Waskom Wildcats (3-0)

vs.

Elysian Fields Yellowjackets (2-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Jacket Stadium, Elysian Fields

Coaches
  • Waskom: Whitney Keeling
  • Elysian Fields: Scott Ford

 

Last week
  • Waskom: idle
  • Elysian Fields: idle

 

Next week
  • Waskom: vs. Frankston, Oct. 2
  • Carthage: at Troup, Oct. 2

 

Playmakers

Waskom

  • RB/LB Chan Amie, Sr., 5-11, 175
  • LB Mike Reason, Sr., 5-8, 170
  • DB Eric Stephens III, Sr., 5-8, 150
  • RB/DB Keileon Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 165
  • QB Dylan Harkrider, Sr., 6-3, 180
  • QB/DB Logan Hughes, Jr., 6-1, 185
  • DB Kaleb Haynes, Sr., 5-9, 170
  • LB Lucas Norton, Sr., 5-8, 160

Elysian Fields

  • RB Kyree Ratliffe, Sr., 6-3, 215 (37 carries, 292 yards, 3 TDs
  • WR Dylan Parker, Jr., 6-4, 180 (20 catches, 211 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Jakobe Owens, Sr., 5-11, 180 (42 carries, 362 yards, 4 TDs)
  • QB Ryan Storey, Sr. (50-87, 586 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs)
  • LB Reese Mathews, Sr., 6-3, 215 (33 tackles)
  • WR Ray Ratliffe, Jr. (16 catches, 297 yards, 2 TDs)
  • OL Hunter Coleman, Sr., 6-1, 295

 

Just the facts
  • Friday's game was ranked the No. 13 best by ETSN.fm during the preseason.
  • The meeting is the District 8-3A Division II opener for both seams.
  • Waskom is the defending Class 3A Division II state champion, but Elysian Fields was picked to win the 2015 district title in the preseason Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine and TheOldCoach.com's Friday Night Football magazine.
  • ETSN.fm projected Waskom to retain the league title.
  • The Wildcats have a handful of carryovers from its state team. Most notably, Chan Amie and Mike Reason won all-state linebacker honors.
  • Elysian Fields returned virtually the same offense at the skill positions from its 2014 area round playoff team.
  • Waskom won last season's meeting, 49-26, at its home stadium.
  • Don't expect the Yellowjackets to kick after touchdowns. The team has only attempted two point after attempts and is one for two.
  • The Wildcats are a perfect 3-0 thus far, which has extended their overall winning streak to 18 games dating back to the second game of 2014.
  • Elysian Fields' lone loss this season came to Mineola of Class 3A Division I in Week 1. Mineola is ranked the No. 1 overall 3A team in the state.
  • The Yellowjackets are very balanced offensively. The passing game has recorded 718 yards and the run game is just 53 yards behind.
  • Elysian Fields is riding a six-game home winning streak and has not lost at Jacket Stadium since 2013.
Waskom's Chan Amie is one of two All-State linebackers on the Waskom roster. He will also be a big player in the Wildcats' running game. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Elysian Field's two-point conversion execution versus Waskom's defense.

No doubt about it, the Yellowjackets are poised to challenge the Wildcats' defense as they have all other opponents this season. Yet Waskom will be in great position to win the game if it can win Elysian Fields' two-point conversion attempts after touchdowns.

The Yellowjackets have attempted two kicks after touchdowns through three games and are one for two in their tries. Waskom is in much better position with kicker Jose Chavarria.

You would be amazed how quickly a game can get away without a kicker capable of hitting extra points. Against Mineola, Elysian Fields came up short on all three of its two-point attempts after touchdowns and then missed a kick attempt. Combined, that made the score 28-24 in favor of Mineola despite both teams scoring four touchdowns by the midway point of the third quarter. Elysian Fields needed to score another touchdown just to get those missed points back, and it did not get one.

Fortunately for the Yellowjackets, they have options after they cross the goal line. Quarterback Ryan Storey leads a good passing game, and running backs Kyree Ratliffe and Jakobe Owens are punishing runners behind a strong line.

Waskom will counter with All-State linebackers Chan Amie and Mike Reason in addition to a strong secondary that just needs to defend the end zone.

Don't be surprised if: Points after touchdowns influence the outcome. Elysian Fields is disadvantaged in the kicking game and will have to be close to perfect in all other phases, especially after scoring plays. However, the team is in the upper echelon of Class 3A Division II both on offense and defense. If Elysian Fields hits on three two-point conversions, it could be difficult for Waskom to find the six additional points it needs with a run-oriented, clock chewing offense.

Sharay Ratliffle cruises for a 91-yard touchdown on a double pass against Mineola on Aug. 28. (Ruel Filipe, ETSN.fm)