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Winnsboro Faces No. 8 Tatum, Seeking Consecutive Wins Over 9-2A Division I Opponents

Arp’s Gabe Reynolds attempts to bring down Tatum’s Jaylen Shans during their game last Friday in Arp. (Vanessa Curry, ETSN.fm)

Winnsboro Red Raiders (1-0)

vs.

No. 8 Tatum Eagles (1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Eagle Stadium, Tatum

Coaches
  • Winnsboro: Steve Pinnell
  • Tatum: Andy Evans

 

Last week
  • Winnsboro: defeated Harmony, 30-14
  • Tatum: defeated Arp, 21-6

 

Next week
  • Winnsboro: vs. Mineola, Sept. 13
  • Tatum: at Pleasant Grove, Sept. 13

 

Playmakers

Winnsboro

  • QB Sheyan Thompson, Sr., 6-4, 215
  • LB David Santoy, Sr., 5-7, 165
  • LB Brian Winburn, Jr., 5-10, 215
  • RB Tedrick Shepherd, Jr., 5-6, 165

 

Tatum

  • QB J.D. Taylor, Soph., 6-1, 175
  • RB/DB Jaylen Shans, Sr., 5-10, 170
  • RB/LB Demetrius Hill, Sr., 5-11, 190
  • LB Kyshaun Smith, Jr., 6-1, 175
  • WR Chaston Brooks, Jr.
  • LB Devon Boyd, Jr., 5-10, 175
  • WR Deyanta Roberson, Jr., 6-1, 175
  • DT Keaton Blanton, Sr., 6-3, 310

 

Just the facts
  • Winnsboro coach Steve Pinnell is tied with Texas High’s Barry Norton as East Texas’ longest-tenured head coach at their current school. He is four wins away from his 100th victory with the Red Raiders.
  • Friday will be just the second-ever meeting between Winnsboro and Tatum. The Eagles won last season’s game, 22-14.
  • Winnsboro’s ground-and-pound offense averaged 34.8 points per game last season, but the Red Raiders do not have any offensive starters back from 2012.
  • The Red Raiders’ 2013 non-district opponents — Harmony, Tatum, Mineola and Mount Vernon — combined to go 25-17 last season.
  • Tatum’s defense went to work in last week’s win, limiting the usually explosive Arp offense to just six points and 190 yards.
  • The Eagles have not missed the playoffs since 2001 and have compiled a record of 114-31 since ’02, which adds up to 10.3 wins per season.
  • Tatum’s offense, which returned only two starters from a season ago, struggled at times last week. One of the Eagles’ three touchdowns was set up by an Arp fumble inside its own 20, and another came late in the second half, in which Tatum only ran 17 plays.
  • Tatum Class of 2012 athlete Jalen Overstreet, a redshirt freshman at Texas, had a nice debut for the Longhorns last week. He a team-high 92 rushing yards on 9 carries and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in Texas’ 56-7 win over New Mexico State.

 

Tatum LB Kyshaun Smith. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Winnsboro running game vs. Tatum defensive front. If the Red Raiders are going to have a chance in this one, success in the running game is a must, considering Winnsboro’s run-first approach on offense. The Red Raiders’ offensive line, featuring all new starters, must hold up against a big, physical and fast set of Tatum defensive linemen and linebackers. Winnsboro’s quarterback Thompson is big enough to do damage with the ball in his hands, but will need enough space to operate. Shepherd, while much smaller than his QB, has breakaway speed and could serve as serviceable change-of-pace option for Winnsboro.

Tatum DT Keaton Blanton. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Tatum did an outstanding job containing Arp on the ground last week. With their starting quarterback out because of injury, the Tigers were forced to turn to last season’s 1,000-yard running back Marcalas Johnson, who took shotgun snaps out of the wildcat formation most of the night. Tatum limited Johnson to four yards per carry, so the Eagles’ front did a stellar job of stopping a team that did not pose much of threat in the passing game. While Winnsboro runs a completely different run-based offense, the Tatum front will be experienced in stopping run-heavy attacks.

Don’t be surprised if: Points are hard to come by Friday night. Tatum had difficulty, especially in the second half, keeping its offense on the field. Despite not getting very much production, Arp’s ground game did just enough to stay on the field for long periods of time and make Tatum’s offense a non-factor in the final two quarters. Last season’s game was low scoring — Tatum squeaked out a 22-14 victory — and with so much inexperience on offense for both teams in 2013, expect to see more of the same.

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