Class 4A Division II Region II
Semifinal

No. 3 Whitehouse Wildcats (12-0)

vs.

Mesquite Poteet Pirates (11-1)

1 p.m. Friday

Eagle Stadium, Allen

 

Coaches

  • Whitehouse: Adam Cook
  • Mesquite Poteet: Kody Groves

 

Last week

  • Whitehouse: won 38-14 vs. Sulphur Springs
  • Mesquite Poteet: won 42-7 vs. Dallas Wilson

 

Next week

  • Winner plays Frisco or Ennis in a 4A Division II regional final.

 

Playmakers

Whitehouse

  • QB Patrick Mahomes, Sr., 6-3, 200 (committed to Texas Tech; 252 of 435, 4,000 yards, 45 TDs, 4 INTs; 148 carries, 895 yards, 13 TDs)
  • WR Jake Parker, Sr., 6-0, 165 (60 catches, 1,334 yards, 10 TDs)
  • WR Jaylon Dews, Sr., 6-0, 160 (42 catches, 573 yards, 11 TDs)
  • WR Ryan Cheatham, Sr., 6-2, 185 (52 catches, 559 yards, 8 TDs)
  • LB Joseph Klein, Sr., 6-0, 180 (94 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, 11 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU)
  • CB Nate Brooks, Jr., 5-11, 150 (53 tackles, 2 for loss, 4 INTs, 6 PBU, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
  • LB Savian Lacy, Sr. (94 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • LB Chris Reese, Sr., 6-0, 170 (67 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 11 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 4 recoveries, 1 PBU, 1 blocked punt)
  • DT Kostin Wallace, Sr., 5-11, 340 (42 tackles, 7 for loss, 3 sacks, 21 QB pressures)
  • DE Kaleb Shackelford, Sr. (59 tackles, 12 for loss, 6 sacks, 16 QB pressures)
  • CB Isaiah Burton, Sr., 5-8, 160 (55 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 INTs, 17 PBU, 1 fumble recovery)
  • RB Shemar Smith, Soph., 5-8, 155 (63 carries, 529 yards, 5 TDs; 19 catches, 327 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Dominique Hollie, Jr., 6-1, 215 (71 carries, 491 yards, 9 TDs; 6 catches, 87 yards, 2 TDs)
  • FS Jamal Kennedy, Sr., 6-0, 165 (51 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 fumble recovery)

 

Mesquite Poteet

  • LB Malik Jefferson, Jr., 6-2, 210 (70 tackles, 25 for loss, 12 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 2 PBU)
  • QB Lane Novy, Sr., 6-0, 213 (155 of 277, 2,657 yards, 24 TDs, 9 INTs)
  • RB Jaylon Smith, Jr., 5-10, 200 (173 carries, 1,024 yards, 16 TDs; 11 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Kody Edwards, Sr., 6-0, 165 (50 catches, 1,068 yards, 11 TDs)
  • RB/WR Walter Dawn Jr., Soph. (50 carries, 551 yards, 9 TDs; 34 catches, 493 yards, 2 TDs)
  • FS Nathaniel Gaines, Sr., 6-3, 178 (56 tackles, 7 INTs, 9 PBU, 1 forced fumble)
  • CB Kisean Allen, Sr., 6-0, 165 (68 tackles, 3 INTs, 11 PBU)
  • LB Zach Barrientos, Soph., 6-0, 190 (82 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 PBU)
  • DT Conrad Carbo, Sr., 6-0, 285 (58 tackles, 10 for loss, 6 sacks, 1 PBU)
  • LB Malachi Cobb, Sr., 5-11, 180 (70 tackles, 16 for loss, 4 sacks, 3 INTs, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • DE Denzel Thomas, Sr., 6-1, 223 (76 tackles, 12 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 PBU)
  • RB/WR Deandre McNeal, Jr., 6-3, 215 (57 carries, 404 yards, 8 TDs; 34 catches, 485 yards, 9 TDs)

 

Just the facts

  • Whitehouse averages 53.9 points and 563.5 yards per game -- 352.7 passing and 210.8 rushing.
  • The Wildcats have run 872 plays from scrimmage for an average of 7.8 yards per snap.
  • Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes has accounted for 72.4 percent of his team's total yardage and 67.4 percent of the touchdowns.
  • The Wildcats have put up at least 445 total yards in all 12 games this season.
  • Whitehouse has finished with more rushing yards than passing yards in a game three times this season, including both playoff wins.
  • Whitehouse was eliminated by Mesquite Poteet in the second round of the 2010 playoffs, 24-19.
  • Whitehouse has reached the third round of the postseason just one other time in school history. The 2006 team lost to Waco, 42-7, in the third round.
  • The cumulative record of Whitehouse's opponents is 60-61.
  • Whitehouse's average margin of victory is 28.8 points.
  • Mesquite Poteet averages 42 points and 459.2 yards per game -- 253.8 passing and 205.4 rushing.
  • The Pirates have run 731 plays from scrimmage for an average of 7.5 yards per snap.
  • Mesquite Poteet junior linebacker Malik Jefferson has FBS offers from 17 schools -- Alabama, Baylor, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida State, Michigan, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech and USC -- according to 247sports.com.
  • The Pirates are allowing 15.3 points and 264.6 yards per game -- 167.3 passing and 97.3 rushing.
  • Mesquite Poteet had gone five consecutive weeks without allowing more than 100 rushing yards until giving up 195 in last week's playoff win over Dallas Wilson.
  • Kody Groves is in his first season as Pirates head coach, taking over for Randy Jackson, who left in the offseason to become the head coach at Plano East.
  • The cumulative record of Mesquite Poteet's opponents is 63-67.
  • Mesquite Poteet's average margin of victory is 26.8 points.

