DISTRICT 15-5A

Texas High Tigers (5-1, 3-0)

vs.

Longview Lobos (4-2, 2-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Lobo Stadium, Longview

 

Coaches
  • Texas High: Barry Norton
  • Longview: John King

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Texas High: vs. Marshall, Oct. 23
  • Longview: at Mount Pleasant, Oct. 23

 

Playmakers

Texas High

  • QB Cade Pearson, Jr., 6-2, 195 (56 of 106, 911 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs)
  • RB J'Kardi Witcher, Sr., 5-7, 170 (121 carries, 945 yards, 8 TDs)
  • WR Quan Hampton, Jr., 5-8, 150 (16 catches, 299 yards, 3 TDs)
  • OL Matthew Davis, Sr., 6-0, 265
  • DB Chaz Davis, Sr., 5-11, 160
  • DB Jacorien Walker, Sr., 5-9, 165
  • DL Jacoryon Larry, Sr., 6-3, 240
  • DB Dee Jones, Sr., 5-10, 170

 

Longview

  • QB Michael Ross, Sr., 5-10, 175 (49 of 104, 786 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs; 27 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB D'Crayvan Polk, Jr., 5-7, 165 (59 carries, 417 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB/LB Kendrevian White, Jr., 5-10, 200 (8 carries, 65 yards, 1 TD; 18 tackles, 2 for loss))
  • WR Chris Braggs, Sr., 5-10, 165 (10 catches, 148 yards, 1 TD)
  • OL Tim Clay, Sr., 6-6, 365
  • TE Jordan Wyatt, Sr., 6-3, 215 (9 catches, 257 yards, 3 TDs)
  • DL Kybrin Sheridan, Sr., 5-11, 210 (35 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 PBU)
  • DB Traveion Webster, Jr., 6-0, 195 (43 tackles, 1 PBU)

 

Just the facts
  • This will be the 63rd meeting between Longview and Texas High. Longview leads the all-time series, 39-22-1.
  • Texas High and Longview have each made the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons.
  • Texas High is averaging 34.5 points and 378.8 yards per game -- 218.3 rushing and 160.5 passing.
  • The Tigers are allowing 17 points per game.
  • Texas High's last unbeaten district season occurred in 2013.
  • Longview is averaging 34 points and 429.2 yards per game -- 286 rushing and 143.2 passing.
  • The Lobos are allowing 15 points per game.
  • Longview is 14-3 the week after losses under head coach John King.

 

Longview OL Tim Clay. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Longview rushing attack vs. Texas High defensive front. The Lobos' ground game rarely misses a beat, no matter who is in the backfield taking handoffs. Starring running back Tylan Miller has missed each of the last two games with a knee injury, but Longview has still managed to find great success with its rushing attack. The Lobos ran at will in a 51-0 shutout win at Greenville two weeks ago, and managed to put up 336 rushing yards in last week's road loss at Marshall. With Miller out for the second consecutive game, Longview went to a running back-by-committee approach, which yielded positive results. Junior D'Crayvan Polk ran for a career-high 225 yards and two touchdown on 21 carries, and fellow junior Kendrevian White came in the second half and was big on the Lobos' go-ahead scoring drive in the third quarter. He finished the night with eight carries for 65 yards and a score in his first action on offense this year.

If Texas High wishes to hand Longview its second consecutive district loss, the Tigers' defense must find a way to contain the Lobos' ground attack and force Longview quarterback Michael Ross to beat them. Ross had shown flashes of promise this season, but has been mistake-prone as well. Coming into Friday's game, Ross has completed just 47 percent of his passes and thrown five interceptions to seven touchdowns in 104 passing attempts. If Texas High's defense is able to slow down Longview's running attack, it will be up to Ross and receivers Jon Sorey and Chris Braggs and tight end Jordan Wyatt to keep the Lobos' offense moving.

Texas High DL Jacoryon Larry. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: Neither team reaches 30 points. Both Texas High and Longview possess physical and stingy defensive units, neither of which is allowing more than 19 points per game. And while the offense for each team is capable of making big plays, both have a few shortcomings. In the end, the outcome should be decided by which defense performs the best and which team runs the ball the most efficiency. Texas High's J'Kardi Witcher comes into Friday's game third in the district in rushing, just a shade below 1,000 yards on the season, while Longview is getting its production from a handful of backs. The Lobos could have an advantage late in a tight game with fresh legs in the backfield, and that could ultimately tilt the game in Longview's favor. Whatever happens on the field, expect to see physical play on both sides of the ball from each team.