PREVIEW: San Augustine Eyes State Championship Against Mason
CLASS 2A DIVISION I
San Augustine Wolves (12-2)
Mason Punchers (14-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Waco ISD Stadium, Waco
- San Augustine: Marty Murr
- Mason: Kade Burns
- San Augustine: def. Tenaha, 43-17
- Mason: def. Refugio, 28-14
- Winner vs. New Deal or San Saba, 11 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 20), AT&T Stadium, Arlington, 2A Division I state championship game
Players to watch
- DL TyPatrick Bluford, Sr., 6-1, 200 (73 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 10 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- RB/DB Tijay Thomas, Jr., 5-8, 143 (237 carries, 2,335 yards, 27 TDs; 21 catches 209 yards, 3 TDs; 37 tackles, 1 INT, 6 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- QB/DB DelMarquis Barnes, Soph., 5-8, 145 (79-of-155, 995 yards, 12 TDs, 11 INTs; 122 carries, 1,003 yards, 10 TDs; 67 tackles, 1 sack, 8 QB hurries, 2 INTs, 7 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- LB Zach Garcia, Jr., 5-8, 165 (113 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery)
- OL/DL JaDarius Holman, Sr., 6-2, 195 (132 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 17 QB hurries, 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- WR/DB JaChristian Lovell, Sr., 5-10, 155 (114 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 INTs, 9 PBUs, 5 fumble recoveries)
- RB Kevorian Barnes, Soph., 5-7, 145 (113 carries, 1,002 yards, 15 TDs)
- WR/DL JaVarious Miller (18 catches, 412 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB/LB Klay Klaerner, Jr., 5-10, 190
- QB Otto Wofford, Sr., 6-1, 175
- Jake Cockeram, Sr.
- WR/DB Ethan Powell, Sr., 6-5, 195
- DB Roman Coe, Sr., 5-10
Just the facts
- Since at least 2004, as far back as MaxPreps' game history goes, San Augustine and Mason have never met.
- San Augustine is averaging 374.3 yards per game (74.8 passing and 299.5 rushing).
- Wolves running back Tijay Thomas has rushed for 200 yards or more six times this season.
- San Augustine has forced 30 turnovers this season (16 fumbles and 14 interceptions) for an averaged of 2.1 per game.
- Mason is averaging 43.9 points per game and giving up 6.8.
- Mason has not finished with a losing season since 2007.
- The Punchers have outscored their opponents 178-34 in the playoffs.
Key matchup: San Augustine rushing attack against the Mason defense. The Wolves average less than 100 yards passing per game, showing which way their offense leans. Tijay Thomas leads the rushing attack, with more than 2,000 yards rushing and nearly 30 touchdowns this season. Klay Klaerner, the Mason linebacker, will likely be the one spending his night chasing Thomas down. It's not just him, though. DelMarquis Barnes and Kevorian Barnes each also have 1,000 yards per game.
Mason might be the defense that has what it takes to slow down San Augustine's run game. The Punchers are giving up less than seven points per game this season. If they can, look for Mason to advance to the state championship.
Don't be surprised if: JaVarious Miller ends up with a few catches. Although the Wolves don't pass often, they might be forced to in this game. It will likely be a closer game and San Augustine could be playing from behind at points. If that is the case, it might be forced to pass more than it typically does. If it is, Miller will be the top target, with more than 400 yards receiving and seven touchdowns so far this season, He is the clear top receiver for the Wolves, and could be more involved in the offense Friday.