Winner Clinches Playoff Berth in Friday Night’s Chapel Hill vs. No. 3 Kilgore District 16-3A Matchup, the ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Game of the Week
Chapel Hill Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1)
No. 3 Kilgore Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, Kilgore
- Chapel Hill: Thomas Sitton
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Chapel Hill: won 56-7 vs. Bullard
- Kilgore: won 24-6 at Gladewater
- Chapel Hill: vs. Gladewater
- Kilgore: at Henderson
- QB Andrew Black, Sr., 6-1, 180 (110 of 202, 1,468 yards, 14 TDs, 11 INTs; 81 carries, 691 yards, 12 TDs)
- OL/DL Keith Minor, Sr., 6-3, 237
- WR Gabriel Robinson, Sr., 5-8, 160 (26 catches, 515 yards, 8 TDs)
- RB/LB Wesley Thompson, Sr., 6-1, 185 (73 carries, 629 yards, 9 TDs)
- RB/DB Jesse Mumphrey, Sr. (53 carries, 435 yards, 7 TDs)
- OL/DL Shaq Warren, Sr., 6-3, 235
- DL Kevone Kennedy, Sr., 6-2, 230
- RB Malik Walker, Sr. (19 carries, 217 yards, 3 TDs)
- TE Lex Heckel, Sr. (16 catches, 201 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Jeffery Minor, Jr. (19 catches, 179 yards, 1 TD)
- DT LaDarrin Anthony, Sr., 6-0, 257 (49 tackles, 11 for loss, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 kick block, 8 QB hurries)
- RB Kevrin Justice, Jr., 5-11, 170 (69 carries, 707 yards, 14 TDs
- S Jake Brantley, Sr., 5-10, 185 (51 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
- WR/DB Aaron Foy, Sr., 5-11, 165 (11 carries, 209 yards, 2 TDs; 5 catches, 215 yards, 2 TDs; 13 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 kick block)
- OL Clay Wiley, Sr., 6-2, 285
- RB JuJu Brown, Sr. (64 carries, 483 yards, 7 TDs)
- DE Caleb Wood, Sr. (37 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks)
- DT/DE D.Q. Scott, Sr., 6-0, 252 (23 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Kris Haynes, Jr. (65 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)
- DE Chad Bornes, Sr. (26 tackles, 6 for loss, 4 sacks)
Just the facts
- Kilgore is 26-7 against Chapel Hill since the first meeting in 1970.
- Kilgore won last year’s meeting 31-2.
- Kilgore has beaten Chapel Hill seven times in a row.
- Kilgore averages 43.3 points per game and allows 9.8.
- Chapel Hill averages 44.5 points per game and allows 32.9.
- Four of Kilgore’s first six opponents have failed to score more than seven points.
- Kilgore scored at least 41 points five times during last year’s 12-2 Class 3A Division I state semifinal run. The Bulldogs have already scored at least that many points five times in their first six games.
- Chapel Hill’s three losses came to teams with a cumulative record of 21-1: 4A No. 3 Whitehouse, 3A No. 7 Carthage, and 3A No. 1 Gilmer.
- In only seven games, Chapel Hill has scored 142 more points than it did all of 2012, when the Bulldogs totaled 214 points in 10 contests.
- Each team has played Spring Hill and Gladewater. Kilgore beat Spring Hill 41-12 and Bullard 49-7, while Chapel Hill beat Spring Hill 49-14 and Bullard 56-7.
- Chapel Hill senior running back/linebacker Joseph Clark, a Texas Tech defensive back commit, is out for the season with a knee injury.
- Chapel Hill senior safety D.D. Mumphrey hasn’t played this year because of an ankle injury.
Key matchup: Chapel Hill front seven vs. Kilgore’s running game. Chapel Hill has suffered through significant injuries this year, injuries that have no doubt had an impact on its defense. Senior middle linebacker Joseph Clark, one of East Texas’ most physical players and a Texas Tech defensive back commit, was lost for the season to a knee injury during the 49-28 win at Henderson a few weeks ago. Senior safety D.D. Mumphrey hasn’t even gotten to play yet this year because of an ankle injury and will still be out for Friday’s game at Kilgore.
That puts a lot of responsibility on Chapel Hill’s defensive line and remaining linebackers to play well against a Kilgore offense averaging 294.3 rushing yards per game. Keith Minor, who recently received his first offer from Cincinnati, joins senior classmates Shaq Warren and Kevone Kennedy as big, athletic linemen who must hold their own against Kilgore’s offensive line, which is, as always, physical. Senior Clay Wiley leads that group, which blocks for a group of four backs with at least 209 rushing yards led by junior Kevrin Justice’s 707 yards, 10.1 yards per carry, and 14 rushing touchdowns.
Whereas Chapel Hill runs the ball very well with an uptempo spread approach, Kilgore runs it old school. That means Chapel Hill cannot allow Kilgore to dictate the tempo and play keep-away.
Don’t be surprised if: The team with the better running game wins. As detailed above, both teams love to run the ball and subdue opponents with their own combinations of physical play and athleticism, which both squads possess en masse. Even without Clark to run the ball, Chapel Hill has one of East Texas’ best dual-threat quarterbacks in senior Andrew Black, along with the blazing speed of senior Wesley Thompson, who possesses a laser-verified 4.46-second 40-yard dash.
Kilgore counters with Justice and senior JuJu Brown, a duo that has combined for almost 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns in only six games. Then there’s senior athlete Aaron Foy. He doesn’t get a lot of carries, but when he does, he makes them count, averaging 19.0 yards per rush on his 11 attempts this season.
A Chapel Hill win not only clinches a playoff berth, but thrusts head coach Thomas Sitton’s team into the driver’s seat for District 16-3A’s No. 1 seed in the Division I Region II bracket. A victory does the same for Kilgore, while also maintaining hopes for an undefeated regular season. With those incentives on the line, Friday’s game should be entertaining for fans of both teams.