PREVIEW: West Rusk Hopes to Make Elysian Fields Shutout No. 6
DISTRICT 9-3A Division II
West Rusk Raiders (7-0, 4-0)
Elysian Fields Yellowjackets (6-2, 3-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Jacket Stadium, Elysian Fields
- West Rusk: John Frazier
- Elysian Fields: Scott Ford
- West Rusk: def. Waskom, 21-0
- Elysian Fields: def. Beckville, 49-28
- West Rusk: vs. Beckville, Nov. 10
- Elysian Fields: at Troup, Nov. 10
- DL/LB Tyree Wilson, Sr., 6-5, 235 (67 tackles, 26 for loss, 4 sacks, 21 QB hurries, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles; 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 (49-of-80, 731 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT; 41 carries, 425 yards, 7 TDs; 23 tackles, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs)
- WR Dylan Walker, Sr., 5-11, 165 (16 catches, 355 yards, 6 TDs)
- OL/LB Diego Molina, Jr., 5-11, 180 (80 tackles, 25 for loss, 5 sacks, 4 QB hurries, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble)
- TE/DL Darius Richardson, Jr., 6-3, 268 (44 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 5 QB hurries, 1 INT)
- DL Darrien Johnson, Sr., 5-10, 191 (55 tackles, 22 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- DB Talon Winings, So., 5-10, 165 (14 tackles, 5 INTs, 4 PBUs)
- QB Garrett McIntosh, Sr., 6-1, 170 (104-of-178, 1,827 yards, 17 TDs, 12 INTs; 25 carries, 205 yards)
- OL Jade Ashalintubbi, Jr., 6-6, 315
- OL/DL Malik Johnson, Sr., 6-4, 275
- RB/LB Nathan Johnson, Sr., 5-11, 200 (72 carries, 506 yards, 5 TDs)
- RB/DB Christavian Smith, Soph., 5-9, 160 (91 carries, 623 yards, 12 TDs; 16 catches, 181 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR/DB Cole Myers, Sr., 6-2, 165 (33 catches, 779 yards, 12 TDs; 39 tackles, 2 INTs)
- LB Stone Crisp, Sr., 5-8, 165 (107 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles)
- LB Jeb Dickson, Sr., 5-8, 160 (109 tackles, 5 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- WR/DB Caleb Mosley, Sr., 6-1, 175 (29 catches, 461 yards, 2 TDs)
Just the facts
- West Rusk has made 113 tackles for loss this season, an average of 16 per game.
- The Raiders have pitched five shutouts this season and have not been scored on since Sept. 22.
- West Rusk's opponents are 23-34 this season (.404).
- Elysian Fields' opponents are 34-31 this season (.523).
- Elysian Fields is averaging 423.1 yards per game.
- The Yellowjackets are undefeated when Garrett McIntosh throws one interception or less.
- Elysian Fields holds a 6-1 lead in the series since 2004.
- The Yellowjackets won last season's matchup, 54-16.
Key matchup: West Rusk defense against Elysian Fields scoring ability. Coach John Frazier said his defense is beginning the take pride in its shutouts. The Raiders haven't allowed a point in district play.
Tyree Wilson, Diego Molina and Darrien Johnson have made it seem commonplace to get into the backfield. The three have combined for 73 tackles for loss this season, more than some teams. The Raiders held Waskom, one of East Texas' best rushing teams, in check this past week.
Elysian Fields, however, packs a lot of firepower.
Not only do the Yellowjackets have excellent runners in Christavian Smith (623 yards) and Nathan Johnson (506 yards), but they also can pass. Garrett McIntosh is inching closer to the 2,000-yard mark and the season closes.
Elysian Fields averages more than 400 yards of offense. McIntosh, however, has struggled at times with turnovers, throwing 12 interceptions this season.
If he can keep the mistakes at a minimum, Elysian Fields should be in good shape. However, given the track record of this West Rusk defense, it's going to take a lot of focus to pull this one off.
Don't be surprised if: Jaylon Garland breaks the 1,000-yard mark. He was held out in Week 9 because of a hamstring injury, but if Garland gets the go-ahead to play this week, there's no reason he shouldn't gain the 59 yards he needs to to hit 1,000 for the season.
That would, by the way, be 63 yards less than his lowest total this year.
Essentially, the math is on his side, if he performs how he has been all season long. A healthy Garland would also tip things further in favor of the Raiders than they already are.