PREVIEW: Jacksonville Travels to Marshall For Key 9-5A D-II Battle
DISTRICT 9-5A DIVISION II
Jacksonville Indians (2-4, 1-2)
Marshall Mavericks (4-2, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Maverick Stadium, Marshall
- Jacksonville: Wayne Coleman
- Marshall: Claude Mathis
- Jacksonville: vs. Hallsville (in Bullard), Oct. 26
- Marshall: at Nacogdoches, Oct. 26
Players to watch
- ATH Deshawn McCuin, Sr., 6-0, 170 (29 carries, 312 yards; 6 catches, 109 yards; committed to TCU)
- QB Tristen Shewmake, Jr., 6-0, 185 (48 of 116, 878 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs; 34 carries, 31 yards)
- LB Shiloh Canady, Jr., 6-1, 190 (61 tackles, 10 for loss, 4 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- WR/DB Chris Carpenter, Jr., 6-0, 170 (17 catches, 296 yards; 12 carries, 87 yards; 1 INT)
- WR/DB Braelyn Riden, Sr., 6-1, 170 (6 catches, 179 yards, 4 TDs; committed to Texas Southern)
- RB TJ Ratliffe, Sr., 5-10, 175 (80 carries, 285 yards; 8 catches, 90 yards)
- WR Joydaysion Thompson, Jr., 6-0, 165 (7 catches, 142 yards, 2 TDs)
- DL/LB Taqualan Thompson, Sr., 5-9, 200 (54 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble)
- QB JJ Green, Jr., 6-4, 170 (88 of 148, 1,450 yards, 22 TDs, 6 INTs; 52 carries, 357 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Tahj Washington, Sr., 5-11, 168 (25 catches, 446 yards, 8 TDs; 7 carries, 80 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Savion Williams, Jr., 6-5, 203 (21 catches, 348 yards, 6 TDs; 3 carries, 15 yards)
- WR De'Kendrick Bender, Sr., 6-2, 196 (20 catches, 396 yards, 7 TDs; 10 carries, 136 yards, 1 TD)
- S Champ Mathis, Sr., 5-10, 189 (21 tackles, 2 for for loss, 1 INT, 6 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Brevin Randle, Sr., 6-0, 215 (40 tackles, 10 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures)
- OL Christian Hood, Sr., 6-1, 294
- RB Treylin Lewis, Sr., 5-10, 178 (54 carries, 331 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 28 yards)
Just the facts
- Jacksonville and Marshall met 10 times from 1916-1942, but did not play again until 2004.
- Since 2004, Jacksonville holds 6-4 advantage in the series. This is the Indians' first meeting with Marshall since 2013.
- Jacksonville is averaging 31 points and 293.8 yards per game -- 144.7 rushing and 149.1 passing.
- Indians junior quarterback Tristen Shewmake passed for a career-high 293 yards and three touchdowns last week.
- Jacksonville is allowing 36.8 points per game on the season.
- Marshall is averaging 39.8 points and 467.8 yards per game -- 213.8 rushing and 254 passing.
- The Mavericks' receiving trio of Tahj Washington, Savion Williams, and De'Kendrick Bender have combined for 21 touchdown catches.
- Marshall is allowing 33.5 points per game on the season.
Key matchup: Marshall passing attack vs. Jacksonville secondary. The Mavericks' offense, led by junior quarterback JJ Green, has been humming right along in district. In helping the Mavs to a 3-0 start in league play, Green has passed for 809 yards and 15 touchdowns, including a seven-touchdown performance last week in a 54-35 win over Mount Pleasant. Marshall lost to Longview (No. 4 in Class 6A) and Carthage (No. 1 in 4A) in non-district, but ever since, the Mavs been rolling, outscoring Lindale, Hallsville, and Mount Pleasant by an average of almost 25 points per game. Green has one of the best collection of receivers anywhere in the state of Texas at his disposal. Seniors Tahj Washington and De'Kendrick Bender and junior Savion Williams all have Division I offers, and have been outstanding through Marshall's first six games. The trio has accounted for 21 of the team's 24 receiving touchdowns, and will be a matchup problem for most teams they play.
Jacksonville, which won a wild 42-38 thriller in the final seconds last week for its first district win of the year, now has the challenge of an explosive Marshall offense in front of it. Complicating matters is an injury to Indians senior Deshawn McCuin, whio suffered a strain in his big toe in the first half of last week's game and did not return. McCuin, who also plays a starring role on offense, is committed to TCU and his status for Friday's game in unknown. If McCuin is unable to go, Jacksonville's secondary will need to lean on the experience of cornerback Braelyn Riden (Texas Southern commit), who led the Indians with six interceptions a season ago. Jacksonville was able to keep Pine Tree's passing offense under control last week, limiting Pirates quarterback DJ Freeman to 11 of 25 completions for 119 yards. But the challenge of facing Green and Marshall's fleet of talented receivers is much greater.
Don't be surprised if: Jacksonville tries to establish its running game early. The Indians were able to come from behind in the second half last week without a strong performance on the ground. Down 23-7 early in the third quarter, the Indians took to the air with junior quarterback Tristen Shewmake, who had his best game of the season with 293 yards and three touchdowns. But the plan going in was to make headway on the ground, using McCuin more at quarterback in the Wildcat spot. But the early injuries to McCuin and running back Aaron Richardson turned Shewmake into more of a runner than he had been in previous weeks. Marshall's offense is explosive, so in order for Jacksonville to contain the Mavs' high-flying attack, it will need to play ball control with a strong running game. Expect to see more designed runs or run-pass options for Shewmake on Friday night.