taylor, Soph., 5-9, 175
  • DL Braylon Smith, Sr., 6-0, 225

 

Pine Tree

 

  • QB Daniel Bonamy, Sr., 6-2, 170 (114-205, 1,279 yards , 11 TDs, 4 INTs)
  • LB Alex Baker, Sr., 6-0, 220 (70 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
  • RB/DB Maliq Owens, Jr., 5-10, 150 (117 carries, 757 yards, 5 TDs)
  • OL Mose Jeffrey, Soph., 6-3, 290
  • DL Jakorey Sherow, Sr., 6-0, 230 (49 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 sack)
  • WR Jordan Phillips, Sr., 5-10, 170 (27 catches, 373 yards, 3 TDs)

 

Just the facts
  • The game was originally scheduled for Friday, but it was moved to a 7 p.m. kick Thursday to avoid a second consecutive week of weather issues. Rain is expected to move into the East Texas region Friday.
  • With a win, Hallsville will clinch a playoff berth. It owns a tiebreaker against Mount Pleasant already and would earn one against the Pirates.
  • A Pine Tree victory would allow the Pirates to own a tiebreakers against Hallsville and Mount Pleasant, and it has a more favorable regular season finale. Pine Tree will visit Greenville while Hallsville hosts Longview.
  • The sixth team in play in the District 15-5A playoff race -- aside from Longview, Marshall, Texas High and the two teams in this game -- is Mount Pleasant. In addition to needing Hallsville to lose to Pine Tree, Mount Pleasant has to beat Marshall on the road to remain in contention.
  • Pine Tree allowed a district-worst 305 points in the league last season. The defense is on pace to allow 231 points through this district campaign.
  • Hallsville won last season's head-to-head game with the Pirates, 56-14, at home. Pine Tree finished the year with one win.
Hallsville linebacker Blair Fernandez (21) anchors a defense that has allowed just 24 points through its past three games. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Hallsville's defense versus Pine Tree's offense.

It's no secret. If the Pirates want to dance in mid-November, their offense will have to rise to the occasion. The unit currently ranks fifth among district teams in league play, and the disparity between it and the fourth-place team, Hallsville, is 37 points.

Pine Tree has a solid quarterback in senior Daniel Bonamy, however. He has thrown 11 touchdowns to four interceptions and he has multiple weapons at the receiver positions. There is no single dominant receiver Hallsville can key against.

Running back Maliq Owens has averaged 126 yards in his six games played and should be healthy enough to go against Hallsville.

The Pirates might be clicking at the right time. They have scored four touchdowns in each of their past two games. They had not accomplished that feat in consecutive games beforehand.

Hallsville's defense ranks fourth among league teams within district competition. The group has allowed just 24 points through its last three games -- all against squads currently on the outside of the playoff picture.

Don't be surprised if: Both teams put together their most complete games of the season. Pine Tree needs to win out and a little bit of situational help from Marshall against Mount Pleasant on Friday to give itself the best chance of getting in with a victory against Greenville next week. Greenville has one district win. Hallsville is in with a victory, but would be up against it next week against Longview if it falls in this game. Neither team can afford a slow start or lull in urgency.

Pine Tree cornerback Kenny Jackson (8) puts a hit on Gilmer quarterback Zac Spears (10) in the two team's Sep. 4 game. Gilmer, the defending Class 4A Division II state champion, won 35-19. (Ruel Felipe, ETSN.fm)