Texas High Tigers (1-0)

vs.

Texarkana (Ark.) Arkansas High Razorbacks (0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Razorback Stadium, Texarkana, Ark.

Coaches
  • Texas High: Barry Norton
  • Arkansas High: Todd Ledford

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Texas High: idle
  • Arkansas High: at Liberty-Eylau, Sept. 11

 

Playmakers

Texas High

  • QB Cade Pearson, Jr., 6-2, 195
  • DB Chaz Davis, Sr., 5-11, 160
  • OL Matthew Davis, Sr., 6-0, 265
  • RB J’Kardi Witcher, Sr., 5-7, 170
  • WR Quan Hampton, Jr., 5-8, 150
  • WR Jaylen Rhone, Sr., 5-10, 160
  • LB Mitchell Butler, Sr., 5-7, 175
  • DB Jacorien Walker, Sr., 5-9, 165
  • DB Dee Jones, Sr., 5-10, 170
  • TE/DL Jacoryon Larry, Sr., 6-3, 240

Arkansas High

  • QB Bailey Sprayberry, Sr.
  • WR/CB Timothy Stuckey, Sr., 5-8, 155
  • DE Nick McCann, Sr., 6-2, 290
  • WR/CB Korleon Campbell, Jr., 5-11, 163
  • FS Johnathan Gullatt, Jr., 6-4, 171
  • FB/DE Tylar Gray, Jr., 6-0, 213

 

Just the facts
  • Texas High and Arkansas High will meet for the 101st time Friday.
  • Despite the out-of-state opponent feel to the game, the two schools are only separated by three miles. It's a city championship game.
  • Since this year's game is in Arkansas, the Tigers will play Arkansas High under in-state rules rather than UIL rules. Most notably, as a non-district game, there will be no overtime should the two teams tie at the end of the fourth quarter.
  • Arkansas High defeated Texas High last season, 20-14, in overtime last season under UIL rules.
  • Last year's loss snapped the Tigers' 13-game unbeaten streak against Arkansas High. The two teams tied in 2007.
  • Texas High leads the overall series 47-18-1 since 1947.
  • Arkansas High has won nine times in the series since 1989.
  • If Arkansas High was a Texas school, it would be in Class 5A. It's about the same size as Lindale. Texas High has 846 more students than Arkansas High.
  • Friday's game will be the first regular season game for Arkansas High this season. Texas High kicked off its season last week with a convincing 48-20 win at Whitehouse.
  • Junior quarterback Cade Pearson completed 10 of 11 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown last week while also rushing for two touchdowns. He attempted one throw in the second half.
  • Arkansas High will continue on a Texas swing with games against Liberty-Eylau and Marshall the following two weeks.
  • Get there early. Texas High-Arkansas High games have a long history of capacity crowds.

 

Texas High receiver Quan Hampton caught for 97 yards last week against Whitehouse. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Texas High's passing game versus Arkansas High's secondary.

Tigers quarterback Cade Pearson, a junior, racked up 202 yards in the first half against Whitehouse and the team cruised to a 48-20 victory. He was shut down for the night in the fourth quarter with Texas High up, 41-7. His yardage total for a half was staggering, but there's reason to believe supporting receiving corps can help him out to similar numbers on a nightly basis. There's a lot of athleticism out there this season with Quan Hampton and Jaylon Rhone leading the way. Running back J'Kardi Witcher also can play a role in the passing game, but he kicked off his personal season with more than 100 rushing yards and took pressure off Pearson and company.

A majority of Arkansas High's returning defensive starters will play in the secondary, so the team would match up as well as possible against the game plan Texas High used against Whitehouse. Expect the Tigers to see what Witcher can bring to the table on the ground before the team begins to test Arkansas High's secondary. If Witcher has room to run early, Texas High will be in good offensive position to take meeting No. 101.

Don't be surprised if: Both teams battle through a shaky start. This isn't an ordinary non-district game. A good chunk of the overall Texarkana area will be on hand. There will be a lot of pressure on the players to not only look good for the crowd but also make a big play for their state. Nerves usually settle after the game's first two drives.

Texas High running back K'Kardi Witcher. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)