Kilgore + No. 6 Henderson in Battle Atop District 9-4A Division I
DISTRICT 9-4A DIVISION I
Kilgore Bulldogs (4-3, 3-0)
No. 6 Henderson Lions (6-0, 2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lion Stadium, Henderson
- Kilgore: Mike Wood
- Henderson: Phil Castles
- Kilgore: def. Carthage, 41-34
- Henderson: idle
- Kilgore: idle
- Henderson: at Center, Oct. 21
- QB Buddy Jackson, Jr., 5-9, 155 (38 of 62, 507 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs; 84 carries, 676 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Melek Hamilton, Sr., 5-5, 160 (116 carries, 714 yards, 5 TDs)
- OL Dylan Scarlett, Sr., 6-2, 285
- S Mateo Meraz, Sr., 5-10, 185 (44 tackles, 3 INTs, 1 PBU, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick)
- DE Demorrea Richardson, Jr., 5-10, 240 (42 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 15 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery, 2 blocked punts)
- WR Jonathan Shepherd, Jr., 6-3, 180 (11 catches, 192 yards, 2 TDs)
- DT Kevin Tinney, Sr., 5-11, 230 (29 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 7 QB pressures)
- WR Cole Wood, Sr., 6-2, 175 (19 catches, 214 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/S Trestan Ebner, Sr., 5-11, 190 (22 catches, 459 yards, 8 TDs; 6 carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs; 20 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 2 defensive TDs; committed to TCU)
- RB/S Lakendrick VanZandt, Sr., 6-1, 196 (63 carries, 664 yards, 9 TDs; 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 PBU; committed to TCU)
- QB Trae Hall, Jr., 6-3, 185 (46 of 72, 597 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs; 33 carries, 330 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Matthew Childers, Sr., 6-5, 185 (14 catches, 130 yards, 2 TDs; 14 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD; 3 of 3, 74 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Raini Dorman, Sr., 6-2, 245
- LB Ty Blanton, Jr., 6-1, 175 (68 tackles, 14 for loss, 4 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- DL De'Braylon Garrett, Jr. (34 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 13 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
- DE Jaylon Henson, Sr. (29 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 sack, 10 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
Just the facts
- Kilgore and Henderson have met 35 times since 1980. Kilgore leads the series over that span, 21-14.
- The cumulative record of Kilgore's remaining opponents is 8-5, while Henderson's is 12-8.
- Kilgore averages 29.1 points and 318.3 yards per game -- 238.4 rushing and 79.9 passing.
- The Bulldogs have forced 12 turnovers on the season -- four fumbles and eight interceptions.
- Kilgore runs the ball 79.1 percent of the time.
- Henderson averages 46.2 points and 396.3 yards per game -- 266.5 rushing and 129.8 passing.
- The Lions have forced 10 turnovers on the season -- seven fumbles and three interceptions.
- Henderson's defense has racked up 16 sacks and 67 tackles for loss in six games.
Key matchup: Henderson rushing attack vs. Kilgore defensive front. The Lions are among the highest-scoring teams in East Texas, and at the heart of the production, has been an explosive running game. Led by senior speedster and TCU commit Lakendrick VanZanft, Henderson is averaging more than 260 rushing yards per game. VanZandt is averaging more than 10 yards per carry, and has run for 664 yards despite only seeing a little more than 10 rushing attempts each game. But one of the reasons for that is the fact that Henderson uses a variety of players to carry the ball. Quarterback Trae Hall, athlete Matthew Childers, and backup running back Lynn Freeney have combined to rush 86 times for 683 yards (7.9 yards per attempt) with six touchdowns. While Henderson occasionally attacks the secondary with star wideout and TCU pledge Trestan Ebner (20.9 yards per catch), the Lions do most of their damage on the ground.
One thing Kilgore has always prided itself on has been a run-stuffing defense, and the 2016 season has been no different. The Bulldogs allow a modest 165 rushing yards per game, while limiting opponents to a respectable 5.4 yards per carry. A strong defensive line anchored by junior end Demorrea Richardson (12 tackles for loss) and senior tackle Kevin Tinney (six tackles for loss), Kilgore has been able to overcome an offense that's had trouble moving the ball at times. The Bulldogs will need to be at their best on defense Friday night, because any misstep by a defender at the first level, could result in a big play for Henderson's explosive offense that enters Friday's game averaging more than eight yards per play.
Don't be surprised if: Henderson starts the game strong. The Lions, who had their bye last week, have had a few days to recuperate from their emotional 36-28 triumph over Carthage. Meanwhile, Kilgore will only have been a week removed from its similarly draining 41-34 defeat of Carthage. Henderson should appear fresh, which could be lethal for Kilgore, which is charged with the task of trying to slow down a speedy offensive attack. If Kilgore is able to survive what could be an early Henderson surge, expect this game not to be decided until the late stages of the second half.