Tenaha Faces Unbeaten Bremond, Seeking Third State Finals Appearance In Four Years
CLASS 2A DIVISION II
Tenaha Tigers (11-1)
No. 4 Bremond Tigers (13-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Homer Bryce Stadium, Nacogdoches
- Tenaha: Terry Ward
- Bremond: Jeff Kasowski
Road to semifinals
- Bi-district: bye
- Area: def. Hubbard, 40-26
- Region III semifinal: def. Normangee, 47-7
- Region III final: def. Iola, 35-28
- Bi-district: bye
- Area: def. Rocksprings, 48-0
- Region IV semifinal: def. Louise, 47-6
- Region IV final: def. Bruni, 46-7
- Winner faces winner between Seagraves and Albany, 2A Division II state championship game, 10 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 18), AT&T Stadium in Arlington
- RB/S Cobe Caraway, Sr., 5-8, 168 (191 carries, 2,240 yards, 31 TDs; 45 tackles, 2 INT, 8 PBUs, fumble recovery)
- WR/DB D'Andre Thomas, Sr., 6-2, 175 (41 catches, 777 yards, 10 TDs; 15 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs; 31 tackles, 3 for loss, INT, 13 PBUs)
- WR Colton Goeke, Jr., 6-1, 165 (35 catches, 535 yards, 4 TDs
- QB/DB TJ Thomas, Sr., 5-8, 160 (83 of 155, 1,401 yards, 14 TDs, 3 INTs; 92 carries, 485 yards, 8 TDs; 93 tackles, 4 for loss, 5 INTs, 5 PBUs)
- LB Da'Marcus Perry, Sr. (155 tackles, 14 for loss, 6 sacks, forced fumble, 2 recoveries, INT, 3 PBUs)
- RB/DB Markevaus Reed, Sr., 5-11, 160 (55 carries, 438 yards, 5 TDs; 63 tackles, 2 INTs, PBU)
- DB Seth Wyatt, Sr. (31 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 PBUs)
- LB DiCarlo Dudley, Jr. (54 tackles, 6 for loss, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, recovery)
- QB/DB Roshauud Paul, Soph., 5-11, 160 (67 of 94, 1,222 yards, 16 TDs, 3 INTs; 137 carries, 1,325 yards, 19 TDs; 32 tackles, INT, 4 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles)
- RB/LB Josh Anderson, Jr., 5-11, 190 (105 carries, 726 yards; 42 tackles, 11 for loss, 7 sacks, 3 QB pressures)
- WR/DB Rayandre Browning, Jr. (36 catches, 666 yards, 9 TDs; 74 carries, 471 yards, 11 TDs; 58 tackles, 2 for loss, 7 INTs)
- DE Hamilton Hull, Sr. (113 tackles, 19 for loss, 8 sacks, 2 QB pressures, forced fumble, 3 recoveries, 3 PBUs, 1 blocked kick)
- DL Jarvis Jones, Sr. (109 tackles, 20 for loss, 8 sacks, QB pressure, forced fumble, recovery)
- LB Mason Pruitt, Sr. (140 tackles, 9 for loss, 4 sacks, QB pressure, 4 forced fumbles, recovery)
- LB Connor Grych, Sr. (100 tackles, 7 for loss, sack, fumble recovery)
- WR/DB Joe Williams, Soph. (27 catches, 348 yards, 6 TDs; 24 carries, 366 yards, 5 TDs; 26 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs)
Just the facts
- Tenaha is competing in its fourth consecutive consecutive state semifinal. The Tigers earned wins over Burton (63-28) in 2011 and Falls City (42-14) in 2012, before losing to Falls City in last season's semifinal, 36-34.
- Tenaha defeated Bremond in last season's state quarterfinal, 24-7.
- For the season, Tenaha is averaging 40 points and 428 yards per game -- 309.9 rushing and 118.1 passing.
- Since taking over the Tenaha program prior to the 2009 season, Terry Ward has compiled a 66-13 record -- 19-4 in the playoffs. The four losses came to Mart (2009), Bremond (2010), Munday (2012) and Falls City (2013).
- The cumulative record of Tenaha's opponents this season is 75-58 (.564).
- For the season, Bremond is averaging 47.6 points and 426.8 yards per game -- 322.1 rushing and 104.7 passing.
- Tenaha and Bremond share one common opponent. Bremond defeat Hubbard, 20-6, in Week 3, while Tenaha earned a 40-26 win over Hubbard in the area round of the playoffs.
- The cumulative record of Bremond's opponents this season is 62-81 (.434)
Key matchup: Tenaha rushing attack vs. Bremond defensive front. It will be strength on strength when Tenaha has the ball on offense, as the Tigers and their star running back Cobe Caraway match wits with a dominating Bremond defense. Caraway, a senior speedster, had his streak of five consecutive 200-yard rushing games snapped a week ago against Iola. But he still managed 180 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries, helping Tenaha to its eighth consecutive win. For the season, Caraway is over 2,200 yards for the season and has rushed for 31 touchdowns. Three other Tenaha players -- quarterback TJ Thomas and running backs Markevaus Reed and Ladarrius Garrett -- have combined to rush for 1,290 yards and 18 touchdowns, so the offense isn't completely run through Caraway. However, he is the workhorse. His 191 carries are 99 more than anyone else on the team and he's accounted for 31 of the team's 52 rushing touchdowns. Keeping Caraway in check will be a huge priority for Bremond's defense.
Bremond will counter with perhaps the best defensive front Tenaha has faced up to this point in the season. Coming into Friday night's game, Bremond has 93 tackles for loss on the year -- an average of more than seven per game. In offenses that are dominated by the run like Tenaha (72 percent of all offensive snaps this season are rushing attempts), tackles behind the line of scrimmage can end up having the same affect as penalties, completely wrecking a drive. Bremond's D-line trio of Jarvis Jones, Connor Grych and Hamilton Hull have combined for 46 tackles for loss, and will provide Tenaha's offensive line a huge challenge this week. For the season, Bremond is allowing just 8.4 points per game, in large measure to its ability to stop the run. Only three of Bremond's opponents have scored more than one touchdown in a game this season. In the playoffs, Bremond has allowed a grand total of 13 points in three games. Tenaha is likely the best offense Bremond will have faced in the postseason, but those defensive numbers indicate Tenaha may have to do more than hand the ball off to Caraway in order to secure the win.
Don't be surprised if: TJ Thomas and the Tenaha passing offense has a lot to say about the outcome of the game. Caraway and Co. have been so dominant on the ground of late, Tenaha has not had the need to throw the ball much. It could be a different story Friday night as Bremond's defense has the potential to give Tenaha difficulties, especially up front. In an effort to take away the ground game, Bremond is likely to stack the box with eight- and nine-man fronts, which will create one-on-one matchups downfield. Thomas has the capability of making opposing defenses pay for loading up the box. On the season, he has thrown for more than 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Because of Tenaha's tendency to run the ball, several of the Tigers' big plays come via the air. Thomas averages nearly 17 yards per completion, while receiver D'Andre Thomas has 10 touchdown receptions on only 41 catches. If TJ Thomas can take advantage of single coverage, Tenaha's offense could be in for a big night, because Bremond can't afford to play off the run against a back averaging more than 200 yards per game. If the Tenaha QB struggles through the air, the Tigers become one dimensional, and thus easier to defend.