PREVIEW: Perennial Powers Newton + Daingerfield Collide
CLASS 3A DIVISION II
Daingerfield Tigers (9-3)
No. 1 Newton Eagles (12-0)
7:30 p.m. Thursday
Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
- Daingerfield: Davin Nelson
- Newton: W.T. Johnston
- Winner vs. East Bernard or Tidehaven, 3A Division II state semifinal
Players to watch
- QB Jakauri Woods, Sr., 6-1, 175 (151 of 245, 2,118 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs; 101 carries, 771 yards, 9 TDs)
- ATH Zaylon Jeter, Soph. (61 carries, 502 yards, 9 TDs; 35 catches, 447 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Jakobie Craver, Jr. (70 carries, 899 yards, 19 TDs; 19 catches, 212 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Trevante Royal, Sr. (38 catches, 555 yards, 5 TDs; 44 carries, 414 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Tyrese Grant, Jr., 6-0, 170 (30 catches, 624 yards, 9 TDs)
- OL/DL Jaqualine Evans, Sr., 6-1, 330
- OL/DL Zach Gilmore, Sr., 6-0, 247
- RB Darwin Barlow, Sr., 5-11, 200 (144 carries, 2,024 yards, 36 TDs; 11 catches, 209 yards, 1 TD; committed to TCU)
- DE James Sylvester, Jr., 6-5, 240 (82 tackles, 23 for loss, 7 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 3 recoveries, 1 blocked punt)
- QB Josh Foster, Sr., 6-2, 190 (67 of 110, 1,290 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs; 61 carries, 608 yards, 13 TDs; committed to TCU)
- WR/DB Tamauzia Brown, Sr., 6-3, 185 (28 catches, 567 yards, 4 TDs; 16 carries, 162 yards, 4 TDs; 18 tackles, 2 INTs; committed to TCU)
- OL Caiden Walker, Sr., 6-4, 300
- LB Jadrian McGraw, Sr., 6-0, 210 (157 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 fumble recoveries)
- DE Christian Kellum, Sr., 5-10, 160 (67 tackles, 16 for loss, 6 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- DT Kristian Paulette, Sr., 5-10, 190 (102 tackles, 11 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries, 4 blocked punts)
Just the facts
- Newton and Daingerfield have combined for 10 state championships.
- Daingerfield defeated Newton in the state quarterfinals in both 2009 and 2010.
- Daingerfield is averaging 49.7 points and 436.9 yards per game -- 239.4 rushing and 197.5 passing.
- Tigers senior quarterback Jakauri Woods has accounted for 2,889 yards of offense and 34 touchdowns.
- Daingerfield is allowing 18.2 points per game, but just 12.8 during its current five-game winning streak.
- Newton is averaging 57.9 points and 499.8 yards per game -- 361.2 rushing and 138.6 passing.
- Eagles senior running back Darwin Barlow is averaging 14.1 yards per carry.
- Newton is allowing 8.2 points per game, has 27 sacks, and has forced 32 turnovers -- 11 interceptions and 21 fumbles.
Key matchup: Newton rushing attack vs. Daingerfield defensive front. Two of East Texas' most explosive offenses clash Thursday night in the state quarterfinals as perennial state powers Newton and Daingerfield meet in Lufkin. For Newton, senior running back and TCU commit Darwin Barlow has been among the area's most productive offensive players in 2018. Barlow enters this week with more than 2,000 yards and 36 touchdowns despite sitting out the second half in most of Newton's games this season. The Eagles' back has done his damage on just 144 carries, and carries an average of 14.1 yards per attempt into this week's game. Barlow has been even more explosive in the playoffs with 508 yards and 11 touchdowns on only 29 carries, which is an average of more than 17 yards per attempt. Newton averages more than 360 rushing yards per game, and Barlow is the bell cow, so keeping him in check should be priority No. 1 for the Daingerfield defense.
Speaking of the Tigers' defense, very few opponents have had much luck putting points on the board. Corrigan-Camden, which averaged 32 points per game on the season, was shut out by Daingerfield's defense last week. The Tigers allow just 18 points per game, but during their current five-game winning streak, opponents are averaging a little less than 13 points per game. No one is expecting Daingerfield to completely shut down an offense as high-powered as the one Newton possesses, but the Tigers must put some pressure on Newton. Eagles quarterback Josh Foster is a more than capable passer, but he is averaging less than 10 pass attempts per game, and has thrown five interceptions to 10 touchdowns in 2018. Turnovers will be key for Daingerfield's defense, and keeping Newton's running game from dominating is the best way for the Tigers to make Newton more vulnerable.
Don't be surprised if: Thursday's game is high scoring and more competitive than most might expect. It's true that Newton has won 27 games in a row, and has outscored teams 695-98 on the year, but Daingerfield has been almost as dominant of late. Since suffering a 45-18 loss to Waskom on Oct. 26, the Tigers have torn apart the opposition, outscoring their last five foes by an average score of 56-13. Only two opponents have come within at least 20 points of Newton this season, and both were way back in non-district -- West Orange-Stark and Gilmer. If Daingerfield can play into the second half against Newton, it will be interesting to see how the defending champs respond to a competitive game.