Chapel Hill Bulldogs (0-1)

vs.

Whitehouse Wildcats (0-1)

7:30 p.m. Thursday

TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

 

Coaches
  • Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
  • Whitehouse: Adam Cook

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Chapel Hill: at Paris, Sept. 11
  • Whitehouse: at Sulphur Springs, Sept. 11

 

Playmakers

Chapel Hill

  • OL Jeremy West, Sr., 6-3, 300
  • RB/DB Ja'Braylon Franklin, Sr., 5-8, 160
  • WR/DB Deundre Phillips, Sr., 5-8, 180
  • WR Zack Walters, Sr., 6-2, 200
  • RB Ladarian Hudson, Jr., 5-11, 180
  • DB Kenyotta Henderson, Sr., 5-8, 180
  • LB Kaleb Golden, Jr., 6-0, 190
  • QB Konnor Hitchcock, Sr., 5-9, 175

 

Whitehouse

  • LB Khyree Key, Jr., 6-2, 220
  • WR Trent Williams, Sr., 6-3, 190
  • RB/WR Shemar Smith, Sr., 5-8, 165
  • QB Tanner Roach, Jr., 6-0, 170
  • LB Cade Parrish, Sr., 5-11, 195
  • OL Anthony Brown, Sr., 5-11, 250
  • DB Connor Clark, Jr., 5-10, 160
  • LB Braylon Shackelford, Jr., 5-8, 180

 

Just the facts
  • This will be the 29th all-time meeting between Chapel Hill and Whitehouse. Chapel Hill leads the series, 14-12-2.
  • Whitehouse has dominated the series of late, winning 12 of the previous 14 encounters.
  • Chapel Hill's shutout loss to Lindale last week was its first since the 2006 season opener vs. Center -- a span of 110 games.
  • The Bulldogs are 1-3 in their last four season openers.
  • Chapel Hill put up 195 yards of offense last week. It averaged 438.5 a season ago.
  • Whitehouse's string of season-opening wins was snapped at three last week vs. Texas High
  • The Wildcats' non-district record since 2012 is 13-1, with their lone loss coming last week.
  • Since 2011, the average score of Chapel Hill vs. Whitehouse is 45-37 in favor of Whitehouse.

 

Chapel Hill RB/DB Ja'Braylon Franklin. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Whitehouse passing game vs. Chapel Hill secondary. No team in East Texas has put it in the air more often in the last decade-plus than Whitehoouse, and it hasn't mattered what quarterback has been in charge -- Brady Attaway, Hunter Taylor, Patrick Mahomes, and now junior Tanner Roach. In last week's season-opening loss to Texas High, the duo of Roach senior Collin Bullard combined for 42 passing attempts and 247 yards -- roughly twice the production of Whitehouse's rushing attack. In addition to his own athleticism, Roach benefits from a fairly solid receiving corps. Senior Trent Williams is the most experienced of the group, and he finished with four catches for 78 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown, in last week's game. Other reliable targets include junior Zach Parker, who also caught a touchdown pass last Friday, and senior DeMontre Else.

Whitehouse WR Trent Williams. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Chapel Hill counters with an experienced and athletic defensive backfield. The trio of seniors Kenyotta Henderson, Deundre Phillips, and Ja'Braylon Franklin have played a ton of football at the varsity level over the previous few seasons. In last week's season-opening loss to Lindale, the Bulldogs' held their own, especially against the pass. Lindale was held to less than 50 percent passing (7 of 15) for just 115 yards, which helped Chapel Hill prevent the Eagles from completely running away with the game. The Bulldogs will need another similar effort against Whitehouse on Thursday night. Whitehouse doesn't attempt too many passes beyond 15 yards, relying mainly on short and immediate timing routes to pick apart opposing defenses. While Chapel Hill's defensive backs need to be aware of being taken advantage of over the top, their primary focus should be keeping Wildcats receivers in front of them by making sure tackles when presented the opportunity.

Chapel Hill DB Kenyotta Henderson. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: Both offenses re-capture their usual explosiveness. Neither Chapel Hill or Whitehouse faired particularly well on the offensive side of the ball in Week 1, which was rather surprising. The Bulldogs returned most of their skill position players from last year, a season in which they averaged almost 40 points and more than 430 yards per game. However, they were stymied all night by Lindale's defense, mustering just 195 total yards of offense. Chapel Hill, which operates at a hyper-uptempo pace, normally gets between 70-80 offensive snaps per game. But a lack of overall execution, which netted only seven first downs, limited the Bulldogs' offense to just 46 plays from scrimmage. Whitehouse, meanwhile, was derailed by three turnovers and a lack of discipline (115 yards in penalties). Last season, Chapel Hill's offense responded well following a similar season-opening performance vs. Lindale. And Whitehouse hasn't become one of East Texas' most productive offenses in recent years by stringing together consecutive poor outings.