Alto's L'Darius Pope (11) makes a move during the Yellow Jackets' 42-7 loss at Tenaha on Sept. 13. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)
District 10-A Division I

No. 8 West Sabine Tigers (5-0, 1-0)

vs.

Alto Yellow Jackets (4-2, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Yellow Jacket Stadium, Alto

 

Coaches
  • West Sabine: Tod Stark
  • Alto: Paul Gould

 

Last week
  • West Sabine: won 52-20 at Shelbyville
  • Alto: won 40-0 at Cushing

 

Next week
  • West Sabine: vs. San Augustine
  • Alto: at Grapeland

 

Playmakers

West Sabine

  • RB Nick Williams, Sr., 5-6, 165 (39 carries, 625 yards, 8 TDs; 7 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB ReShod Williams, Jr., 5-8, 170 (30 carries, 612 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB/LB Hunter Cabral, Sr., 5-10, 180 (34 carries, 252 yards, 6 TDs)
  • ATH Garry Sturrock (15 carries, 238 yards, 2 TDs; 2 receiving TDs)
  • WR Joshua Duffey (9 catches, 242 yards, 4 TDs)
  • OL Jeremy Williams, Sr.
  • OL Dustin Bragg, Sr.
  • OL Dakota Dew, Sr.

Note: West Sabine stats vs. Shelbyville courtesy the Beaumont Enterprise

 

Alto

  • RB Jacolby Whitaker, Sr., 5-10, 193 (88 carries, 781 yards, 11 TDs; 7 catches, 71 yards)
  • QB Zac Sturns, Sr., 6-2, 175 (39 of 78, 672 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 86 carries, 595 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR/LB JaVie'Ontae Mumphrey, Jr., 6-3, 215 (5 catches, 164 yards, 3 TDs)
  • WR Anfernee Black, Sr., 6-0, 200 (9 catches, 185 yards)
  • DB Leroy Lewis, Jr., 6-0, 175
  • ATH Jyran Shaw (19 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 47 yards)
  • WR/DE Ty Hackett (6 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD)

 

Just the facts
  • Alto won last year's meeting 40-26 in Pineland.
  • West Sabine is ranked No. 8 in this week's Associated Press Class A poll.
  • West Sabine averages 56.2 points per game and allows 10.0.
  • Alto averages 31.0 points per game and allows 19.8.
  • West Sabine's first five opponents have a cumulative record of 6-24, including three 0-6 teams.
  • Alto's first six opponents have a cumulative record of 19-17, including three that are 4-2 or better.
  • Alto senior running back Jacolby Whitaker has 5,774 career rushing yards.
  • Alto averages 380.3 total yards per game: 263.0 rushing, 117.3 passing.
  • West Sabine's ReShod Williams scored on first-quarter touchdown runs of 75, 80, and 80 yards last week against Shelbyville.
  • West Sabine ran for 403 yards on only 22 rushes against Shelbyville. That's an average of 18.3 yards per carry.

 

West Sabine QB ReShod Williams. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Alto's defensive front vs. West Sabine's running game. Alto's defense faces one its toughest tasks of the season Friday night when the vaunted West Sabine rushing attack travels to Jacket Stadium.

Quarterback ReShod Williams and running back Nick Williams have combined for more than 1,200 rushing yards during the Tigers' 6-0 start. Last week, the Williams duo scored five times on runs of 75, 80, 80, 68, and 19 in a 52-20 District 10-A Division I-opening blowout of Shelbyville. Their 401 combined rushing yards spearheaded the Tigers' 458-yard performance and produced an average of 22.3 yards per carry.

Alto needs a big performance Friday from its front seven, including linebacker JaVie'Ontae Mumphrey, perhaps the Jackets' best defensive player. If Alto can at least slow West Sabine's ground game somewhat, that should give the Jackets' own potent rushing duo -- senior running back Jacolby Whitaker and senior quarterback Zac Sturns -- more chances to get going.

West Sabine RB Nick Williams. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: This game decides the 10-A D-I championship.

Yes, there's plenty of football left after these teams meeting Friday night at Yellow Jacket Stadium, and there's no doubt that defending district champion San Augustine will get the chance to have its say against both teams in upcoming weeks.

But entering Friday's contest, this does indeed appear to be the de facto district title game. Expect a close contest dictated by dueling rushing attacks capable of both controlling the tempo and breaking big plays.

Games like this are often decided by a big defensive star making a game-changing play. Could that be Mumphrey or junior defensive back Leroy Lewis for Alto? Or perhaps senior linebacker Hunter Cabral for West Sabine? This matchup should be a dandy.

Alto's Leroy Lewis runs after making a catch during the Yellow Jackets' 42-7 loss at Tenaha on Sept. 13. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)