Texarkana Showdown: Texas High Plays Host to Liberty-Eylau
Liberty-Eylau Leopards (0-2)
No. 10 Texas High Tigers (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
At Tiger Stadium, Texarkana
- Liberty-Eylau: Steve Wells
- Texas High: Barry Norton
- Liberty-Eylau: vs. Atlanta, Sept. 16
- Texas High: vs. Kilgore, Sept. 16
- DE Lagaryonn Carson, Sr., 6-5, 255 (committed to Texas)
- OL Franklin Smith, Sr., 6-3, 275
- RB Kameron Levingston, Sr., 5-8, 185 (32 carries, 188 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 13 yards)
- RB Kevin Florence, Sr., 6-0, 183 (23 carries, 196 yards, 3 TDs; 1 catch, 24 yards)
- LB Michael Lindley, Sr., 5-11, 210
- QB Decorian Phillips, Jr., 6-1, 173 (22 of 34, 277 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 6 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Aaron Bruce, Sr., 6-1, 175 (3 catches, 76 yards, 1 TD)
- RB DeAndre Hoof, Jr., 5-10, 185 (9 carries, 40 yards, 2 TDs)
- QB Cade Pearson, Sr., 6-2, 200 (41 of 64, 636 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs; 7 carries, 16 yards; committed to North Texas)
- WR Quan Hampton, Sr., 5-9, 165 (17 catches, 306 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Devuntay Walker, Sr., 6-0, 180 (16 carries, 81 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 31 yards)
- RB Markese Martin, Sr., 6-0, 216 (14 carries, 60 yards, 2 TDs; 5 catches, 145 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Tevailance Hunt, Jr., 6-1, 175 (11 catches, 176 yards, 3 TDs)
- DB Eric Sutton, Sr., 5-8, 155
- OL Kam Arnold, Sr., 6-4, 300
- OL Dylan Raley, Sr., 6-3, 285
Just the facts
- This is the 12th meeting between Liberty-Eylau and Texas High since 1990. Texas High is 8-3 during that span.
- The last time these two met was in 2013, a 30-8 Texas High victory.
- After rushing for 385 yards in its season opener against Gilmer, Carthage held Liberty-Eylau to 169 rushing yards last week.
- The Leoaprds have not begun a season 0-3 since 1970.
- The 2015 cumulative record of Liberty-Eylau's first two opponents this season -- Gilmer and Carthage -- was 25-4.
- Texas High quarterback Cade Pearson is on pace to throw for 3,180 yards during the regular seaosn, which would double his output in each of the previous two years.
- Tigers coach Barry Norton is 19-2 against schools from Texarkana (Arkansas and Texas).
- Texas High entered the Associated Press Class 5A poll this week at No. 10.
Key matchup: Texas High passing attack vs. Liberty-Eylau secondary. Tigers quarterback Cade Pearson, a three-year starter and North Texas commit, is off to a sizzling start to the 2016 season. In blowout wins over Dallas Bishop Lynch and Arkansas High, Pearson has already surpassed the 600-yard mark. In the Week 1 victory, Pearson lit up the Bishop Lynch secondary with 439 yards and four touchdowns. The numbers weren't quite as flashy last week, but he was just as effective with 197 yards on 16 of 24 passing. Pearson has a couple of premier weapons at his disposal in senior receiver Quan Hampton and junior Tevailance Hunt. Hampton and Hunt have combined for almost 500 receiving yards in two games, and are responsible for five of Pearson's six scoring tosses.
The Liberty-Eylau defense has certainly had its struggles defending the pass in the early going. In the season opener, the Leopards allowed 577 yards through the air from Gilmer quarterback Aaron "Poppy" Brown. And just last week, Carthage senior Kason Davis passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns. While the Liberty-Eylau offense has been steady thus far (averaging 37.5 points and 410.5 yards per game), the Leopards are allowing an alarming 47.5 points and 550.5 yards on average. And most of the damage has been done through the air. Complicating matters is the situation involving star defensive end Lagaryonn Carson's (Texas commit) availability for Friday's game. He was suspended last week, and his status for this week has yet to be determined. Having the services of one of the nation's top pass rushers would certainly help L-E's chances on defenses.
Don't be surprised if: Texas High loads the box to stop Liberty-Eylau's rushing attack. Through two games, the Leopards' running game has been their most consistent feature on offense, averaging 277 yards per game coming into play Friday. Following a tough Week 1 performance against the run, Texas High regrouped and put the clamps down on Arkansas High's ground game, limiting the Razorbacks to 97 yards on 32 carries. Liberty-Eylau will most likely need its biggest performance of the young season from its combination of quarterback and receivers. Junior Decorian Phillips and sophomore Isaiah Cross split reps at QB in the opener, but Phillips took over the job on a full-time basis last week. He was 17 of 28 for 171 yards and a touchdown, which was a major improvement from Week 1.