PREVIEW: West Rusk Faces Atlanta in Bi-District Competition
CLASS 3A DIVISION I
Region II Bi-District Playoff
Atlanta Rabbits (5-5)
West Rusk Raiders (8-2)
7 p.m. Friday
Panther Stadium, Longview
- Atlanta: Matt McClure
- West Rusk: John Frazier
- Atlanta: def. Hooks, 54-20
- West Rusk: def. Winnsboro, 62-14
- Winner vs. Kemp or Lone Oak, Class 3A Division I area playoff
Players to watch
- RB Jawan King, Sr., 5-10, 180
- QB/DB Andrew Samples, Sr., 5-11, 185
- OL/DL Shun Hunter, Sr.
- WR/DB Kade Wood, Jr. (61 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- WR/DB Jordan Brigham, Jr., 5-11, 162 (29 tackles, 1 recovered fumble, 2 PBUs)
- RB/DB Dra Nelson, Jr.
- OL/DL Caleb Coleman, Sr. (84 tackles, 11 for loss, 1 sack, 13 QB hurries, 2 forced fumbles)
- LB Conner Samples, Jr. (99 tackles, 8 for loss, 2 sacks)
- WR/DB Jacorian Fields, Jr.. 6-1, 150 (53 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 9 PBUs)
- QB/DB LaJavius Harper, Sr., 5-10, 158 (72-of-128, 1,232 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs; 47 carries, 367 yards, 5 TDs; 47 tackles, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB/DB Tyrell Moore, Jr., 5-8, 165 (128 carries, 793 yards, 6 TDs; 8 tackles)
- WR/DB Talon Winings, Jr., 5-11, 170 (17 catches, 282 yards, 3 TDs; 30 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 INTs, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR/DB DJ Hart, Sr., 6-0, 185 (19 carries, 172 yards, 1 TD; 11 catches, 145 yards, 4 TDs; 31 tackles, 6 PBUs)
- FB/LB Orlando Cortez, Sr., 5-10, 190 (93 tackles, 16 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 PBU, 6 QB hurries)
- OL/DL Coltan Mills, Jr., 6-1, 238 (58 tackles, 16 for loss, 6 sacks, 3 PBUs, 6 QB hurries)
- OL/LB Diego Molina, Sr., 5-10 190 (112 tackles, 19 for loss, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 QB hurries)
- DL Darius Richardson, Sr., 6-3, 303 (54 tackles, 8 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB hurries)
- OL/DL Parker Mizell, Jr., 6-0, 200 (41 tackles, 14 for loss, 3 sacks, 12 QB hurries, 3 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR Trevor Henson, Sr., 5-9, 150 (19 catches, 487 yards, 9 TDs)
Just the facts
- At least since 1980, Atlanta and West Rusk have never played.
- West Rusk is averaging 348.8 yards per game (122.9 passing and 225.9 rushing).
- Raiders receiver Trevor Henson is averaging 25.6 yards per reception.
- West Rusk is averaging 11.8 tackles for loss per game.
- Atlanta is allowing 248 yards passing per game compared to just 95.2 rushing.
- The Rabbits' defense has forced 16 turnovers (13 fumbles and three interceptions).
- After starting 0-4, Atlanta won five of its final six games.
Key matchup: Atlanta rushing game against the West Rusk defense. Atlanta boasts one of the better running backs in East Texas in Jawan King. He bring both size and speed to the table, the rare running back who has both. A Rice commit, he looks to carry the offensive load for the Rabbits in the playoffs.
West Rusk's defense, however, is among the best in East Texas at stopping the run. The Raiders average 11.8 tackles per loss per game. Diego Molina and Orlando Cortez have a penchant for getting to the backfield from the linebacker spot. Coltan Mills and Parker Mizell bring added pressure from the defensive line. West Rusk has been stingy on defense all season, and Atlanta might have more trouble finding opening than it normally does.
Don't be surprised if: West Rusk spreads it around on offense. There are plenty of playmakers on the Raider offense. From Tyrell Moore is the leader in the backfield, but LJ Harper has several weapons in the passing game. Trevor Henson is the top target, but Talon Winings and DJ Hart have both proven themselves as reliable options as well. The Raiders will look to spread the ball and keep time of possession high. They need to give their defense rest with how aggressive it plays and should look to hold on to the ball as much as they can.