Carlisle Indians (5-0, 0-0)
vs.
No. 5 Joaquin Rams (5-0, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Ram Stadium, Joaquin

Coaches
Carlisle: Rocky Baker
Joaquin: Wayne Gandy

Last week
Carlisle: def. Overton, 45-14
Joaquin: idle

Next week
Carlisle: vs. Harleton
Joaquin: at Big Sandy

Playmakers
Carlisle

  • QB/DB Gunner Baker, Sr., 6-2, 185 (34 of 63, 595 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs; 71 carries, 565 yards, 9 TDs; 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
  • FB/LB Tiburico Garcia, Soph., 5-7, 180 (29 carries, 191 yards, 4 TDs; 19 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
  • WR/DB Shadow Sanders, Sr., 5-9, 160 (6 catches, 174 yards, 2 TDs; 9 tackles, 4 INTs; 1 fumble recovery)
  • TE/DE Dylan Sanders, Sr., 6-2, 185 (5 catches, 100 yards, 1 TD; 31 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 blocked punt)
  • RB/DB Bryce McGowan, Soph., 5-8, 145 (12 carries 198 yards, 2 TDs; 16 tackles, 1 INT)
  • OT/LB Clay Allphin, Sr., 5-10, 195 (45 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
  • LB Michael Savala, Fr., 5-9, 155 (30 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery)

Joaquin

  • RB/DB Wyatt Hairgrove, Sr., 5-10, 159 (70 carries, 720 yards, 4 TDs; 5 catches, 120 yards, 2 TDs; 8 tackles, 2 INTs)
  • QB/DB Will Vaughn, Sr., 6-4, 205 (12 of 22, 302 yards, 4 TDs; 48 carries, 270 yards, 7 TDs; 47 tackles, 2 INTs; 2 forced fumbles)
  • RB Nick Cheatwood, Sr., 5-11, 175 (47 carries, 370 yards, 2 TDs)
  • FB Tra Rogers, Sr., 5-11, 202 (29 carries, 243 yards, 4 TDs)
  • LB Lance Lawson, Jr., 6-3, 207 (54 tackles, 2 forced fumbles)
  • RB/DB Gage Belrose, Jr., 6-2, 173 (10 carries, 76 yards, 2 TDs; 21 tackles, 2 INTs; 1 forced fumble)
  • OL/DL Keith Ferguson, Jr., 6-0, 190 (34 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)

Just the facts

  • Carlisle and Joaquin have met five times since 2004 with the Rams winning four of the five matchups, including a 37-0 victory in the first round of the 2009 playoffs.
  • The Indians are 60-23 with Rocky Baker as head coach, including a 12-2 finish and state quarterfinals appearance in 2006.
  • This is the fourth year under center for Baker's son, Gunner. The multi-sport standout has led Carlisle to a 31-8 record.
  • The Indians are averaging a staggering 43.2 points per game, while Carlisle's defense is holding opponents to an average of 7.8.
  • Wayne Gandy is 78-41 in his 10-plus seasons as Joaquin head coach. His best season came in 2009 when the Rams went 11-3 and advanced to the state semifinals.
  • Carlisle and Joaquin both enter Friday night's game unbeaten, but the combined record of their opponents is less than stellar. Carlisle's opponents are 9-18 on the season, while Joaquin's opponents have combined for a 4-23 record.

Key matchup: Joaquin running game vs. Carlisle defensive front. There's no secret about coach Wayne Gandy's game plan on offense. A strong running game has been a key ingredient to success over the last decade at Joaquin, and it's no different this season. Joaquin is averaging 349.6 rushing yards per game to only 64.4 through the air. The Rams have four ball carries with more than 240 yards thus far. Joaquin has rushed a total of 215 times (43 per game) to just 23 pass attempts. If Joaquin has similar success on the ground on Friday, it's hard to imagine Carlisle coming away with a victory.

 

Don't be surprised if: This one goes down to the wire. Both teams appear evenly matched with not separating the two. The X-factor is Carlisle quarterback Gunner Baker, who's dual-threat ability from behind center can be the difference in the game. If Joaquin can control the clock with its powerful running game and keep Baker contained, the Rams stand an excellent chance of staying perfect on the season.