District 10-2A Division II

Winona Wildcats (4-1, 1-0)

vs.

Garrison Bulldogs (6-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Bulldog Stadium, Garrison

 

Coaches
  • Winona: Scott Evans
  • Garrison: Craig Barker

 

Last week
  • Winona: idle
  • Garrison: won 34-0 at Hawkins

 

Next week
  • Winona: vs. West Rusk
  • Garrison: idle

 

Playmakers

Winona

  • RB Ke'Aaron Cobb, Sr., 5-9, 190 (81 carries, 736 yards, 12 TDs)
  • RB Tyson Kinsey, Soph., 5-8, 165 (54 carries, 288 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Damon Arceneaux, Sr., 5-9, 180 (25 carries, 234 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Tyler Pullum, Jr., 5-8, 165 (9 carries, 140 yards, 1 TD)
  • FB Montana Morgan, Sr., 5-8, 165 (17 carries, 60 yards, 1 TD)
  • TE Cristian Mendez, Sr., 5-9, 215
  • LB Devin Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 205
  • DB Corey Jackson, Sr., 5-10, 165

 

Garrison

  • QB Andrew Russell, Jr., 5-9, 150 (59 of 112, 911 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs; 13 carries, 39 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB Demetrius Bennett (57 carries, 569 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Logan Clark, Sr., 5-8, 165 (27 carries, 152 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 21 yards)
  • WR Cameron Rodriguez, Sr., 5-11, 180 (18 catches, 344 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR William Rogers (8 catches, 160 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ATH Khiran Arrington, Sr., 6-0, 170 (7 catches, 124 yards, 1 TD)
  • OL/DL Josh Robison, Sr., 5-10, 238
  • DL Kade Hammer, Sr., 5-11, 220

 

Just the facts
  • Winona reached the playoffs last season for the first time since 1994.
  • The Wildcats have not won a postseason game since 1987.
  • Between 1995-2011, Winona was just 49-118 with only three winning seasons.
  • Winona is averaging 32.8 points per game, while its defense is yielding 25.6.
  • The combined record of Winona's five opponents -- Overton, Big Sandy, Como-Pickton, New Diana and Hawkins -- is 7-19.
  • At 6-0, Garrison is off to its best start since 2010.
  • Garrison is 48-9 since the beginning of the 2009 season.
  • The Bulldogs are averaging 36 points and 323.8 yards per game.
  • The combined record of Garrison's six opponents -- Hemphill, Tenaha, Bullard Brook Hill, San Augustine, Arp and Hawkins -- is 14-18.
  • Garrison's defense is allowing opponents just 13 points per game, which includes shutouts of Hemphill and Hawkins.

 

Winona RB Ke'Aaron Cobb. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Winona running game vs. Garrison defensive front. Winona doesn't throw it very much. In fact, the Wildcats have just 50 passing yards all season. Instead, Winona relies on a running game led by senior Ke'Aaron Cobb, who has rushed for 12 touchdowns and is averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Three other backs have at least 140 yards for the season, so it should come as no surprise what Winona's offensive game plan will involve: running and more running. The only way Winona stays within striking distance of Garrison on Friday night is if it can continue its success with the ground game and can keep Garrison's multi-dimensional offense off the field. If Winona is forced to abandon the run, it could spell disaster for the Wildcats' chances.

Garrison OL/DL Kade Hammer. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Garrison prides itself on defense, which was a calling card for the Bulldogs in 2012 and continues to be a main strength in 2013. For six games now, Garrison has effectively shut opposing teams down, especially on the ground. The Bulldogs contained Tenaha's explosive 1-2 rushing combo of Cobe Caraway and Chavis Gregory to just 110 yards on 24 attempts. Winona's offensive backfield has more options than Tenaha did, but other than Cobb, no one else has provided a game-breaking presence.

Don't be surprised if: Garrison continues its dominant start to the season. Winona hasn't been tested by a team the caliber of Garrison, so we should find out early whether the Wildcats are ready to compete with the district's elite. Bottom line: Winona must be able to keep Garrison's defense honest with plays in the passing game in order to entertain hopes of pulling off the upset. The Bulldogs' defense has been too good all season to be beaten by a one-dimensional offense.