PREVIEW: Tatum + West Rusk Meet in Pivotal District Game
DISTRICT 8-3A DIVISION I
Tatum Eagles (4-2, 3-0)
No. 10 West Rusk Raiders (7-1, 3-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Bruce Bradshaw Stadium, New London
- Tatum: Darren Hylander
- West Rusk: John Frazier
- Tatum: def. Winnsboro, 29-0
- West Rusk: lost to Sabine, 23-7
- Tatum: vs. Mineola, Nov. 2
- West Rusk: at Winnsboro, Nov. 2
Players to watch
- QB OB Jones, Sr., 6-2, 190 (75-of-126, 1,148 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs; 71 carries, 482 yards, 9 TDs)
- RB/ATH Jachais Jenkins, Sr., 5-10, 182 (86 carries, 521 yards, 14 TDs; 25 catches, 269 yards)
- ATH Decartiyay Allison (44 carries, 438 yards, 4 TDs; 21 catches, 276 yards)
- OLB Cavion White, Sr., 5-6, 150
- WR Jayden Boyd, Fr., 6-2, 170 (10 catches, 225 yards, 3 TDs)
- OL/LB Lane Haden, Sr.
- DT/OG Timothy Fagan Jr., Sr.
- DE Wardell Glaspie, Sr., 6-1, 224
- QB/DB LaJavius Harper, Sr., 5-10, 158 (58-of-108, 1,009 yards, 16 TDs, 5 INTs; 44 carries, 330 yards, 5 TDs; 41 tackles, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB/DB Tyrell Moore, Jr., 5-8, 165 (118 carries, 714 yards, 5 TDs; 8 tackles)
- WR/DB Talon Winings, Jr., 5-11, 170 (13 catches, 245 yards, 3 TDs; 325 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 INTs, 3 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR/DB DJ Hart, Sr., 6-0, 185 (18 carries, 164 yards, 1 TD; 11 catches, 145 yards, 4 TDs; 25 tackles, 6 PBUs)
- FB/LB Orlando Cortez, Sr., 5-10, 190 (75 tackles, 15 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 PBU, 6 QB hurries)
- OL/DL Coltan Mills, Jr., 6-1, 238 (46 tackles, 13 for loss, 5 sacks, 3 PBUs, 4 QB hurries)
- OL/LB Diego Molina, Sr., 5-10 190 (95 tackles, 16 for loss, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 QB hurries)
- DL Darius Richardson, Sr., 6-3, 303 (51 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB hurries)
- OL/DL Parker Mizell, Jr., 6-0, 200 (36 tackles, 13 for loss, 3 sacks, 12 QB hurries, 3 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery, 1 forced fumble)
- WR Trevor Henson, Sr., 5-9, 150 (16 catches, 390 yards, 7 TDs)
Just the facts
- West Rusk and Tatum first met in 1982 with the Raiders winning, 20-2. Tatum has gone 9-2 since then to hold a 9-3 lead in the series.
- Tatum is averaging 466.5 yards per game (195.3 passing and 271.2 rushing).
- Eagles quarterback OB Jones accounts for more than half of Tatum's yards a game, averaging 271.6 total.
- Tatum running backs Jachais Jenkins and Decartiyay Allison account for 46 of the Eagles' 77 receptions this season.
- West Rusk is averaging 346.5 yards per game (126.1 passing and 220.4 rushing).
- The Raider defense is giving up only 18.1 points per game.
- West Rusk ATH DJ Hart has only 18 carries, but is almost a guaranteed first down when he touches the ball. He is averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
Key matchup: West Rusk defense against the Tatum offense. This game matches one of the best defense in the area against a Tatum offense that has been putting up some huge numbers thus far. The Eagles are averaging more than 450 yards per game behind quarterback OB Jones who had thrown for more than 1,000 yards and rushed for nearly 500 more. He, along with Jachais Jenkins and Decartiyay Allison, has led the Eagle offense to an average of 42.5 points per game so far.
They run into a Raider defense giving up just 18.1. Diego Molina leads the group with 95 tackles, including 16 for loss. Darius Richardson, a Texas State commit, and Pakrer Mizell each have three sacks. Orlando Cortez and Coltan Mills have been out the past few weeks, but if either were to make a return, the Raiders would be even more intimidating. The secondary completes the group, featuring Talon Winings (3 INTs) and DJ Hart (6 PBUs).
Considering this game has district championship implications, the battle should be even better.
Don't be surprised if: The Eagles throw a lot of short passes. Jenkins and Allen are both among the most targeted receivers for Tatum, and both have big roles in the backfield. If Jones isn't handing it off to either of these players, he's likely throwing to them. Allison's 276 receiving yards lead the team. Jenkins isn't far behind with 269.
It will be interesting to see how the Eagles fare against a defense averaging 12.6 tackles for loss per game. However, if history is any indication, the Eagles' offense will look to its running backs in both the running and passing game.