No. 6 Tenaha Tigers (2-1)

vs.

No. 10 West Sabine Tigers (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Tiger Stadium, Pineland

 

Coaches
  • Tenaha: Terry Ward
  • West Sabine: Tod Stark

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Tenaha: vs. Sabine
  • West Sabine: Idle

 

Playmakers

Tenaha

  • QB J.R. Hill, Sr., 5-11, 160 (19 of 37, 338 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 22 carries, 165 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB/LB Chavis Gregory, Sr., 5-11, 210 (30 carries, 149 yards, 3 TDs; 20 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 recovery)
  • DT Denzelle Williams, Sr., 5-11, 200 (22 tackles, 7 for loss, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • RB/DB Cobe Caraway, Jr., 5-8, 165 (30 carries, 336 yards, 2 TDs; 14 tackles)
  • WR/CB Keontas Davis, Sr, 6-1, 160 (5 catches, 143 yards, 3 TDs; 11 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 6 PBUs)
  • LB Jacobi Ivy, Sr., 5-10, 185 (32 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • WR/DB DeAndre Thomas, Jr., 6-1, 160 (6 catches, 97 yards, 2 TDs; 9 tackles)

 

West Sabine

  • RB Nick Williams, Sr., 5-6, 165
  • QB/ATH Reshod Williams, Jr., 5-8, 170
  • LB Hunter Cabral, Sr., 5-10, 180
  • OL Jeremy Williams, Sr., 6-0, 260
  • ATH Tyler Sepulvado, Soph., 6-0, 250
  • OL Dustin Bragg, Sr., 5-9, 260
  • OL Dakota Dew, Sr., 5-10, 250

 

Just the facts
  • Tenaha is ranked No. 6 in this week's Associated Press Class A poll. West Sabine is ranked No. 10. West Sabine won last year's matchup 44-29.
  • That loss dropped Tenaha to 1-3, but the Tigers bounced back to win nine of their final 11 games and finish 10-5 with a Class A Division II state championship appearance.
  • Last year's victory gave West Sabine a 4-0 record. West Sabine finished 9-3 with a Class A Division I Region III area finalist finish.
  • Tenaha has outscored its first three opponents 99-30.
  • Tenaha averages 33.0 points per game and yields only 10.0.
  • West Sabine has outscored its first three opponents 163-30.
  • West Sabine averages 54.3 points per game and allows only 10.0.
  • Tenaha averages 6.3 yards per carry as a team and enters Friday's game averaging 234.4 rushing yards per game.
  • West Sabine has scored 136 points in its last two games.

 

West Sabine RB Nick Williams. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Tenaha's defensive front vs. West Sabine's running game. Tenaha owns the Associated Press' No. 6 spot in this week's Class A poll for a reason: the Tigers possess athleticism at virtually every spot on the field, nowhere greater than the skill spots, which are full of veteran playmakers who took Tenaha to its second consecutive state championship game last year. The running game fuels Tenaha's spread offense and it should continue to do so in what could be another huge year for head coach Terry Ward's team.

But West Sabine, a newcomer this week to the AP poll at No. 10, possesses a potent ground attack of its own. Nick Williams and Reshod Williams give veteran head coach Tod Stark one of Class A's best backfield duos. They run behind a hefty line that includes four players who weigh at least 250 pounds, giving West Sabine a very large offensive front for a 1A program.

Tenaha needs a big game from its linebackers, including two-way standout Chavis Gregory, and defensive lineman Denzelle Williams, who has been Tenaha's best defensive playmaker so far this season. Williams enters Friday's game averaging two sacks per game. The matchup between him and the West Sabine offensive line should be great for fans of both teams.

West Sabine OL Jeremy Williams. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: This game goes down to the wire. We definitely will not be surprised if this game lives up to the hype of a contest that pits top-10 teams against each other.

Few 1A games will feature as many athletes on the field as Tenaha vs. West Sabine. Both teams can use Friday's contest as a measuring stick as they approach their respective district schedules, and both will undoubtedly take things with them from this game that they will be able to draw upon during the postseason.

Regardless of the outcome, this game should be among the best in East Texas this weekend. Tenaha is coming off a huge statement win against Alto, which entered the season as the district favorite in the same league that West Sabine inhabits. Can West Sabine make a better case for itself than Alto, a 42-7 loser at Tenaha? Or perhaps beat Tenaha for a second consecutive season?

With Tenaha and West Sabine ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the ETSN.fm Week 3 Class A/Private Poll, we fully expect the winner of this contest to be frontrunner for the region's top 1A team as we look toward the remainder of the season.