PREVIEW: Rusk Set to Face Pittsburg in Bi-District
CLASS 4A DIVISION II
Region II Bi-District Playoff
Rusk Eagles (8-2)
Pittsburg Pirates (6-4)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Panther Stadium, Bullard
- Rusk: Jowell Hancock
- Pittsburg: Brad Baca
- Winner faces either Melissa or Lincoln, area playoffs
- QB/DB Darrian McDuff, Sr., 6-1, 185 (96-of-162, 1,546 yards, 16 TDs, 8 INTs; 139 carries, 891 yards, 13 TDs)
- RB/LB Sam Thomas, Sr., 5-10, 190 (126 carries, 1,171 yards, 14 TDs)
- WR Joseph Francis, 6-1, 170 (31 catches, 618 yards, 7 TDs)
- OL/DL Travis Pepin, Sr., 6-2, 275
- OL/DL Jermaine Lewis, Jr., 6-3, 230
- RB Damion Freeney, Sr., 6-0, 170 (20 carries, 122 yards, 1 TD; 13 catches, 140 yards, 3 TDs)
- QB Jaylon Jimmerson, Jr., 5-11, 180 (88 of 135, 1,343 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs; 100 carries, 566 yards, 12 TDs)
- WR/DB Keontae Burns, Jr., 6-3, 175 (31 catches, 583 yards, 5 TDs; 16 carries, 122 yards, 0 TDs; 57 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, 7 PBUs)
- RB Jordan Turner, Jr., 5-9, 193 (239 carries, 1,014 yards, 8 TDs; 5 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Cody Jones, Sr., 6-2, 185 (78 tackles, 17 for loss, 6 sacks, 25 QB pressures, 5 PBUs)
- DL Camryn Edney, Jr., 6-0, 200 (84 tackles, 18 for loss, 1 sack, 1 PBU)
- LB Antwon Robertson, Jr., 5-10, 220 (58 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 16 QB pressures, 1 PBU)
- WR/DB Keithlen Griffin, Jr., 6-0, 145 (27 catches, 347 yards, 6 TDs; 11 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD; 52 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 INTs, 6 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries)
- LB Mason Monts, Jr., 5-10, 175 (94 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 PBU)
Just the facts
- Pittsburg is averaging 30.2 points and 339 yards per game.
- The Pirates' running back Jordan Turner has rushed for more than 100 yards four times this season, including a season-high 250 yards against Atlanta.
- 62.9 percent of the Pirates' pass completions have gone to Keontae Burns and Keithlen Griffin
- Rusk is averaging 39.2 points and 401.2 yards per game.
- Rusk QB Darrian McDuff has rushed and thrown for 100 yards in the same game three times this season.
- Rusk running back Sam Thomas is averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
Key matchup: Sam Thomas against the Pittsburg run defense. The Pirates have a formidable wall when it comes to stopping the run. Cody Jones and Camryn Edney are the foundation. They have combined for 35 tackles for loss this season.
Mason Monts and Antwon Robertson can come up big for the Pirates as well. They will need to, for Rusk presents a heavy rushing attack with Sam Thomas and Darrian McDuff.
Thomas has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season, while McDuff is well on his way, needing only 109 more yards. The duo makes it difficult for any opposing defense to stop Rusk from moving the ball.
However, the Pittsburg defense has what it takes. If it can muster enough effort to put a stop to this team, it will be playing beyond Friday night.
Don't be surprised if: Keontae Burns and Keithlen Griffin see a lot of targets. They have all season.
Case and point: 62.9 percent of the Pirates' pass completions go to them. As far as scoring, they have brought Jaylon Jimmerson 11 of his 16 passing touchdowns. It's safe to say they are 1A and 1B in this receiving corps.
Look for them to be heavily involved.