DISTRICT 10-4A DIVISION I

Henderson Lions (6-3, 3-1)

vs.

Van Vandals (7-2, 3-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Memorial Stadium, Van

Coaches

  • Henderson: Phil Castles
  • Van: Jared Moffatt

Last week

Next week

  • Henderson: vs. TBD, bi-district playoffs
  • Van: vs. TBD, bi-district playoffs

Players to watch

Henderson

  • WR Caleb Medford, Jr., 6-3, 185 (23 catches, 465 yards, 6 TDs; 31 carries, 254 yards, 4 TDs; 5 of 8, 40 yards)
  • DE Keivie Rose, Sr., 6-3, 240 (33 tackles, 9 for loss, 2 sacks, 14 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • LB Brady Odom, Jr., 5-11, 210 (115 tackles, 18 for loss, 1 sack, 10 QB pressures, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • RB Kevin Fields, Jr., 6-0, 190 (121 carries, 657 yards, 6 TDs; 4 catches, 50 yards)
  • RB Eli Jones, Jr., 5-10, 210 (76 carries, 457 yards, 6 TDs)
  • CB Keuntaye Dunham, Sr., 5-8, 165 (18 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 INTs, 13 PBUs)
  • QB Sevastian De Leon, Sr., 5-8, 155 (71 of 132, 1,096 yards, 11 TDs, 6 INTs; 51 carries, 179 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Kourtland Jackson, Sr., 5-7, 150 (23 catches, 278 yards, 1 TD; 6 carries, 48 yards, 1 TD)

Van

  • QB Jayton Moffatt, Jr., 5-10, 170 (109 of 157, 1,376 yards, 12 TDs, 2 INTs; 33 carries, 148 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Ethan Robinson, Sr., 5-11, 155 (65 catches, 1,049 yards, 14 TDs)
  • RB Elijah Rankine, Jr., 5-10, 164 (146 carries, 954 yards, 8 TDs; 36 catches, 378 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DE Jayden Jacobs, Jr., 6-2, 195 (87 tackles, 26 for loss, 14 sacks, 3 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • RB/LB AJ Zarate, Sr., 6-0, 205 (29 carries, 110 yards, 5 TDs; 100 tackles, 11 for loss, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; 1 defensive TD)
  • DB Marcos Orozco, Jr., 6-0, 200 (72 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)
  • LB Mauricio Herrera, Soph., 5-7, 177 (86 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • CB Reeve Hughes, Jr., 5-10, 155 (44 tackles, 1 for loss, 8 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)

Just the facts

  • Henderson will be making its seventh playoff appearance in nine years.
  • Henderson is averaging 28.9 points and 325.1 yards per game -- 198.9 rushing and 126.2 passing.
  • Lions receiver Caleb Medford has accounted for 759 yards of offense and 10 touchdowns.
  • Henderson is allowing 19.1 points per game, has 18 sacks, and has forced 18 turnovers -- six interceptions and 12 fumbles.
  • Van has qualified for the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season.
  • Van is averaging 34.4 points and 397.8 yards per game -- 157.2 rushing and 240.6 passing.
  • Vandals senior receiver Ethan Robinson has accounted for 47.8 of his team's receiving yards, and has 14 of the Vandals' 22 touchdown catches.
  • Van is allowing 22.2 points per game, has 23 sacks, and has forced 13 turnovers -- five interceptions and eight fumbles.
Van DE Jayden Jacobs. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Van passing attack vs. Henderson secondary. The Vandals have one of the area'a most productive offenses in East Texas, and they've been doing it with a lethal passing game, led by a dynamic senior receiver. Ethan Robinson has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and has 14 touchdown receptions in only nine games. Whether it's been Liam Nielson or Jayton Moffatt at quarterback for Van, very few defenses have had an answer for Robinson, who is averaging seven catches and 117 yards per game. Moffatt has taken over the starting quarterback after splitting reps with Nielson through the first half of the season, and the junior signal-caller has assumed the role with ease. Last week, Moffatt was 19 of 23 for 247 yards and three touchdowns against Chapel Hill. That came a week after he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Kilgore.

Henderson DB Keuntaye Dunham. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Henderson, which had allowed a total of just 14 points in its first three district games, allowed 34 in a shutout loss to top-ranked Carthage last week. But the Lions' pass defense was solid in defeat, limiting Bulldogs standout quarterback Gunner Capps to 15 of 33 passing for a season-low 119 yards. It was a quite different story for the run defense, which surrendered 335 yards and 11.2 yards per attempt. And while Van has a capable running back in junior Elijah Rankine, if Henderson can continue their strong pass defense, the Lions should have an excellent chance of containing the Vandals' offense.

Don't be surprised if: The first team to 30 points wins. Henderson averages less than 29 points per game, and both teams average less than 400 yards per game. In contrast, both Henderson and Van have been consistent on the defensive side of the ball. Henderson has racked up 18 sacks while forcing 18 turnovers this season, while Van has the area's leading sacker in junior Jayden Jacobs. Points could be at a premium Friday night, which makes each offensive possession valuable for each team. One penalty or turnover here or there could make the difference.