Henderson + El Campo Clash in State-Ranked, Second-Round Showdown
CLASS 4A DIVISION I
Region III Area Playoff
No. 10 Henderson Lions (10-1)
No. 8 El Campo Ricebirds (11-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Turner Stadium, Humble
- Henderson: Phil Castles
- El Campo: Wayne Condra
- Henderson: def. Little Cypress-Mauriceville, 48-12
- El Campo: def. Houston Washington, 56-6
- Winner faces Carthage or Houston North Forest, Class 4A Division I, Region III semifinal
- RB Lakendrick VanZandt, Sr., 6-1, 196 (119 carries, 1,181 yards, 16 TDs; 11 catches, 191 yards, 1 TD; committed to TCU)
- WR/S Trestan Ebner, Sr., 5-11, 190 (46 catches, 926 yards, 16 TDs; 10 carries, 45 yards, 3 TDs; 42 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumbles, 2 defensive TDs; committed to TCU)
- QB Trae Hall, Jr., 6-3, 185 (112 of 156, 1,804 yards, 23 TDs, 3 INTs; 58 carries, 558 yards, 6 TDs)
- LB Ty Blanton, Jr., 6-1, 175 (108 tackles, 15 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 1 PBU)
- WR Matthew Childers, Sr., 6-5, 185 (37 catches, 591 yards, 6 TDs; 21 carries, 139 yards, 2 TDs)
- DT De'Braylon Garrett, Jr. (57 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- LB Josh Mapps, Sr., 5-9, 150 (114 tackles, 9 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- WR/CB Tariq Gray, Sr., 5-10, 184 (9 catches, 186 yards, 1 TD; 18 tackles, 2 INTs, 8 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
- FB Nery Enriquez, Jr., 5-9, 190 (180 carries, 1,459 yards, 17 TDs; 2 catches, 52 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Deadrick Holloway, Sr., 6-0, 185 (122 carries, 904 yards, 10 TDs; 3 catches, 53 yards)
- QB Brock Brandl, Sr. (45 of 89, 828 yards, 11 TDs, 1 INT; 70 carries, 390 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR/DB Wesley Arrambide, Sr., 6-2, 185 (13 catches, 272 yards, 2 TDs; 2 INTs)
- S Zarain Baylor, Sr., 5-11, 180 (3 INTs)
- OT Michael McComb, Sr., 6-5, 300
- OL/DL Reid Zboril, Sr., 6-0, 250
- RB/LB Jerric Chapman, Sr., 5-10, 155 (24 carries, 179 yards, 2 TDs)
Just the facts
- Since 2010, Henderson is 12-3 in playoff games. The Lions are searching for their fourth 11-win season in seven years.
- Henderson averages 47.1 points and 441.3 yards per game -- 254.5 rushing and 186.8 passing.
- Lions receiver Trestan Ebner has scored 19 offensive touchdowns on just 56 touches this season. He also has two defensive TD's on the year.
- Henderson's average margin of victory this season is 29.9 points.
- Since dropping in classification prior to the 2012 season, El Campo has sported an overall record of 61-10.
- El Campo is averaging 38.6 points and 403.9 yards per game -- 322.2 rushing and 81.7 passing.
- The Ricebirds' district (12-4A) went 3-1 in the bi-district round of the playoffs
- El Campo has played in four games decided by 11 points or less this season.
Key matchup: El Campo rushing attack vs. Henderson defensive front. El Campo's offensive game plan Friday night, just like every other night, will be simple: control the time of possession battle and grind its opponent into submission with its ground game. It's been an effective strategy for the Ricebirds over the years. It guided them to a state championship game appearance in 2012, and has them undefeated entering the second round of this year's playoffs. Eighty percent of El Campo's total yardage this season is rushing, and 83 percent of the plays are running attempts. To call the Ricebirds' offensive approach methodical would be putting it mildly. Most of the heavy lifting on offense is done by the tandem of junior Nery Enrqiuez and Deadrick Holloway, who have combined to run for 2,300 yards and 27 touchdowns on the year. El Campo has been especially tough to stop down the stretch, as it has averaged 366 rushing yards over its last seven games.
Most of the attention given to Henderson this season has been focused on its explosive and dynamic offense, but the Lions' defense has quietly gone about the business of shutting down the opposition all season long. Henderson surrenders just 17.2 points per game, and has been particularly dominant up front. As a team, the Lions have racked up 84 tackles for loss this year, which does not include a total of 33 sacks. Instead of size, Henderson relies on its overall team speed and quickness off the snap to make things difficult for offenses. El Campo will present a unique challenge to an undersized Henderson front by utilizing its physical style of running. The Lions must be able to win their individual battles at the line of scrimmage, especially early in the game, before fatigue is able to have a meaningful impact. Keeping the Ricebirds' offense off schedule with second- and third-and-longs should go a long way in getting the Henderson defense off the field.
Don't be surprised if: Henderson quarterback Trae Hall is forced to make plays on the ground. Hall has been lethal as a passer this season. Despite running the ball almost 70 percent of the time, when Henderson puts the ball in the air, good things usually happen. Receiver and TCU commit Trestan Ebner will undoubtedly be a point of emphasis for the El Campo defense, which may not rely on single coverage often. While that might take away more big-play opportunities downfield, Hall is more than capable of doing it himself. Hall is second on the team with 558 rushing yards and six touchdowns on just 58 carries, an average of almost 10 yards per attempt. Matthew Childers and his 6-5 frame are a matchup problem as well for smaller defensive backs, but if neither Ebner or Childers are available, expect Hall to use his athleticism as an improvisational tool.