PREVIEW: Waskom + West Rusk Battle For District 9-3A Lead
DISTRICT 9-3A Division II
Waskom Wildcats (4-3, 3-0)
West Rusk Raiders (6-0, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bruce Bradshaw Stadium, West Rusk
- Waskom: Whitney Keeling
- West Rusk: John Frazier
- Waskom: def. Beckville, 55-13
- West Rusk: def. Arp, 24-0
- Waskom: vs. Troup, Nov. 3
- West Rusk: at Elysian Fields, Nov. 3
- QB Raymond Ramirez, Jr. (8-of-28, 157 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs; 55 carries, 240 yards)
- RB T.K. Hamilton, Jr., 5-11, 155 (93 carries, 1,034 yards, 15 TDs)
- OL Jack Smith, Sr., 6-3, 325
- RB/LB Chris Stafford, Jr., 5-8, 155 (31 carries, 370 yards, 5 TDs; 66 tackles, 3 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries, blocked kick)
- LB Tristan McDonald, Jr. (58 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 fumbles recoveries, 2 QB hurries, 1 INT)
- DB Lamontre Stephens, Jr. (55 tackles, 7 for loss, 7 QB hurries)
- RB/DB Da'lyn Hill, Jr., 5-8, 155 (49 carries, 321 yards, 3 TDs)
- OL Christian Smith, Sr., 5-11, 299
- DL/LB Tyree Wilson, Sr., 6-5, 235 (50 tackles, 23 for loss, 4 sacks, 21 QB hurries, 3 fumble recoveries; committed to Texas A&M)
- RB Jaylon Garland, Jr., 5-8, 167 (97 carries, 941 yards, 17 TDs)
- QB/DB LaJavius Harper, Jr., 5-8, 145 (46-of-74, 696 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT; 33 carries, 345 yards, 6 TDs; 17 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs)
- WR Dylan Walker, Sr., 5-11, 165 (14 catches, 328 yards, 5 TDs)
- OL/LB Diego Molina, Jr., 5-11, 180 (60 tackles, 21 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- TE/DL Darius Richardson, Jr., 6-3, 268 (29 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 sack, 5 QB hurries, 1 INT)
- DL Darrien Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 191 (45 tackles, 19 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles)
- Talon Winings, So., 5-10, 165 (11 tackles, 5 INTs, 4 PBUs)
Just the facts
- West Rusk has been one of the better teams at getting to the backfield this season, with an average of 16.2 tackles for loss per game.
- The Raiders have pitched four shutouts and are giving up an average of 5.2 points per contest.
- West Rusk's opponents are 17-27 this season (.386).
- Waskom's opponents are 34-16 this season (.680).
- The Wildcats are averaging 367.9 yards per game on the ground.
- Not counting a 55-13 blowout of Beckville this past week, each of Waskom's victories have come by seven points or less.
- Waskom is 4-2 against West Rusk since 2006.
- The Raiders won last season's matchup, 42-21.
Key matchup: Waskom rushing attack against the West Rusk defense. This is a no-brainer. Both teams are among the best in the area in each category.
T.K. Hamilton is a real threat for the Wildcats. He has more than 1,000 yards on the season and has already scored 15 touchdowns. Waskom rarely passes, meaning the Raiders have more than Hamilton to worry about.
Chris Stafford and Da'Lynn Hill combine for just shy of 700 yards and eight touchdowns. Even quarterback Raymond Ramirez adds 240 yards. The Wildcats aren't going to change their game plan, so it's up to West Rusk's defense to put a stop to it.
So far, the Raiders have had no trouble doing so this season. They are giving up only 43.3 yards per game to opposing offenses on the ground. It's unlikely that number will hold in this matchup, as West Rusk has yet to see a team of Waskom's caliber. However, it could still hold the Wildcats well under their season average.
Tyree Wilson, Diego Molina and Darrien Johnson have combined for 63 tackles for loss. The Waskom offensive line will have a tough task on its hands as it tried to keep these three out of the backfield.
Neither Waskom nor West Rusk will be as dominant as it has been in each facet this season. Whichever team comes closer, however, will win this game.
Don't be surprised if: Jaylon Garland has a big game. Waskom isn't the only team that can run. West Rusk is putting up 345 rushing yards per game on average. Garland, who is 53 yards shy of 1,000, leads the way.
Expect him to reach the 1,000-yard mark in this game and score a couple of touchdowns. Waskom's defense has been solid, but it could have issues containing Garland on Friday.