PREVIEW: Pleasant Grove Seeks First State Championship Against West Orange Stark
CLASS 4A DIVISION II
Pleasant Grove (15-0)
West Orange Stark Mustangs (13-0)
3 p.m. Friday
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
- Pleasant Grove: Josh Gibson
- West Orange Stark: Cornel Thompson
- Pleasant Grove: def. Graham, 45-14
- West Orange Stark: def. Wimberly, 30-21
- WR/LB Xavier Benson, Sr., 6-3, 200 (16 catches, 412 yards, 5 TDs; 101 tackles, 7 for loss, 7 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 1 INT, 8 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 2 blocked kicks; committed to Texas Tech)
- RB/DB Chauncey Martin, Sr., 6-0, 192 (94 carries, 1,009 yards, 15 TDs; 63 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries)
- RB TJ Cole, Sr., 6-0, 200 (205 carries, 1,531 yards, 22 TDs; 16 catches, 283 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB Caleb Porchia, Sr., 6-0, 210 (184 tackles, 14 for loss, 4 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 6 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- QB Ben Harmon, Soph., 6-1, 180 (74 of 116, 1,713 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs; 61 carries, 154 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Carson Cox, Sr., 6-3, 185 (28 catches, 762 yards, 12 TDs)
- RB Bruce Garrett, Soph., 5-10, 178 (96 carries, 851 yards, 7 TDs; 3 catches, 38 yards)
- DL Landon Jackson, Fr., 6-5, 195 (94 tackles, 15 for loss, 10 sacks, 18 QB pressures, 1 INT, 6 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 blocked kick)
West Orange Stark
- QB Chaka Watson
- RB Kayven Cooper
- RB Jarron Morris
- WR Blake Robinson
- WR Jarron Morris
Just the facts
- Pleasant Grove has nearly three 1,000-yard rushers on its team.
- Pleasant Grove quarterback Ben Harmon is averaging 23.1 yards per completion and receiver Carson Cox is averaging 27.2 yards per catch.
- Pleasant Grove is averaging 43.6 points per game.
- This is the Hawks' first trip to the state championship.
- West Orange Stark is making its fourth consecutive championship appearance and has the longest active win streak in Texas with 40 games.
- The Mustangs defeated Sweetwater in the final game last season, 24-6.
- West Orange Stark is led by its defense, which is allowing only 7.1 points per game.
Key matchup: Explosiveness of Pleasant Grove offense against the stout defense of West Orange Stark.
Pleasant Grove has got what it wants on offense this season. The mere fact that QB Ben Harmon is throwing for 23 yards per completions is insane. It usually doesn't take the Hawks many plays to score.
However, WOS has one of the stingiest defenses in Texas. It has to in order to make up for a slightly above average offense. The Mustangs will give Pleasant Grove its toughest challenge yet. Whereas the Hawks are used to getting 20 yards per play, they might have to settle for three or four in this game.
Whether Pleasant Grove can adjust accordingly will determine if it has what it takes to dethrone WOS.
Don't be surprised if: Chaka Watson leads the offense for the Mustangs.
He can do it all. He runs and passes and WOS doesn't really use much else. For this reason, it will be critical for Pleasant Grove to key in on him. If the Hawks can stop him, they only need to worry about the defense.
The issue is, with as good as Watson is, stopping him will be easier said than done.