Texas High Should Face Stiff Test From Marshall’s Defensive Backfield In District 16-5A Opener
Texas High Tigers (4-0)
Marshall Mavericks (1-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Marverick Stadium, Marshall
- Texas High: Barry Norton
- Marshall: Clint Harper
- Texas High: idle
- Marshall: at Sulphur Springs, Sept. 30
- QB Cade Pearson, Sr., 6-2, 200 (66-of-85 passing, 1,101 yards, 13 TDs, 1 INT; committed to North Texas)
- WR Quan Hampton, Sr., 5-9, 165 (27 catches, 513 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Devuntay Walker, Sr., 6-0, 180 (29 carries, 221 yards, 3 TDs)
- OL Dylan Raley, Sr., 6-3, 285
- DB/WR Eric Sutton, Sr., 5-8, 155 (17 tackles, 2 INTs, 3 fumble recoveries)
- OL Kam Arnold, Sr., 6-4, 300
- WR Tevailance Hunt, Jr., 6-1, 175 (13 catches, 300 yards, 5 TDs)
- ATH Cam Haller, Sr., 5-10, 205 (50 carries, 460 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Texas A&M baseball)
- OL Chasen Hines, Jr., 6-3, 332 (11 pancake blocks)
- DB/WR Corteze Hurd, Jr., 6-1, 170 (37 tackles, 1 INT, 7 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD)
- DB/WR Tre Macon, Jr., 5-11, 190 (42 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 6 kickoff returns, 115 yards)
- OL Kameron King, Jr., 6-3, 272
- QB Hunter Herrington, Jr., 5-11, 190 (34-of-72 passing, 362 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs)
Just the facts
- Friday's game will be the District 16-5A opener for both Marshall and Texas High.
- The Mavericks and Tigers have been continuous district opponents since 2012.
- Through the senior class' time in high school, Texas High leads the series 3-0.
- The Tigers won last year's meeting, 27-7, and cost Marshall an outright district championship. That allowed both Texas High and Longview to ultimately claim a share of the title alongside the Mavericks.
- Texas High quarterback Cade Pearson, a three-year starter and now a North Texas verbal commitment, threw for about 1,600 in both of the past two seasons. He has passed for 1,101 yards in just four games this year.
- Marshall snapped a three-game losing skid last week with a 40-0 win against Corsicana.
- Texas High has not yet played a Class 5A school this season. All of its wins came against Class 4A opponents with exception to Dallas Bishop Lynch, which is a TAPPS Division I program.
- The Mavericks have only played Class 5A competition and above in in-state competition. It also faced Monroe (La.) Ouachita Parish.
- ETSN.fm predicted Marshall would win District 16-5A and Texas High would finish second before the season began.
- The Tigers are ranked fourth in the latest ETSN.fm Class 6A/5A Poll and are the best-ranked team among 5A schools. Marshall is ranked ninth.
- Texas High is ranked as the ninth-best 5A team in the state through four weeks by the Associated Press.
Key matchup: Marshall's pass defense versus Texas High's aerial assault.
Texas High, in recent years, utilized a physical running game to assert itself against defenses and dictated the pace of games. This season, head coach Barry Norton and his offensive staff have let senior quarterback and three-year starter Cade Pearson off the leash.
The result has been a very explosive offense. Pearson is on pace to double his passing numbers from both his sophomore and junior seasons -- which both featured a one-round trip into the postseason -- by the sixth game of the year.
Of course, Pearson has not yet had to face a Class 5A defense. The Tigers played two Class 4A schools, Arkansas High from just across the broder and one TAPPS Division I program through their non-district schedule.
Texas High has two very productive receivers in Quan Hampton and Tevailance Hunt. Marshall has two junior defensive backs with name recognition in Corteze Hurd and Tre Macon -- a cornerback and safety combination.
Breaking down a passing offense can happen in two separate ways. But shutting down the throwing facet works best when both ways work in harmony.
The Mavericks need their defensive backfield to hold its own and would be even better served if their front can get past Texas High's offensive line and pressure Pearson into either a hasty throw or taking a sack.
Last year, Marshall had the most valuable defensive lineman in the region in Antonio Washington. This year, the defense is averaging one sack per game.
Marshall needs to get more pressure in this game for its best chance to win.
Don't be surprised if: Texas High has a difficult time getting past Marshall, if it wins at all.
The Tigers played very athletic teams through their non-district schedule, but all of the competition came against smaller schools. The Mavericks have more depth and, while 1-3 overall, played a far more challenging overall non-district schedule.
Marshall's offense did not perform well through three games. Then it put up 40 points on Corsicana last week.
Corsicana is a very disappointing 0-4 one game away from facing East Texas competition in District 17-5A, but that might have been the shot in the arm the Mavericks needed to make a run in their own district.