CLASS 2A DIVISION II
STATE SEMIFINAL

Tenaha Tigers (14-0)

vs.

Burton Panthers (13-1)

7 p.m. Thursday
Monte Jack Driskell Stadium, Crockett

Coaches

  • Tenaha: Craig Horn
  • Burton: Jason Hodde

Last week

Next week

  • Winner faces either Wellington or Muenster, 2A Division II state championship game, 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Playmakers

Tenaha

  • WR Trai Gardner, Sr., 6-0, 183 (52 catches, 1,045 yards, 16 TDs; 15 carries, 178 yards, 2 TDs)
  • QB CJ Horn, Sr., 6-0, 195 (131-of-165, 2,636 yards, 36 TDs, 3 INTs; 66 carries, 617 yards, 15 TDs)
  • RB Onterio Thompson, Sr., 5-10, 180 (161 carries, 2,221 yards, 30 TDs; 5 catches, 78 yards)
  • LB Tavoris Giles, Sr., 5-11, 190 (179 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • LB Christian Ashton, Sr., 5-9, 190 (22 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 3 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • WR/DB Jay Lloyd, Jr. (33 catches, 600 yards, 9 TDs; 15 carries, 190 yards, 3 TDs; 51 tackles, 1 INT, 11 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR Cody Foshee, Sr. (21 catches, 544 yards, 7 TDs)
  • DL Juarmez Brock, Jr., 6-1, 245 (112 tackles, 18 for loss, 5 sacks, 12 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • DB Trenton Soto, Jr. (102 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries)

Burton

  • RB De'Monderick Winters
  • QB Caleb Harmel, Jr., 6-1, 200
  • ATH C.J. Briscoe, Sr., 6-1, 185
  • OL/DL Brandon Gober, Sr., 6-0, 280

Just the facts

  • Tenaha's Ontario Thompson has not rushed for less than 100 yards since the first game of the season and is averaging 13.8 yards per carry.
  • Tiger quarterback C.J. Horn has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 12:1.
  • If Tenaha wins state, this would be the seventh undefeated season in school history, with the last one coming in 2011.
  • The Tigers are averaging 450.7 yards per game --179.6 passing and 271.1 rushing.
  • Burton actually lost its first game of the season to Holland, 27-20, but has been on a 13-game winning streak since.
  • Burton is averaging 48.4 points per game and giving up 17.5 for an average margin of victory of 30.9.
  • Panther running back De'Monderick Winters had a total of eight touchdown in the victory against Falls City in Week 15.

Key matchup: Burton's secondary against the passing attack of Tenaha. Part of what makes the Tigers so difficult to beat is their versatility on offense. They can get it done on the ground with Onterio Thompson or with an aerial attack of C.J. Horn and Trai Gardner.

Garder has 1,045 receiving yards this season, meaning he has accounted for nearly 40 percent of Horn's yards. Tenth's next leading receiver, Cody Foshee, has about half as many yards.

If Burton can take away the Horn to Garnder connection, it may force Tenaha to take a more one-dimensional approach in its offense. If it can do that, it certainly has a greater chance of winning. Even then, though, it still has to worry about Thompson.

Tenaha might just be too great of a force for the Panthers to overcome.

Don't be surprised if: Ontario Thompson rushed for 100 yards. If you read the stat above, you know this is routine for Thompson. He hasn't failed to do so since Week 1. He only averages 11.5 carries per game but has an insanely high yards per carry count.

He also adds 30 touchdowns on the season. Expect a big game from Thompson, who has given the Tigers nothing less each week this season.