Surprising Winona Looks to Keep It Going This Week Against Arp
DISTRICT 8-3A DIVISION II
Arp Tigers (1-3, 0-1)
Winona Wildcats (3-1, 1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Winona
- Arp: Dale Irwin
- Winona: Keylon Kincade
- Arp: vs. Waskom, Oct. 9
- Winona: at West Rusk, Oct. 9
- QB Kayce Medlock, Jr., 6-0, 180 (19 of 51, 217 yards, 1 TD, 8 INTs; 26 carries, 276 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Julian Herndon, Sr., 6-0, 195 (71 carries, 451 yards, 3 TDs; 1 catch, 14 yards)
- RB Isaiah Baker, Sr., 5-6, 165 (42 carries, 331 yards, 4 TDs; 1 catch, 14 yards)
- WR Tray Baker, Jr., 5-7, 150 (6 catches, 101 yards, 1 TD)
- WR/DB Tommy Reese, Sr., 6-1, 185 (7 catches 94 yards, 1 TD; 47 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Demarvion Overshown, Soph., 6-0, 175 (52 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 INT)
- LB Jacobe Hunt, Jr., 5-9, 180 (37 tackles)
- OL/DL Mack Stroupe, Jr., 6-1, 215 (16 tackles, 2 for loss)
- RB/LB Deundre Wheeler, Jr., 5-10, 190
- WR/DB Jeremiah Bolton, Sr., 5-10, 155
- OL/DL Tecorian Simmons, Jr., 6-1, 290
- ATH Braxton Kincade, Jr., 5-11, 175
- WR/LB Chris Lindley, Sr.
- WR Zachary Francis, Soph., 6-0, 185
- ATH KJ Kincade, Fr., 5-10, 160
- OL/DL Leland Norman, Sr., 5-7, 180
Just the facts
- Arp and Winona have met 16 times since 1992. Arp leads the series over that time span, 13-2.
- The Tigers are hoping to avoid their first 0-2 start in district since 2006.
- Arp is averaging 24.5 points and 355 yards per game -- 294.8 rushing and 60.2 passing.
- The Tigers are allowing 36.3 points per game.
- The cumulative record of Arp's opponents this season -- Paul Pewitt, Hughes Springs, Franklin, and West Rusk -- is 15-4.
- Winona is averaging 19.5 points per game.
- The Wildcats are allowing 22.3 points per game.
- The cumulative record of Winona's opponents this season -- Hawkins, Grand Saline, Ore City, and Frankston -- is 9-10.
Key matchup: Arp rushing attack vs. Winona defensive front. There's no secret what the Arp Tigers plan to do when they get the football, and that's run. Arp has three players with at least 276 rushing yards on the season through four games, and it's a formula that's served the Tigers well in past years. Arp's primary ball carriers will be leading rusher Julian Herndon and Isaiah Baker, who are both averaging well over six yards per carry thus far. When either one get into the open field, their combination of size and speed make life difficult on would-be tacklers. Quarterback Kayce Medlock is also a capable runner with almost 300 yards and two rushing touchdowns himself, which provides Arp's running game an added dimension. Not only must opposing linebackers pay attention to the deep backs, but if they're not careful, Medlock can burn them with his legs.
It will be crucial for Winona's run defense to play well Friday. If the Wildcats are able to have success curtailing Arp's rushing production, a lot will be put on the shoulders of Medlock, who has struggled mightily in the passing game this season. Medlock is only completing 37 percent of his passes with eight interceptions to only one touchdown pass. If Arp is having trouble sustaining drives with its rushing attack, look for Winona to apply heavy pressure in obvious passing downs, which could lead to more turnovers for Medlock and subsequently more possessions for the Winona offense.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is much closer than last season's Arp-Winona meeting, which resulted in a 63-6 Tigers win. Winona has surprised many with is 3-1 start to the season, considering the Wildcats' struggles in 2014. Last season, Winona managed just one victory and was outscored by an average of 28 points per game. This season, the Wildcats have relied on a strong defense that's only had just one bad week -- a 42-21 loss to Ore City. Arp, meanwhile, has gotten off to a 1-3 start for just the second time since 2003. The Tigers' non-district schedule was a tough one with games against Paul Pewitt, Hughes Springs, and Franklin. Last week's 31-23 loss to West Rusk in the district opener didn't do anything to comfort Tigers fans, but Arp has a chance to turn things around and get back on the right track with a win Friday.