 

Whitehouse QB Patrick Mahomes. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes vs. Mesquite Poteet defensive front. When Whitehouse has the ball, the two best players on the field will be going head to head when Mahomes tries to direct his explosive offense against a stingy defense led by five-star 2015 linebacker Malik Jefferson. Mahomes is 105 rushing yards from joining an exclusive club of 4,000-yard passers and 1,000-yard rushers, while Jefferson is among the top defensive recruits in the entire country. It is an interesting one-on-one battle considering the strengths of both players will be on display. Jefferson specializes in applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks with his team-leading 12 sacks and 25 tackles for loss, while Mahomes is most dangerous when making plays on the run outside the pocket.

Whitehouse CB Nate Brooks. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

With mid-season injuries to then-leading rusher Vincent Dunning and second-leading receiver Coleman Patterson, Mahomes has had to shoulder more of the load offensively. Over his last four games, the Texas Tech commit has thrown for 1,074 yards and 12 touchdowns and run for 425 yards and six scores. Mahomes had 470 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in the eight games prior, but with more defenses playing off the line of scrimmage, running lanes have been widened and the quarterback has taken advantage by making plays with his feet. Mahomes is averaging 20 rushing attempts over his last three games after running the ball just nine times on average in the nine previous outings. The Whitehouse quarterback is taking what defenses are giving him, the sign of a mature, college-ready signal-caller.

Whitehouse's Dominique Hollie runs for yardage during the Wildcats' 43-21 win at Nacogdoches on Oct. 25. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Whitehouse and Mesquite Poteet share one common opponent -- Arlington Seguin. The Pirates defeated Seguin 53-26 in the second week of the regular season, while Whitehouse survived a 50-44 overtime thriller in bi-district. Like Whitehouse, Seguin featured a dual-threat quarterback in Kelton Moore. Against Poteet, Moore had success by rushing for 207 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 145 and a touchdown. The defensive performance was among the worst of the season for Poteet, which enters Friday's game allowing less than 265 total yards per game. The Pirates allowed 417 total yards that night. But since its only loss of the season -- 41-26 defeat to unbeaten Highland Park on Oct. 11 -- Poteet is surrendering just 9.5 points and 199.7 yards per game.

Whitehouse's Jake Parker (10) goes airborne for a touchdown catch in the Wildcats' season-opening win at Hallsville on Aug. 30. (Jeff Stapleton, ETSN.fm)

While the Whitehouse defense and Poteet offense are impressive in their own right, Friday's game will likely come down to the strengths of each team: Whitehouse's offense vs. Poteet's defense. And while Mahomes and Jefferson are the stars of the respective units, whichever supporting cast delivers the best will have a major say in which team comes out on top. For Whitehouse, that includes receiver Jake Parker, who is closing in on the team's single-season receiving yardage record, and sophomore running back Shemar Smith, who ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on only eight carries in last week's win over Sulphur Springs. For the Pirates, a big game may be needed from interceptions-leader Nathaniel Gaines, who has two interceptions in last three games and has broken up passes in six straight.

Whitehouse LB Chris Reese. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: This game is more low scoring than Whitehouse is accustomed. Poteet has arguably one of the best defensive units in all of 4A and will be the best defense the Wildcats have faced all season. Running the ball has been hard to come by for almost every opponent Poteet has faced this season. The Pirates have allowed just three players more than 100 rushing yards this season, and only one of them was a running back.

The good news for Whitehouse is that dual-threat quarterbacks have given Poteet trouble this season. Seguin's Moore, as mentioned above, had a big night as did Wylie's Kameron Kelly, who passed for 292 yards and ran for 148. As stingy as Poteet has been against the run, the Pirates have been impressive defending the pass as well. Only one quarterback -- Highland Park's Brooks Burgin -- has thrown for more than 300 yards against the Pirates all season.

Like most games featuring teams as good as Whitehouse and Poteet, turnovers could also play a major factor in the outcome. Poteet has forced 24 turnovers on the season -- 17 interceptions and seven recovered fumbles. Whitehouse's defense has created 25 turnovers -- 12 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries.