Jacksonville Indians
vs.
No. 3 Carthage Bulldogs

7:30 p.m. Friday
Bulldog Stadium, Carthage

Coaches
Jacksonville: Chris Taber
Carthage: Scott Surratt

Next week
Jacksonville: vs. Palestine
Carthage: vs. Lindale

Playmakers
Jacksonville

  • WR Darrell Minifee, Sr., 5-11, 160
  • QB/WR Dadrian Franklin, Sr., 6-1, 180
  • LB Bryson Haywood, Sr., 5-11, 190
  • RB/CB Chris Ruffin, Sr., 5-9, 160
  • LB Shakil Mosely, Sr., 5-9, 180
  • CB Londedrick Taylor, Sr., 5-11, 170
  • S LaDarius Session, Sr., 6-1, 190

Carthage

  • DT Isaiah Golden, Sr., 6-2, 315 (committed to Texas A&M)
  • QB Blake Bogenschutz, Jr., 6-0, 182
  • RB Tevin Pipkin, Jr., 5-10, 170
  • MLB Trent Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 215
  • OT/DE Mario McCain, Jr., 6-0, 240
  • DT K'Aelin Ware, Sr., 6-0, 230
  • OG Adrian Goodacre, Jr., 6-4, 325
  • OG Griffin Bankhead, Jr., 6-3, 290

Just the facts

  • Carthage leads the all-time series with Jacksonville 28-27, including the last four meetings. Jacksonville won the first six from 1934-52.
  • During the last four years, Carthage has outscored Jacksonville 147-76, or an average score of 36.8-19.0. The only meeting that was closer than 15 points was Carthage's 21-17 win at Jacksonville in 2009.
  • Jacksonville missed the 2011 playoffs despite a 4-3 district record. The Indians' three league losses came by a combined 14 points.
  • Jacksonville allowed 30.8 points per game in 2011, while scoring 25.3.
  • Carthage yielded 18.2 points per game in 2011, while scoring 30.2.
  • Jacksonville has not won more than seven games in a season since 2004, when the Indians went 10-3. That was Jacksonville's sixth 10-win season in 12 years.
  • Tonight's game is the first for Carthage's new video board, which has a screen that is the largest high school athletics in the world. The screen is 26 feet tall and 44 feet wide.

Key matchup: Jacksonville's passing game vs. Carthage's secondary. The Tribe's starting quarterback in 2011 (sophomore Andrew Black) moved to Chapel Hill during the offseason, so the Indians must rebuild their passing game starting with who will be pulling the trigger. Dadrian Franklin could be that man. Whoever it is, he'll have a group of receivers with a lot of potential, and veteran pass-catcher Darrell Minifee heads that list. Minifee caught 37 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns as a junior after a huge sophomore season that saw him catch 60 balls for 901 yard and 10 scores. He works especially well from the inside spot in Jacksonville's spread, which may take on a new look under first-year coach Chris Taber, who arrives after helping Chapel Hill to a state title as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator. Carthage's secondary is its most inexperienced unit entering 2012, and chances are some green players will have to defend Minifee. Safeties Tee Goree (junior) and Bryian Bolton (sophomore) may get the nod to account for Minifee in Carthage's zone-heavy defensive scheme, which returns only one secondary starter: senior cornerback Dominic Collins. Of course, having what appears to be one of the best front sevens in Class 3A should help the Bulldogs compensate for a lot of their youth in the defensive backfield.

Don't be surprised if: Carthage's impressive offensive and defensive lines win the day. Carthage coach Scott Surratt has liked his team's physical nature during two-a-days and scrimmages, and that starts up front on both sides of the ball. Carthage's offensive line, which is five juniors, averages about 270 pounds per player, while the Dawgs' defensive front includes two-year letterman Mario McCain, also a junior, and Texas A&M-bound Isaiah Golden, a 6-2, 315-pound vending machine on wheels. At the same time, Taber has orchestrated the offense of a team that has beaten Carthage each of the past two seasons, so Jacksonville's new head coach might have some tricks up his sleeve.