PREVIEW: Tatum + Gladewater Meet for District Title
DISTRICT 8-3A Division I
Tatum Eagles (6-2, 5-0)
Gladewater Bears (8-1, 4-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Jack V. Murphy Stadium, Gladewater
- Tatum: Darren Hylander
- Gladewater: John Berry
- Tatum: vs. TBD, bi-district playoffs
- Gladewater: vs. TBD, bi-district playoffs
Players to watch
- QB OB Jones, Sr., 6-2, 190 (96-of-166, 1,547 yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs; 100 carries, 745 yards, 11 TDs)
- RB/ATH Jachais Jenkins, Sr., 5-10, 182 (110 carries, 740 yards, 18 TDs; 28 catches, 346 yards, 1 TD)
- ATH Decartiyay Allison (58 carries, 577 yards, 4 TDs; 28 catches, 422 yards, 2 TDs)
- OLB Cavion White, Sr., 5-6, 150 (49 tackles, 10 for loss, 4 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 2 fumble recoveries)
- WR Jayden Boyd, Fr., 6-2, 170 (15 catches, 268 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB AJ Singleton, Jr., 5-10, 165 (51 tackles, 9 for loss, 3 sacks, 6 QB hurries)
- DE Wardell Glaspie, Sr., 6-1, 224 (75 tackles, 8 for loss, 5 sacks, 7 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
- RB Eli Carter, Soph., 5-10, 185 (185 carries, 1,822 yards, 16 TDs; 6 catches, 116 yards, TD)
- RB/DB Christian Holmes, Sr., 5-8, 150 (34 carries, 275 yards, 7 TDs)
- QB Tristan Holmes, Soph., 5-8, 155 (49-of-90, 893 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs; 22 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD)
- RB AJ Harris, Sr., 5-9, 180 (38 carries, 199 yards, TD; 1 catch, 20 yards)
- WR/DB TC Minter, Sr., 6-2, 185 (36 catches, 660 yards, 10 TDs)
- FB/LB Rashaud Johnson, Sr., 5-8, 190 (30 carries, 163 yards, 8 TDs; 78 tackles, 19 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)
- DB Danny Badger, Sr., 6-0, 200 (63 tackles, 16 for loss, 6 sacks, 4 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recovered)
- LB Jace Adkinson, Jr., 5-9 (71 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery)
- OT David Bohanon, Sr., 6-2, 265
Just the facts
- Since 1934, Gladewater and Tatum have played 18 times. The Bears lead the series 9-8-1 and won the most recent contest in 2016, 35-7.
- Tatum is averaging 481.5 yards per game (196.9 passing and 284.6 rushing).
- The Eagles have won six straight games, last losing on Sept. 14 to Pittsburg.
- Tatum athletes Jachais Jenkins and Decartiyay Allison have combined for 2,138 total yards and 25 total touchdowns.
- Gladewater running back Eli Carter's 1,822 yards are the third most of any player in East Texas.
- Gladewater is averaging 423.7 yards per game (117.8 passing and 305.9 rushing).
- Bears quarterback Tristan Holmes is averaging 18.2 yards per completion.
Key matchup: Gladewater rushing attack against the Tatum defense. Gladewater has got most of its work done on the ground this season. Although the Bears have the weapons to make the passing game work, they prefer to had it off to Eli Carter. He's averaging 20.5 carries per game and is nearing 2,000 yards rushing. They can easily cap off big drives or convert short-yardage situation by giving to the stocky Rashaud Johnson, who has eight touchdowns on only 30 carries. Rushing makes up for 72.2 percent of the Bears' offense.
Tatum's defense has been fairly solid this season, though. The Eagles have allowed 26.3 points per game, but players such as Wardell Glaspie and Cavion White have gotten into the backfield a few times, combining for 18 tackles for loss. If the Eagles want to finish district undefeated and take the championship, it begins with slowing down Carter and the Gladewater ground game.
Don't be surprised if: Decartiyay Allison and Jachais Jenkins provide most of Tatum's offense. The two have combined for more than 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. They work both in the backfield and as receivers and are the team's top two players in both categories. OB Jones can make plays two, and with him added in the mix, Tatum's offense has been on a roll of late. The Eagles have put up 50 points in three of their past five games and are averaging 45.6 points per game in district play.
Expect another high-scoring game from Tatum. If Gladewater wants to win this one, it'll need to keep up.