PREVIEW: San Augustine and Joaquin Set to Play for District Lead
DISTRICT 11-2A Division I
Joaquin Rams (7-1, 3-0)
San Augustine Wolves (8-0, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wolf Stadium, San Augustine
- Joaquin: Wade Lawson
- San Augustine: Marty Murr
- Joaquin: def. Carlisle, 26-23
- San Augustine: def. Alto, 51-35
- Joaquin: vs. Cushing, Nov. 10
- San Augustine: at Carlisle, Nov. 10
- RB/LB Kase Yates, Sr., 5-10, 180 (115 carries, 1,129 yards, 18 TDs; 52 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- QB/DB Tray Wilkerson, Sr., 6-0, 150 (15-of-18, 323 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 69 carries, 385 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB/DB Connor Bragg, Soph., 5-10, 150 (41 carries, 464 yards, 7 TDs; 32 tackles, 1 INT)
- RB/DB Hunter Gates, Jr., 5-8, 140 (75 carries, 821 yards, 5 TDs; 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)
- OL/DL Matt Silvey, Sr., 6-4, 215
- DL Keith Johnson, Sr., 6-2, 175
- FB/LB Joseph Tarver, Jr., 5-4, 132 (39 carries, 238 yards, 1 TD)
- OL/DL Zach Bell, Sr., 5-8, 280 (45 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- LB Lorenzo Lane Jr., So., 6-1, 180 (37 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 forced fumbles)
- WR/DB QuenTyvian Borders, Sr., 6-2, 180 (22 catches, 348 yards, 8 TDs; 44 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBUs; committed to Stephen F. Austin)
- QB/DB Gavin Murr, Sr., 5-11, 180 (102-of-157, 1,483 yards, 19 TDs, 3 INTs; 38 carries, 298 yards, 2 TDs; 7 tackles, 1 for loss)
- RB/DB K.J. Davis, Sr., 5-8, 175 (126 carries, 1,019 yards, 15 TDs; 12 catches, 202 yards, 2 TDs; 1 forced fumble)
- WR/LB Quay Johnson, Sr., 5-6, 170 (14 catches, 251 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD; 71 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 7 QB hurries, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- WR/DB Ced Thomas, Sr., 6-1, 168 (23 catches, 237 yards, 2 TDs; 59 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 QB hurry, 4 INTs, 6 PBUs, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles)
- OL Quen Holman, Jr., 5-5, 250
Just the facts
- Joaquin is averaging 397.3 yards per game on the ground.
- The Rams have forced 13 turnovers this season (nine interceptions and four fumbles lost) for an average of 1.6 per game. They have also forced 13 fumbles.
- Joaquin's opponents are 31-38 this season (.449).
- San Augustine's opponents are 26-38 this season (.406).
- Despite being a 1,000-yard rusher, KJ Davis has rushed for more than 100 yards in only half of his games this season.
- Five players on the Wolves' roster have more than 200 receiving yards this season.
- The series is knotted at 3-3 since 2010.
- The Rams won last season's matchup, 49-27.
Key matchup: Rams forcing turnovers against San Augustine offense. Joaquin has been getting it done on defense this season. They're giving up only 14.6 points per game and forcing nearly two turnovers per contest. They've also pitched three shutouts.
Lorenzo Lane Jr. and Zach Bell combine for nine forced fumbles. Joaquin has forced 13 total this season. The only issue, they've recovered just four. Getting turnovers will be crucial to defeating San Augustine, so if the Rams are able to force a fumble, it is imperative they fall on it.
As far as interceptions go, quarterback Gavin Murr needs to be cautious. The Rams have already recorded nine picks this year.
That said, slowing this San Augustine offense won't be easy. There is a reason the Wolves are undefeated.
Murr has thrown only three interceptions this season, making him one of the better decision-makers at his position. In addition to this, the Wolves are truly an offense of two dimensions.
Murr has plenty of targets to throw to, his favorite being QuenTyvian Borders, who has 348 yards this season. If Borders isn't open, though, he also has Ced Thomas, Quay Johnson or evening running back KJ Davis.
Speaking of Davis, he is dangerous. He's ran for 200 yards twice already this season and is truly a boom or bust type of player. If he has a big game, he goes all out.
If the Rams defense can step up to the challenge, force a few turnovers and slow this offense down, they will be in great position to hand the Wolves their first loss.
If not, first place in the district is San Augustine's.
Don't be surprised if: Joaquin puts up big numbers running the ball. The Rams have two players among the top rushers in East Texas in Kase Yates and Hunter Gates.
Yates has already rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season and doesn't appear to be slowing down. He also has 18 touchdowns to lead the team by a longshot. Gates has added 800 more yards, so defenses can't take plays off even when Yates doesn't have the ball.
This two-headed monster drives an offense that rushes for nearly 400 yards per game. It's going to be tough to stop. We'll see if San Augustine has what it takes.