Van Vandals (1-0)
vs.
Hallsville Bobcats (0-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Bobcat Stadium, Hallsville

Coaches
Van: Jared Moffatt
Hallsville: David Plunk

Last week
Van: def. Pine Tree 41-28
Hallsville: lost 35-18 at Whitehouse

Next week
Van: at Lindale
Hallsville: at Henderson

Playmakers
Van

  • RB Matt Savis, Soph. (24 carries, 214 yards, 4 TDs; 2 catches, 27 yards)
  • DT Syd Moore, Sr., 6-1, 260 (15 tackles)
  • QB Garrett Smallwood, Sr., 6-0, 185 (9 of 18, 85 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 11 carries, 70 yards)
  • RB/LB Hunter Hopkins, Sr., 6-1, 190 (6 carries, 83 yards, 1 TD; 9 tackles)
  • WR Carson Rucker, Jr., 6-3, 215 (3 catches, 24 yards)
  • LB Bryce Krumvieda (15 tackles)
  • WR Austin Lockwood, Sr., 5-10, 165 (11-yard TD catch)

Hallsville

  • DE Coby Bradford, Sr., 6-1, 205 (9 tackles, 6 sacks, 9 QB pressures; ETSN.fm Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week)
  • RB Thaddeus Fagan, Sr., 6-0, 190 (16 carries, 124 yards)
  • QB Macailyn Wilder, Jr., 5-10, 175 (15 carries, 94 yards)
  • LT Hayden Wall, Sr., 6-4, 270
  • OLB Cayden Ferrill, Sr., 5-10, 195
  • LB Roderick Boyd, Sr., 5-7, 205
  • LB Santos Estrada, Sr., 5-9, 175
  • QB Austin Toney, Sr., 6-3, 185

Just the facts

  • Van accumulated 457 yards of offense last week against Pine Tree, including 372 on the ground
  • Van's Garrett Smallwood accounted for 155 total yards and three touchdowns last week, but also averaged 39.0 yards per punt on two punts
  • Hallsville cut a 21-3 deficit to 21-18 entering the fourth quarter of last week's game at Whitehouse before surrendering two fourth-quarter touchdowns to fall short in its comeback
  • Hallsville's backfield combo of Macailyn Wilder and Thaddeus Fagan combined for 218 rushing yards against Whitehouse
  • Van and Hallsville both reached the playoffs a year ago. Van was a 10-2 Class 3A Division II Region II area finalist, while Hallsville was a 5-6 Class 4A Division II Region II bi-district finalist
  • Friday's game features two ETSN.fm preseason East Texas Super Teamers: Hallsville offensive tackle Hayden Wall and Van defensive tackle Syd Moore

Key matchup: Van's offensive line vs. Hallsville's defensive line. Van, which threw the ball all over the yard in 2011, showed in the season opener that it didn't have to rely on the passing game to score a lot of points. The Vandals' offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage to spring sophomore tailback Matt Savis to a 200-plus-yard rushing performance, so Hallsville may have a tough task stopping the Vandal run game. The Bobcats proved they can rush the passer last week when end Coby Bradford sacked Whitehouse quarterbacks a whopping six times and pressured them another nine times. Those are jaw-dropping numbers for a single game. But can Hallsville keep Van from running the ball like it did against Pine Tree? Whitehouse and Van may both run spread offenses, but Van appears to have a much stronger inclination to run the ball from its shotgun-based offense than Whitehouse, and stopping it could be a challenge for a Hallsville defense line that hasn't been challenged against the run.

Don't be surprised if: The team that is better at ball control wins the game. That's not something that Van showed often in 2011, when the Vandals were more a big-play passing offense. But they ran the ball down Pine Tree's throats in last week's season opener, to the point that the Vandals gained 81.4 percent of their total offense on the ground. Hallsville, on the other hand, is accustomed to using clock management and a grinding ground game to subdue its opponents. Since that's the case, the style of Friday's game could play to Hallsville's favor. The hard thing to figure out is if Van will return to its pass-heavy ways. Garrett Smallwood threw for 3,000 yards in 2011, so perhaps last week's run-focused offensive approach was an anomaly, or simply Van's game plan against a smallish Pine Tree defensive front. Whatever the case, Friday's game should be a good one, and with defensive line play at a premium, Van's Syd Moore and Hallsville's Coby Bradford could have big impacts on the outcome.