Preview: No. 8 Waco La Vega Brings Talented Backfield to Palestine
No. 8 Waco La Vega Pirates
7:30 p.m. Friday
- RB Randy Gober, Sr., 5-9, 189
- RB Javon Arnett, Jr.
- LB Jimmie Gamble, Sr.
- RB Ayorinde Gibson, Jr.
- DB Emilio Ortegon, Soph.
- DT D'Andra Minnitt, Sr.
- DT Shaquille Walker, Sr.
- RB Darrius Stephens, Sr., 5-10, 160
- CB Ivory Brown, Sr., 6-0, 180
- ATH Brian Gummelt, Jr., 5-9, 170
- WR Paul Barksdale, Sr., 5-8, 170
- OLB Jadarius Beasley, Sr., 5-10, 170
- DT Walter Sheridan, Sr., 6-0, 260
- OG Eric Gonzales, Jr., 6-0, 284
- OT Brian Thlang, Jr., 6-1, 280
- La Vega held opponents to 15.8 points per game last season. The Pirates allowed no more than 27 points all season.
- La Vega outscored opponents 409-189 last season, which is an average of 18.3 points per game.
- Palestine averaged 33.0 points per game in 2011, while yielding 26.9.
- La Vega knocked out Palestine in last year's Class 3A Division I Region III bi-district round in a 35-21 Pirate win.
- Palestine is aiming for its first back-to-back winning seasons since 2005-06, when the Wildcats went 8-3 and 9-3, respectively. The 2006 campaign finished a run of four consecutive winning seasons that saw Palestine go 37-11.
- Palestine tailback Darrius Stephens averaged 6.9 yards per carry in 2011, when he rushed for 1,005 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- La Vega tailback Randy Gober rushed for 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.
Key matchup: La Vega's ground attack vs. Palestine's defense. La Vega has proven in the past it can control the ball, and with what appears to be a fleet of tailbacks led by Randy Gober, the Pirates will probably do that again in 2012. Palestine must get big games from players such as defensive tackle Walter Sheridan and linebacker Jadarius Beasley, who will be leaned on to help the Wildcats combat La Vega's wearing offense. Palestine's ground game is stout, too, so the fight for rushing supremacy will go both ways Friday night in Palestine.