Unbeaten Teams Collide When 3A Pittsburg Travels to 2A No. 5 New Boston on Friday
Pittsburg Pirates (2-0)
No. 5 New Boston Lions (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lion Stadium, New Boston
- Pittsburg: Dickey Meeks
- New Boston: Jamey Thomas
- Pittsburg: won 35-14 vs. Gladewater
- New Boston: won 37-7 at Pleasant Grove
- Pittsburg: vs. Dallas First Baptist
- New Boston: vs. Paris North Lamar
- QB Garrett Truitt, Sr., 6-4, 190 (29 of 42, 442 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs; 1 rush TD)
- WR/LB SirCharles Perkins, Jr., 5-8, 168 (3 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Tajawin Smith, Sr., 6-1, 265
- RB Teriyan Cuba, Jr. (32 carries, 175 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 58 yards)
- RB DeQuaveon Douglas (12 carries, 81 yards)
- WR/CB Jarrion Douglas, Sr., 6-0, 180
- WR Ernando Valdelamar (10 catches, 115 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR/DB Markeith Thompson, Sr. (4 catches, 83 yards)
- WR Markevius Traylor, Sr. (1 receiving TD; 1 INT, 1 def. TD)
- DB Jawuan Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 190 (committed to Northern Illinois)
- RB Keith Baldwin, Sr.
- OL/DL Wesley Holmes, Sr., 6-3, 280
- QB Aaron Conkleton, Sr.
- RB Quinn Dedmon, Jr., 5-10, 165
- DB T.Q. Dedmon, Jr.
- LB Wes Teague, Sr.
- DE Dale Roberts, Sr, 6-4, 200
- DE/LB Dedric Draggoo, Jr.
Just the facts
- Pittsburg is 8-6 vs. New Boston since 1984.
- New Boston won last year's meeting 47-7.
- Pittsburg senior quarterback Garrett Truitt completed 69 percent of his pass attempts in the Pirates' first two contests.
- Nine different players have scored at least one touchdown for Pittsburg. Teriyan Cuba, Ernando Valdelamar, and Markevius Traylor, who have two apiece, are the only players with more than one. One of Traylor's touchdowns came on an interception return.
- Pittsburg kicker Daniel Silva has hit 3 of 3 field-goal attempts and 5 of 6 extra-point tries in the Pirates' first two games.
- Pittsburg outscored its first two opponents -- Wills Point and Gladewater -- 90-28.
- New Boston outscored its first two opponents -- DeKalb and Pleasant Grove -- 85-13.
- Jamey Thomas served as New Boston's offensive coordinator last season before taking over the head coaching role when Rick Barker left for a head coaching position at Fouke, Ark.
- Barker went 68-20 during his New Boston tenure.
Key matchup: Pittsburg defensive front vs. New Boston rushing attack. Losing a 3,200-yard rusher in Damien Haskins, the Lions' Oregon State signee who scored 52 touchdowns in 2012, seems like it would cripple an offense.
Well, we're two games into the 2013 season and New Boston is averaging 42.5 points per game.
Pittsburg must prepare for an almost run-exclusive attack that not only dictates tempo, but possess big-play capability with the likes of quarterback Aaron Conkleton, tailback Keith Baldwin, and tailback Quinn Dedmon. Pittsburg defensive lineman Tajawin Smith will be among the players charged with containing the Lions' running game Friday night, along with linebacker Sir Charles Perkins, who led the Pirates with almost 150 tackles in 2012.
Head coach Dickey Meeks will need Pittsburg's athletic secondary to be solid in run support. That means not only coming downhill to make stops, but taking the proper angles in pursuit if New Boston's backs get loose.
Don't be surprised if: Both teams put some points on the board. New Boston's relentless running game wears down the vast majority of opponents the Lions see, while Pittsburg's spread has proven in two games under the new coaching staff the Pirates may be scoring at a similar clip that Henderson scored during Meeks' tenure.
As with just about any football game, the trenches will likely decide the outcome. If New Boston's offensive line dictates action at the line of scrimmage, Pittsburg could have a long night defensively, which could negatively influence the Pirates' offense by keeping it off the field. If Pittsburg's front holds up and gets stops, that will allow the Pirates to get more snaps for talented quarterback Garrett Truitt and company.
Friday's game looks like it should be a close one between two teams playing very different styles.