Whitehouse Wildcats (5-3, 2-3)

Vs.

Nacogdoches Dragons (6-2, 3-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Dragon Stadium, Nacogdoches

 

Coaches
  • Whitehouse: Adam Cook
  • Nacogdoches: Bobby Reyes

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Whitehouse: vs. Lindale, Nov. 7
  • Nacogdoches: vs. No. 10 John Tyler, Nov. 7

 

Playmakers

Whitehouse

  • S Justin Dunning, Sr., 6-3, 200 (69 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 INTs, fumble recovery; committed to Texas A&M)
  • QB/CB Nate Brooks, Sr., 6-0, 150 (44 of 66, 445 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 37 carries, 221 yards, 5 TDs; 38 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs; committed to North Texas)
  • RB/LB Dominique Hollie, Sr., 6-1, 225 (78 carries, 448 yards, 10 TDs; 6 catches, 69 yards, TD; 55 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
  • LB Dillan Klein, Sr., 6-1, 210 (64 tackles, sack, 2 QB pressures, fumble recovery)
  • WR Trent Williams, Jr., 6-3, 185 (45 catches, 659 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR Drew Smith, Sr., 5-11, 185 (42 catches, 507 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR Eric Munoz, Sr., 5-9, 165 (38 catches, 403 yards, 3 TDs)

 

Nacogdoches

  • K Rudy Fuentes, Sr. (3 game winning kicks)
  • CB Jaylon Lane, Sr., 6-2, 180 (East Texas’ Class of 2015 scholarship leader with 38 offers; 44 tackles, 4 PBU, 1 INT)
  • S Brandon Jones, Jr., 6-0, 192 (East Texas' Class of 2016 scholarship leader with 31 offers, returning from knee injury, 12 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 forced fumble)
  • S Corey Lane, Jr., 5-11, 185 (62 tackles)
  • LB Jesse Graham, Sr. (75 tackles)
  • QB Hunter McClellan, Sr., 6-2, 175 (115 of 201, 19 passing TDs, 5 INTs, 1,946 passing yards, 48 carries, 174 net rushing yards)
  • WR Ken Rogers, Sr., 5-11, 167 (25 catches, 530 yards, 7 TDs)
  • WR Tae Thomas, Sr., 5-7, 160 (28 catches, 457 yards, 5 TDs)
  • RB Coronado Tolbert, Sr. (230 carries, 1,496 yards, 8 TDs)

 

Just the facts
  • Nacogdoches is hanging onto third place in District 16-5A, but it drew the worst schedule among contending East Texas teams in the league for its last two games. It has No. 10 John Tyler after Whitehouse.
  • The Wildcats are in a three-way tie for fourth place in the district alongside Lufkin and Corsicana, one game behind Nacogdoches.
  • The tie for fourth place will be at least partially broken Friday. Lufkin visits Corsicana.
  • Of the three teams in fourth place, Lufkin has the best opportunity to clinch. It's favored against Corsicana and wraps up the regular season against an injury riddled Jacksonville team.
  • The Dragons will be an underdog next week at John Tyler, so this is a must-win game. If Whitehouse wins Friday, it will tie the Dragons in the standings, will own the tiebreaker and has a much more favorable meeting with Lindale next week.
  • Nacogdoches junior safety Brandon Jones, a highly regarded college football prospect, said he will play Friday night. It will be his first game since a knee injury in the third game of the year against Carthage. The injury was initially thought to be season ending, but the prognosis improved a few weeks later.
  • There will be college football talent all over the field.
  • Jones and fellow Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane, an Oklahoma State commitment, are the highest recruited players in the East Texas region in their respective graduation classes. Whitehouse safety Justin Dunning is committed to Texas A&M and athlete Nate Brooks is committed to North Texas as a cornerback prospect.
  • Whitehouse and Nacogdoches have met in each season since 2002. The Wildcats hold a 8-4 advantage in the time period and have not lost to the Dragons since 2008.

 

Whitehouse receiver Trent Williams leads the Wildcats with 45 receptions for 659 yards and a team-second best five touchdown receptions. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Nacogdoches' strong secondary versus Whitehouse's well-rounded passing attack. Dragons junior safety Brandon Jones' expected return from a knee injury suffered early this season is the best news Nacogdoches could recieve heading into a meeting with the Wildcats on Halloween night.

Whitehouse just might provide more problems than the strong secondary has answers for.

Trent Williams, Drew Smith and Eric Munoz all have 38 or more receptions and no less than 400 receiving yards for the Wildcats. To make matters worse for the Dragons, running backs Vincent Dunning and Dominique Hollie provide some balance with a combined 964 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Whitehouse moved cornerback Nate Brooks to starting quarterback two weeks ago. He already has 445 passing yards, 221 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns to two interceptions.

Nacogdoches has some firepower of its own though. Running back Coronado Tolbert is in the midst of a fantastic senior season with 1,496 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on a staggering 230 carries. Quarterback Hunter McClellan leads a comparably strong passing attack Wildcats safety and Texas A&M commitment Justin Dunning and perhaps Brooks will have to work against along with Hollie at a linebacker spot.

Don't be surprised if: Friday's game turns out to be a playoff game. Lufkin should be able to handle business and ultimately clinch a playoff spot along with Ennis, which already has, and another lock in No. 10 John Tyler. There are six competitive District 16-5A teams left, including Corsicana, and only four postseason spots for them.

Get excited if you're going to Dragon Stadium. It's a playoff game on the final night of October.

Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane should have his hands full against three dangerous Whitehouse receivers. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)