PREVIEW: Surprising Spring Hill Shoots For 6-0 Start Against Gladewater
DISTRICT 7-4A DIVISION II
Spring Hill Panthers (5-0)
Gladewater Bears (1-4)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Jack V. Murphy Bear Stadium, Gladewater
- Spring Hill: Kelly Mercer
- Gladewater: John Berry
- Spring Hill: idle
- Gladewater: idle
- Spring Hill: vs. Pittsburg, Oct. 20
- Gladewater: vs. Gilmer, Oct. 20
- QB Gage White, Soph., 5-11, 170 (30 of 49, 752 yards, 13 TDs, 0 INTs; 30 carries, 203 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Dayson Adaway, Sr., 6-0, 170 (15 catches, 431 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB Kiante Stoker, Sr., 5-11, 207 (42 carries, 430 yards, 9 TDs)
- RB Zach Tulpa, Sr., 5-10, 155 (48 carries, 464 yards, 4 TDs; 3 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Ryan Willis, Sr., 5-10, 147 (10 catches, 239 yards, 5 TDs)
- LB Vaughn Bufkin, Jr., 5-7, 180
- OL/DL Tanner Cornell, Sr., 6-0, 260
- WR/DB Morgan Bradford, Jr., 5-10, 154 (4 catches, 91 yards, 0 TDs)
- RB/DB Isaiah Davis, Sr., 5-11, 210 (35 carries, 171 yards, 1 TD)
- TE Mike Sanchez, Sr., 6-5, 327
- QB Danny Badger, Jr., 6-0, 200 (13 of 29, 121 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs; 53 carries, 151 yards, 3 TDs)
- OL Andrew Williams, Sr., 5-11, 290
- FB/LB Rashaud Johnson, Jr., 5-8, 190 (33 carries, 164 yards, 3 TDs; 46 tackles, 8 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 PBU)
- FB Keston Wilson, Jr., 5-10, 220 (36 carries, 166 yards, 0 TDs)
- DB Mycah Stephens, Sr., 6-0, 186 (30 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick)
- DL Dre'ka Ransom, Sr., 5-9, 210 (23 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU)
Just the facts
- Spring Hill's last win over Gladewater came in 2012. The Panthers have lost four straight to Gladewater.
- Gladewater won last year's meeting, 62-7.
- Spring Hill is averaging 51.4 points and 425.8 yards per game -- 251.2 rushing and 174.6 passing.
- The cumulative record of Spring HIll's first five opponents is 11-16 (.407).
- Spring Hill is allowing 17.4 points per game.
- Gladewater is averaging 12.4 points and 223.2 yards per game -- 199 rushing and 24.2 passing.
- The cumulative record of Gladewater's first five opponents is 17-11 (.607).
- Gladewater is allowing 25.8 points per game.
Key matchup: Spring Hill rushing attack vs. Gladewater defensive front. The Panthers have been one of East Texas' biggest surprises in 2017, as they enter District 7-4A Division II with a perfect 5-0 record. The offense has been the primary catalyst, as it comes into Friday's game averaging more than 51 points per game. While Spring Hill has shown good balance in the early going, it's the running game that really drives the engine.
The Panthers feature two main running backs in Zach Tulpa and Kiante Stoker, who have combined for almost 900 yards and 13 touchdowns in five games. Spring Hill will also get rushing production from its quarterback Gage White. And all of that running sets up a dynamic passing attack, which White has orchestrated masterfully so far. The sophomore signal-caller has yet to throw an interception, has tossed 13 touchdown passes, completes 61 percent of his throws, and averages a staggering 25 yards per attempt.
Gladewater must guard against Spring Hill first having success on the ground. Because once it does, it can do some serious damage in the downfield passing game.
Don't be surprised if: The game isn't decided until the fourth quarter. We don't expect Spring Hill to keep up its scoring pace against at Gladewater defense that's allowing a respectable 25 points per game. At the same time, the Bears will probably score more than their average of 12 points. Gladewater, which has prided itself on wearing down opposing defense with its grind-it-out approach on offense, needs its best offensive performance of the season to walk out of Friday's game with a win. The Bears haven't played well on offense all year, but after a week off and with the start of district play upon them, expect Gladewater to rise to the occasion.