Potent Jacksonville Offense Visits Stingy Palestine Defense on Thursday
Jacksonville Indians (0-1)
Palestine Wildcats (1-0)
7 p.m. Thursday
Wildcat Stadium, Palestine
- Jacksonville: Chris Taber
- Palestine: Lance Angel
- Jacksonville: lost 42-28 vs. Carthage
- Palestine: won 26-12 at Waco La Vega
- Jacksonville: vs. Gilmer
- Palestine: vs. Kaufman
- QB Carter McCown, Jr., 6-3, 175 (27 of 41, 308 yards, 1 TD; 6 carries, 33 yards)
- WR Claude Franklin, Sr. (5 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Tony Lane, Sr., 5-7, 175 (7 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Trent Sansom, Sr. (7 catches, 60 yards)
- WR Cash Cleaver, Soph. (7 catches, 71 yards)
- ATH Lekendrick Anderson, Sr., 6-1, 210 (7 carries, 50 yards)
- RB Braylon Parish, Jr., 5-9, 178 (7 carries, 27 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Datavion Thacker, Soph., 5-10, 170 (1 rush TD)
- RB Stacy Cummings, Sr., 5-10, 175 (9 carries, 58 yards, 1 TD; left last week’s game with an injury and did not return)
- WR/OLB Jarrell Owens, Sr., 6-3, 230 (committed to TCU; 3 catches, 47 yards; 4 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 forced fumbles)
- RB Ben Luckett, Sr., 6-0, 195 (24 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Brian Thlang, Sr., 6-2, 290 (committed to ULM)
- QB Fabian “Gee” Clark, Jr., 6-0, 165 (16 of 25, 228 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 6 carries, 35 yards)
- LB Brian Gummelt, Sr., 5-9, 175 (14 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack)
- LB Isaiah Mitchell, Sr. (11 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 defensive TD)
- WR Sheldon Watson, Sr. (2 catches, 41 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/LB Chris Weaver, Jr. (2 catches, 77 yards; 5 tackles)
- DL Dakedrick McMorris, Jr. (4 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 forced fumble)
Just the facts
- KTXA Channel 21 (Dallas-Fort Worth) will broadcast Thursday’s game as part of its series of high school football broadcasts this season.
- Palestine forced five fumbles in last week’s 26-12 victory at Waco La Vega. Senior LB Isaiah Mitchell returned one nine yards for a touchdown.
- Palestine racked up 14 tackles for loss against La Vega.
- Palestine trailed 12-8 early in the fourth quarter before scoring 18 points in the final period to beat La Vega.
- Palestine OLB Jarrell Owens, who is committed to TCU, holds offers from the Horned Frogs, Texas State, Texas Tech, and ULM.
- Jacksonville yielded 511 total yards to Carthage in last week’s 42-28 loss, but gained 485 total yards of its own.
- Jacksonville junior quarterback Carter McCown has started twice against Carthage and thrown for a total of 677 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception after last week’s 308-yard, one-score performance.
- Palestine beat Jacksonville 37-20 at the Tomato Bowl last year, building a 30-0 lead before the Tribe scored.
- Jacksonville is 18-9 vs. Palestine since 1980.
- Jacksonville has won 13 of the last 15 meetings with Palestine.
Key matchup: Jacksonville’s passing attack vs. Palestine’s defense. Jacksonville junior quarterback Carter McCown needs one thing to happen to put up big numbers this season: he must stay healthy.
That didn’t happen during his debut sophomore season last year, but he still threw for more than 1,300 yards missing about half of the year. McCown is back and his season-opening effort went for more than 300 yards, a sign of what should likely continue for second-year head coach Chris Taber and the Tribe, which boasted four receivers who caught at least five passes apiece in last week’s 42-28 home loss to new Class 3A No. 1 Carthage.
McCown and company face a Palestine defense that thrived on the big play this past week in a 26-12 come-from-behind win at Waco La Vega. The Wildcats forced five fumbles and scored on one of them to turn the tide during an 18-point fourth quarter. TCU-bound Jarrell Owens is a beast off the edge and can play standing up or with a hand on the ground. He’s the ringleader of a Palestine linebacking corps that accumulated 34 tackles, seven for loss, three forced fumbles, and that defensive touchdown, which came from senior Isaiah Mitchell from nine yards.
Jacksonville may need a complementary running game to help the Tribe prevent Palestine from selling out against the pass. Jacksonville run the ball well last week, but senior starting tailback Stacy Cummings left the game with an injury late in the first half and did not return. His status for Thursday is unknown. That could mean added touches for junior Braylon Parish, sophomore Datavion Thacker, and bruising senior Lekendrick Anderson, a trio that combined for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in Zero Week.
Don’t be surprised if: This game comes down to the fourth quarter. Unlike last season, when Jacksonville team turned the ball over and fell behind 30-0 in a 17-point loss, the Tribe will have a healthy McCown running the offense. Jacksonville proved last week that it can move the ball against big-time 3A opponents when it put almost 500 yards on Carthage, a team Palestine almost upset in the first round of last year’s 3A Division I Region III playoffs.
While the key matchup appears to be McCown and his receivers against Palestine’s stingy defense, we won’t be surprised if Gee Clark and Ben Luckett have a huge impact on the outcome. Palestine’s backfield duo produced almost 400 total yards of offense against La Vega and give head coach Lance Angel two serious threats.
One thing is certain: this game should be quite the Thursday night treat for fans of these U.S. 79 rivals.