No. 8 Van Can Clinch Outright District Title With Win at Terrell
DISTRICT 8-4A DIVISION I
No. 8 Van Vandals (8-0, 5-0)
Terrell Tigers (7-2, 4-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Terrell Memorial Stadium
- Van: Jared Moffatt
- Terrell: Mike Shields
- Van: def. Kaufman, 33-14
- Terrell: def. Mabank, 41-0
- Van: vs. TBD, 4A Division I bi-district playoff
- Terrell: vs. TBD, 4A Division I bi-district playoff
- QB Garrett Moseley, Jr., 5-11, 180 (109 of 180, 1,826 yards, 27 TDs, 3 INTs; 140 carries, 1,115 yards, 14 TDs)
- WR Isaiah Allred, Sr., 6-3, 205 (39 catches, 743 yards, 10 TDs)
- WR Connor Houston, Sr., 5-11, 165 (42 catches, 712 yards, 8 TDs)
- S Cooper Bledsoe, Sr., 6-0, 190 (104 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 7 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
- OL Kris Dike, Jr., 6-6, 270
- WR Holden Myers, Jr., 6-1, 165 (25 catches, 402 yards, 6 TDs)
- DT Cristian Lemus, Sr., 5-9, 215 (63 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Michael Huffer, Sr., 5-11, 170 (72 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- RB Elijah McQueen, Sr., 5-10, 175 (143 carries, 1,060 yards, 15 TDs; 7 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD)
- QB Tiyea Zanders, Sr., 5-10, 140 (47 of 85, 794 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs; 83 carries, 501 yards, 10 TDs)
- LB Jermaine Gardner, Sr., 6-0, 190 (91 tackles, 8 for loss, 5 forced fumbles)
- LB Rockmond Leach, Sr., 6-0, 185 (90 tackles, 12 for loss, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries)
- LB Nekeyvion Morris, Sr., 6-0, 190 (81 tackles, 7 for loss, 5 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- S Ja Daveon Williams, Sr., 5-9, 160 (55 tackles, 2 INTs)
- ATH Kanodrick Richardson, Sr., 5-6, 150 (30 carries, 225 yards, 2 TDs; 7 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD)
- DE De'Garian Fuller, Jr., 5-10, 180 (34 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
Just the facts
- Van is averaging 45.3 points and 488.6 yards per game -- 208.3 rushing and 280.3 passing.
- The Vandals' defense is allowing 13.8 points per game, and has forced 16 turnovers -- 10 interceptions and six fumbles.
- A Van win would give the Vandals the No. 1 seed from 8-4A in the Division I playoffs.
- The Vandals' average margin of victory this season is 31.6 points.
- Terrell is averaging 32.8 points and 354.6 yards per game -- 266.4 rushing and 88.2 passing.
- The Tigers' defense is allowing 15 points per game, and has forced 21 turnovers -- four interceptions and 17 fumbles.
- Terrell's two losses came to Kennedale (21-20) and Kaufman (31-21).
- The Tigers have outscored their last two opponents -- Brownsboro and Mabank -- by a combined score of 90-7.
Key matchup: Terrell rushing attack vs. Van defensive front. The Tigers don't do much throwing on offense. In fact, Terrell enters Friday averaging less than 10 pass attempts per game. So, the objective for Terrell is simple: run the football. What the Tigers do on offense may not be flashy, but it can certainly be effective. Terrell averages about 130 less total yards and 12 less points per game than Van, but what it can do is control the pace of the game. What makes the Tigers' ground game especially challenging for opposing defenses is its versatility. While running back Elijah McQueen and quarterback Tiyea Zanders handle most of the chores, Terrell has five players with at least 225 yards rushing on the season, and all five have multiple rushing touchdowns. If Terrell's running attack is working, be on the lookout for play-action passes, as the Tigers are averaging 17 yards per completion in district.
Most of the headlines might go to the Van offense, which puts up 45 points and almost 500 yards per game. But the unsung heroes to the Vandals' 9-0 start have been on the defensive side of the ball. Van allows less than 14 points per game, and might be coming off its best performance of the season. In last week's dominating 33-14 win over Kaufman, which entered unbeaten in district, Van limited the Lions to just 217 yards and 11 first downs -- and most of that came two third-quarter Kaufman possessions. The Vandals limited Kaufman to 54 yards in the opening half en route to a commanding 20-0 halftime lead. The big advantage forced Kaufman out of its comfort zone on offense, and Van is hoping the same happens this week with Terrell.
Don't be surprised if: Van receives its biggest test of the season. Not only is a piece of the District 8-4A Division I championship on the line for Terrell, but the Tigers are playing at home and would like nothing more than to enter the playoffs on the heels of an impressive Week 11 performance. On the other hand, Van is aiming for its second 10-0 regular season in three years, and has aspirations of doing major damage in the playoffs. A win on the road against a gritty Terrell squad, which advanced three rounds deep in the Class 5A playoffs a season ago, could go a long way in terms of confidence for the Vandals.