Jacksonville Might Have To Get Creative To Beat Stingy A&M Consolidated Defense
CLASS 5A DIVISION II
Region II Bi-District Playoff
Jacksonville Indians (6-4)
A&M Consolidated Tigers (6-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Sam Houston State University's Bowers Stadium, Huntsville
- Jacksonville: Wayne Coleman
- A&M Consolidated: David Raffield
- Jacksonville: def. Nacogdoches, 46-45
- A&M Consolidated: defeated Bryan Rudder, 59-20
- Winner faces Brenham-Georgetown winner, Class 5A Division II, Region II area round
- QB Cameron High, Sr., 5-9, 165 (60 of 115, 864 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs, 241 carries, 1,609 yards, 17 TDs)
- RB/LB Vadall Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 210 (95 carries, 472 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Devin Henry, Sr., 6-0, 165 (24 carries, 248 yards, 1 TD, 6 catches, 119 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Camryn Franklin, Jr., 6-3, 170 (9 catches, 226 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB Braden Horn, Sr., 5-11, 180
- DT Taqualen Thompson, Soph.
- QB Cade Williams, Jr., 5-10, 175 (78 of 161, 1,368 yards, 14 TDs, 6 INTs, 100 carries, 521 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR/DB Tony Williams, Sr., 5-10, 170 (21 catches, 552 yards, 9 TDs)
- RB/LB Robert Franklin, Sr., 5-6, 175 (113 carries, 768 yards, 9 TDs)
- LB Trevor Williams, Sr., 5-8, 181 (115 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles)
- LB Abel Daily, Sr., 6-0, 187 (59 tackles, 11 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Jason Jasperson, Sr., 6-2, 220 (52 tackles, 11 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT)
Just the facts
- Jacksonville drew A&M Consolidated, rather than unbeaten College Station, by defeating Nacogodches on a two-point conversion last week with four seconds to play.
- A&M Consolidated, known locally as "Consol," is a school in the city of College Station. It got its name because there was once a high school on the Texas A&M University campus that moved off campus and merged with several small high schools in the area.
- A&M Consolidated enters the contest on a three-game winning streak and finished its District 18-5A schedule with a 4-2 record. The losses came to College Station and the perennially strong Temple program.
- The Indians are the top Class 5A Division II seed from District 17-5A. A&M Consolidated is the second 5A Division II seed from its district.
- Jacksonville and A&M Consolidated share no common opponents.
- Friday's game is the Indians' first postseason contest since the 2012 season.
- Jacksonville finished the regular season with a winning record for the first time since 2010.
- The Indians will travel 108 miles to Sam Houston State University's 12,593-seat Bowers Stadium in Huntsville. It's a 53-mile trip for A&M Consolidated.
Key matchup: Jacksonville's running game versus A&M Consolidated's linebackers.
This was the best possible game the Indians could have drawn because the only other option was undefeated College Station. Still, it's going to take some creativity to get around their opening-round opponent.
A&M Consolidated has an outstanding defense, and it's particularly stout up front. Jacksonville's best strength is its ability to set and reset the game's tempo with its running game.
The Indians are dealing with a team that has only given up five touchdowns once and averaged 18.5 points against in its nine-game regular season.
You don't even have to turn the film on to learn where the majority of A&M Consolidated's defensive production comes from. The numbers do the job.
A&M Consolidated's leading tackler, Trevor Williams, is a linebacker. So are the only two players on the squad with double digits in the tackles for loss column.
It's a problem because Jacksonville is at its best with the ball in quarterback Cameron High's hands. The signal-caller ran for just about 1,600 yards in the Indians' 10-game regular season, and his feet alone are 41.2 percent of the total offense.
A&M Consolidated might possess the linebackers to limit the damage High can do, whether he runs right up the middle or goes for an angled lane.
Throwing over the linebackers into a secondary with just six picks might do the trick. Unfortunately for the Indians, they just weren't designed to consistently air the ball out this season.
High has completed 52 percent of his 118 attempts for just a little less than a quarter of the team's total offense.
However, there was a very encouraging sign last week in the win against Nacogdoches. Receiver Devin Henry carried the ball nine times on sweeps for 102 yards, and another 75 yards were wiped off the sheet on a holding penalty.
If Henry can produce similar numbers this week, the Indians will have opportunities to work around A&M Consolidated's linebackers and defensive front at large without forcing High and the stable of running backs to simply will their way beyond the second level of the defense -- and take a beating doing so.
If Henry pulls off some successful runs, A&M Consolidated's defense will ultimately have to spread out. There will then be more room to run in the standard lanes.
The sooner Jacksonville establishes its running game, the better its odds are of advancing to the area round of the playoffs.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is relatively low scoring.
A&M Consolidated's best strength is its defense and Jacksonville's is its offense.
The Indians seem to thrive in tight games. They won three of four games decided by four points or less in the regular season.