PREVIEW: Red-Hot Marshall Offense Runs Into Tough Huntsville Defense
CLASS 5A DIVISION II
Region III Semifinal
Marshall Mavericks (10-2)
Huntsville Hornets (11-1)
8 p.m. Saturday
Ford Center, Frisco
- Marshall: Claude Mathis
- Huntsville: Rodney Southern
- Marshall: def. Nederland, 63-24
- Huntsville: def. Manvel, 34-10
- Winner vs. Fort Bend Marshall or Port Neches Grove, 5A Division II, Region III final
Players to watch
- QB JJ Green, Jr., 6-4, 170 (127-of-217, 2,167 yards, 31 TDs, 7 INTs; 98 carries, 719 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Tahj Washington, Sr., 5-11, 168 (38 catches, 685 yards, 9 TDs; 27 carries, 285 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR De'Kendrick Bender, Sr., 6-2, 196 (29 catches, 543 yards, 9 TDs; 36 carries, 346 yards, 7 TDs; 7-of-13, 155 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
- WR Savion Williams, Jr., 6-5, 203 (38 catches, 605 yards, 11 TDs; 9 carries, 37 yards)
- LB Brevin Randle, Sr., 6-0, 216 (112 tackles, 31 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 15 QB pressures, 1 PBU, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, 3 defensive TDs)
- DE Mike Washington, Soph., 5-11, 210 (73 tackles, 35 for loss, 12 sacks, 11 QB pressures, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- S Champ Mathis, Sr., 5-10, 170 (49 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 INTs, 10 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Ky'gze Turner, Jr., 5-9, 210 (94 tackles, 20 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 QB hurries 1 PBU, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- QB Matthew Southern, Jr., 5-11, 170 (191-of-294, 2,795 yards, 34 TDs, 8 INTs; 54 carries, 131 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB Jaeryne Green, Sr., 5-8, 190 (173, 1,025 yards, 11 TDs; 10 catches 55 yards)
- WR Jaylon Griffin, Sr., 6-2, 173 (39 catches, 966 yards, 15 TDs)
- WR Miles Tatum, Jr., 5-11, 186 (26 catches, 475 yards, 6 TDs)
- DB T.J. Sweat, Sr., 5-9, 160 (7 INTs)
Just the facts
- Since 1951, Marshall is 2-0 against Huntsville.
- Marshall is averaging 438.5 yards per game (210.1 passing and 228.4 rushing).
- Maverick quarterback J.J. Green not only leads the team in passing (2,167 yards), he also leads in rushing (719 yards).
- Marshall has scored 50-plus points in both of its playoff games thus far, including 63 against Nederland last week.
- Both Marshall and Huntsville have played Nacogdoches this season. Huntsville won, 57-7. Marshall won, 40-0.
- Huntsville is averaging 407.4 yards per game (239.7 passing and 167.7 rushing).
- Hornet receiver Jaylon Griffin is averaging 24.8 yards per reception.
Key matchup: Marshall passing attack against the Huntsville defense. Huntsville is holding its opponents to only 8.6 points per game. Marshall, on the other hand, boasts one of the most prolific passing attacks in East Texas. Maverick quarterback J.J. Green has been steady all season, throwing for more than 2,000 yards. He is dangerous because he presents a dual-threat with his ability to turn busted plays into big gains with his legs. He has perhaps one of the better receiving corps in the state. Tahj Washington, DeKendrick Bender and Savion Williams all have FBS scholarship offers. His ability to get the ball in their hands will be crucial in the Mavericks' success.
Huntsville has a pretty solid secondary, led by T.J. Sweat, who has seven interceptions. If he can get help form his teammates to contain the talented trio of receivers, Huntsville has a fairly good shot at winning.
Don't be surprised if: Brevn Randle and Mike Washington create some pressure for Matthew Southern. Lost in Marshall's recent offensive success has been the play of its defense. The Mavericks have been rolling on both sides, and it's thanks in large part to Randle and Mike Washington. They've combined for 17.5 sacks thus far. Huntsville also likes to throw the ball, with Southern having more than 2,500 passing yards thus far. If the Mavericks can continue their pursuit of the quarterback and force him into making poor decisions, it will have a good shot at advancing to the regional final.