Smith County Rivals Whitehouse + Chapel Hill Clash Friday Night In Tyler
Whitehouse Wildcats (1-0)
Chapel Hill Bulldogs (0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler. Radio: KISX, 107.3-FM, Tyler
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
- Whitehouse: vs. Sulphur Springs, Sept. 12
- Chapel Hill: vs. Paris, Sept. 12
- S Justin Dunning, Sr., 6-4, 200 (5 tackles, 2 for loss, committed to Texas A&M)
- CB Nate Brooks, Sr., 6-0, 155 (6 tackles, 1 PBU, committed to North Texas)
- QB Jackson Allen, Sr., 6-2, 175 (26 of 48, 361 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
- WR Trent Williams, Jr., 6-3, 185 (11 catches, 119 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Drew Smith, Sr., 5-11, 185 (8 catches, 122 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Vincent Dunning, Sr., 6-0, 205 (32 carries, 169 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 9 yards)
- RB/LB Dominique Hollie, Sr., 6-1, 225 (6 carries, 19 yards, 1 TD; 9 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- RB Shemar Smith, Jr., 5-8, 165 (1 carry, 5 yards; 2 catches, 38 yards)
- FB/LB Reggie King, Jr., 5-11, 205 (4 catches, 39 yards)
- WR/LB Deundre Phillips, Jr., 5-8, 180 (3 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD)
- OL/DL Jeremy West, Jr., 6-3, 270
- OL/DL Rex Cicero, Sr., 6-2, 245
- WR Jeffery Minor, Sr., 6-0, 170 (1 catch, 8 yards; 1 carry, 14 yards)
- RB/DB Ja'Braylon Franklin, Jr. (4 carries, 35 yards; 1 catch, 11 yards)
- QB Konnor Hitchcock, Jr., 5-8, 160 (10 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
- OL Gonzalo Arreguin, Sr., 5-11, 240
Just the facts
- This is the 26th meeting between Whitehouse and Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill leads the all-time series, 13-11-1, but Whitehouse has won 11 of the last 13 matchups.
- Whitehouse and Chapel Hill shared the same district from 1988-1999.
- In last week's season-opening win over Texas High, Whitehouse rolled up 548 total yards of offense -- 361 passing and 187 rushing.
- Whitehouse allowed 35 points last week. The Wildcats surrendered 35 points or more in a game four times last season -- Carthage, John Tyler, Arlington Seguin and Mesquite Poteet.
- Since 2004, Whitehouse is 24-15 in non-district games -- 11-0 since 2012.
- Chapel Hill was limited to just 160 total yards of offense in last week's loss to Lindale. The Bulldogs had only nine rushing yards on the night.
- This will be the third consecutive season in which Chapel Hill has opened its season against Lindale and Whitehouse.
- Since 2004, Chapel Hill is 30-20 in non-district games -- 14-7 since 2010.
Key matchup: Whitehouse offensive line vs. Chapel Hill defensive front. It may sound obvious, but if the quarterback is given as much time as he wants to sit back in the pocket before throwing, it will be a long night for the defense. But this is especially true in the case of Whitehouse quarterback Jackson Allen and his receiving corps. Most of what Whitehouse does well on offense is centered around timing routes to receivers near the line of scrimmage, which requires a quick drop and release by the quarterback. Whatever Chapel Hill's defensive front can do to disrupt that timing will serve the Bulldogs well. Allen was making his varsity debut last week at Texas High, and while he performed well with more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, a strong running game led by Vincent Dunning took a lot of the pressure off the new quarterback. Dunning carried the ball more than 30 times and put up 169 yards last week against Texas High, whose defense was among the area's very best against the run a season ago. If Whitehouse has both the pass and run working in its favor Friday night, it could be a tough night for Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill's defense will have to take away at least one of those options in Whitehouse's offense. Last season, after a rough first half, the defense turned up the pressure on Wildcats quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Chapel Hill trailed 35-0 in the opening half, but scored 27 unanswered points thanks in large measure to a defense that was frustrating a high-powered Whitehouse offense with uncharacteristic three-and-outs. The inspired defensive performance did not end up leading to a come-from-behind win, but it put Chapel Hill in position to pull the upset. At this point, applying a steady pass rush might be a more sound defensive game plan than stopping the run for Chapel Hill, if only because of the inexperience Whitehouse has at quarterback and receiver. Allen, while impressive in the opener, is not the athlete Mahomes was at the position. A lot of times Mahomes did his best work when flushed out of the pocket, extending plays long enough to get receivers open downfield.
Don't be surprised if: Chapel Hill spends the majority of the opening quarter trying to get its running game established. Even though the Bulldogs operate out of the spread and rarely huddle, they're at their best when they're able to run effectively. And that's something that did not happen in last week's opener at Lindale. Chapel Hill attempted only 16 rushes last week, and it netted only nine yards. The lack of a running game put new starting quarterback Konnor Hitchcock under the gun, and while he performed well in his debut, a more productive ground attack will make things much easier on him moving forward. With backs Ja'Braylon Franklin, Delenis Garrett and Michael Bledsoe running behind a solid offensive line, there's no reason why Chapel Hill can't get better with its running game. If Chapel Hill is able to establish its ground attack, Hitchcock has three very reliable targets downfield to target in Jeffery Minor, Deundre Phillips and Reggie King. If Chapel Hill's defense can win the battle up front with Whitehouse and the offense can find a healthy balance, the Bulldogs stand a good chance of being in position to pull off an upset.