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Two of East Texas’ Top Recruits Face Off Friday When Mount Pleasant Hosts Liberty-Eylau

Mount Pleasant’s Cullen Grubbs prepares to pass during the Aug. 23 scrimmage at Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Liberty-Eylau Leopards (1-0)

vs.

Mount Pleasant Tigers (1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Sam Parker Field, Mount Pleasant

 

Coaches
  • Liberty-Eylau: Brian Brown
  • Mount Pleasant: Mart Graham

 

Last week
  • Liberty-Eylau: won 49-20 at Paul Pewitt
  • Mount Pleasant: won 40-17 vs. Paris

 

Next week
  • Liberty-Eylau: at Texas High
  • Mount Pleasant: at Terrell

 

Playmakers

Liberty-Eylau

  • ATH Davion Hall, Sr., 6-2, 191 (committed to Baylor; 3 catches, 48 yards, 1 TD; 6 tackles)
  • RB D.Q. Steels, Jr. (4 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Donelle Hoof, Jr. (8 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Rashaan Donelson, Sr., 6-0, 187 (8 of 12, 177 yards, 3 TDs; 2 carries, 21 yards; 66-yard KO return TD)
  • WR Keith Wynkoop, Sr., 5-8, 165 (3 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD)
  • LB Ricardo Lockett, Jr. (16 tackles)
  • LB Ricky Johnson, Jr. (15 tackles)
  • DL Douglas Goodnight, Sr. (5 tackles)

 

Mount Pleasant

  • WR/S K.D. Cannon, Sr., 6-0, 160 (committed to Baylor; 5 catches, 65 yards, 2 TDs; 1 INT)
  • RB Tarrence Taylor, Sr., 5-10, 155 (28 carries, 258 yards, 3 TDs)
  • QB Cullen Grubbs, Sr., 6-1, 200 (15 of 24, 138 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT_
  • WR Andrew Flanagan, Sr., 6-0, 196 (5 catches, 54 yards)
  • DB Keanan Brown (1 INT)
  • DB Ladarius Craddock, Sr., 5-9, 170
  • DE T’Nheous Smith, Sr., 6-1, 224
  • WR Jaquille Rodgers, Jr., 6-0, 150
  • OL Devon Hargrove, Sr.

 

Just the facts
  • Mount Pleasant senior WR K.D. Cannon and Liberty-Eylau senior WR/S Davion Hall are widely considered East Texas’ top recruits in the 2014 class.
  • Cannon and Hall are both committed to Baylor as receivers, though many schools, including Alabama, want Hall as a safety.
  • 247Sports.com rates Hall as the No. 11 recruit in Texas, while Rivals.com ranks him 15th in the state. Scout.com ranks Hall as a five-star recruit and the No. 3 receiver in the nation. ESPN.com ranks Hall 75th overall nationally.
  • Cannon is No. 5 in 247Sports.com’s state rankings, while Rivals.com ranks him No. 3. Scout.com has Cannon as the nation’s No. 6 receiver. ESPN.com ranks Cannon 46th overall nationally.
  • Mount Pleasant holds a 29-12 series advantage vs. Liberty-Eylau since 1966.
  • The Tigers won last year’s meeting 35-20.
  • Mount Pleasant is 7-2 against Liberty-Eylau since 2004.
  • Mount Pleasant tailback Tarrence Taylor, who accounted for 1,006 yards from scrimmage as a junior, averaged 9.2 yards per carry during last week’s 258-yard, three-touchdown performance.
  • Liberty-Eylau senior QB Rashaan Donelson averaged 22.1 yards per completion last week.
  • The Leopards gained 383 total yards of offense on only 27 snaps, which is an average of 14.2 yards per play.

 

Key matchup: Each team’s skill players vs. the other’s back seven. Both of these teams showed a penchant for big plays a week ago, when Mount Pleasant beat Paris by 23 points and Liberty-Eylau ran away with a 29-point win at Paul Pewitt. Preventing the “home run” will be a top priority for both defenses.

Liberty-Eylau ATH Davion Hall. (ETSN.fm)

The obvious matchup fans anxiously await in this game will be anytime Mount Pleasant’s K.D. Cannon and Liberty-Eylau’s Davion Hall cross paths. They may not get singled up in man coverage since both play safety on defense, but there should be plenty of opportunities for them to run into each other when giving safety help, something that each team will likely need since both are serious vertical threats in the passing game.

But don’t overlook the explosive running games. Tarrence Taylor had a monster 258-yard effort in the win against Paris, while L-E averaged 13.7 yards per carry as a team in its win against Pewitt. A good way to soften up a defense preoccupied with stopping a receiver as good as K.D. Cannon or Davion Hall is to gash them on the ground. Both teams linebackers and defensive backs must be aware of the ground game and ready to rush to the box in run support. As Taylor and L-E’s stable of ball carriers showed last week, tackling these guys in space won’t be easy.

Mount Pleasant WR K.D. Cannon. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don’t be surprised if: These two teams produced a high-scoring contest. They combined for 89 points in their respective wins a week ago because of the pressure they put on opposing defenses with their varied and athletic attacks.

That’s not to say each team possesses its fair share of defensive playmakers. But the weapons on each side of the field should make for an entertaining installment of this Interstate 30 rivalry.

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