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Undefeated Jefferson + Troup Square Off In District 9-2A D-I Opener

Troup’s Hitachi Lydia carries the ball in the Tigers’ 33-13 win at rival Arp on Sept. 21. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Jefferson Bulldogs (5-0, 0-0)
vs.
Troup Tigers (5-0, 0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Tiger Stadium, Troup

Coaches
Jefferson: Jerry Bennett
Troup: Dennis Alexander

Last week
Jefferson: idle
Troup: idle

Next week
Jefferson: vs. Sabine
Troup: at Tatum

Playmakers
Jefferson

  • RB Deion Williams, Sr., 5-8, 180 (20 carries, 202 yards, 4 TDs on Sept. 28 vs. Pleasant Grove)
  • QB Brayden Varnell, Jr., 5-11, 175 (6 of 11, 62 yards; 59 rushing yards on Sept. 28 vs. Pleasant Grove)
  • WR Quincy Clements (3 catches, 40 yards on Sept. 28 vs. Pleasant Grove)
  • WR LaDarius Holt, Sr., 5-8, 160 (2 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD on Sept. 28 vs. Pleasant Grove)

Troup

  • RB Marcus Kincade
  • QB Blake Lynch
  • RB Seth Gibson, Sr., 5-9, 175
  • WR RIchard Lacy

Just the facts

  • Jefferson is off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2006.
  • The Bulldogs are coached by Jerry Bennett, who led Jefferson to the 1986 Class 3A state championship.
  • Jefferson is averaging 36 points per game on offense, while its defense is giving up an average of 16.6 per outing.
  • Troup is coached by Dennis Alexander, who ranks fourth all-time in the state in victories. He led Daingerfield to state titles in both 1983 and 1985.
  • The Tigers, who were 0-10 just two years ago, have won six or more games only once since 2006.
  • Troup is averaging 38 points per game on offense. Its defense gives up an average of 10.6 per game.
Troup RB Seth Gibson. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Jefferson offensive line vs. Troup defensive front. If the Bulldogs are to win, they will need star running back Deion Williams to have a big game. Troup’s defense, however, has been particularly tough against the run this season. In the Tigers’ most impressive win of the season so far — a 33-13 domination of Arp on Sept. 21 — Troup limited Arp’s explosive ground game to just 183 yards. That included a 95-yard touchdown in the opening quarter. The Jefferson O-line should have its hands full against a Troup front seven

Troup RB Michael Davis. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

that’s been living in the backfield so far this season. One thing is for sure: whichever team has the most success running the football should come out on top and perserve their undefeated start to the year.

Don’t be surprised if: Troup’s deep and talented offensive backfield wears down the Jefferson defense in the second half. In the Tigers’ win over Arp, Troup hit a couple of big plays in the passing game early and then relied on the running of Marcus Kincade, Blake Lynch, Marquis Davis, Marcus Davis and Michael Davis to salt the game away. It wouldn’t be out of the question to expect Troup to have a similar game plan against a solid defense like Jefferson.

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