Winner Goes to Playoffs, Loser Eliminated as Whitehouse Faces Lindale
Whitehouse Wildcats (5-4, 1-3)
Lindale Eagles (2-7, 1-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Lindale
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- Lindale: Mike Meador
- Whitehouse: TBD
- Lindale: TBD
- QB Jake Clemons, Jr., 6-1, 170 (70 of 111, 1,002 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT)
- WR Zach Parker, Sr., 6-1, 190 (46 catches, 717 yards, 7 TDs)
- LB Isaac Little, Sr., 6-0, 195 (103 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 INTs)
- DE Christian Owens, Jr., 6-2, 260 (56 tackles, 14 for loss, 2 sacks)
- CB Javier Neal, Jr., 5-10, 155 (55 tackles, 3 for loss, 7 INTs, 4 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- CB Kaleb Ford-Dement, Sr., 6-1, 175 (34 tackles, 2 INTs, 8 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- LB Braylon Shackelford, Sr., 5-9, 190 (77 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
- WR Cameron Cantrell, Soph., 6-1, 175 (27 catches, 339 yards, 1 TD)
- DT Terrell Cooper, Sr., 6-3, 240 (67 tackles. 9 for loss, 15 QB pressures)
- DE Kale Ridge, Sr., 6-2, 220 (47 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- QB Montana Meador, Sr., 5-11, 165 (97 of 179, 1,043 yards, 9 TDs, 7 INTs; 138 carries, 649 yards, 7 TDs)
- TE/WR Cameron Sir Louis, Sr., 6-4, 230 (34 catches, 372 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB Jordan Robinson, Jr., 5-11, 175 (79 carries, 526 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Joe Noble, Jr., 6-4, 180 (30 catches, 373 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB Bryan Edwards, Jr. (95 tackles, 7 for loss, 6 QB pressures)
- DB David Franke, Sr., 5-9, 160 (59 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
Just the facts
- Since 1965, Whitehouse and Lindale have met 37 times. Lindale leads the series over that span, 20-17.
- The winner of Friday's game advances to the 5A Division II playoffs, while the loser is eliminated.
- Whitehouse is averaging 25.4 points and 318.6 yards per game -- 91.7 rushing and 226.9 passing.
- The Wildcats' defense is allowing 19.2 points per game, and has forced 24 turnovers -- 14 interceptions and 10 fumbles.
- Whitehouse has not missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons since 2003-05.
- Lindale is averaging 22.7 points and 301.2 yards per game -- 181.8 rushing and 119.4 passing.
- The Eagles' defense is allowing 32.4 points per game.
- Lindale has not qualified for the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 2010-11.
Key matchup: Whitehouse offensive line vs. Lindale defensive front. The decline in offensive production for Whitehouse in 2016 has been jarring. Injuries at key spots, uncertainty at quarterback, and the lack of a consistent running game have all contributed to an offense that's averaging a little more than 25 points per game, and just 17.8 in district action. In last week's 17-9 loss to Corsicana, Whitehouse had a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but a couple of sacks ultimately knocked the Wildcats out of field-goal range and led to a turnover on downs. Junior quarterback Jake Clemons got his third start of the season and last week, and like he's done for most of the season, performed well by completing 62 percent of his passes for 271 yards, and running for Whitehouse's only touchdown of the game. The Wildcats' running game has been virtually non-existent during district, as Whitehouse has failed to eclipse 100 yards rushing as a team in its last three games. The Wildcats only ran the ball 10 times last week, while attempting 45 passes.
It's been a tough season for Lindale up to this point, but a win Friday night that would clinch a playoff spot could salvage it. The Eagles put forth their best effort of the year in last week's stunning 45-7 win over Jacksonville. Lindale's defense applied constant pressure to the Jacksonville backfield and its elusive and explosive quarterback Cameron High, and it's that type of performance that will be needed by the Eagles' defense again this week. The Lindale front is comprised in part by two of the area's best individual defenders in linemen Terrell Cooper and Kale Ridge. Cooper, who holds FBS offers from Arkansas State, Memphis, North Texas, and Texas State, gives opposing interior linemen fits from his tackle position. And Ridge is one of the most versatile and athletic edge players, who can rush either out of a stance or standing up. Both players will be key in Lindale's attempt to penetrate the Whitehouse offensive line.
Don't be surprised if: Points are at premium. Neither team has been especially prolific in the offensive category this season, and both defenses come in playing at their best. With so much on the line, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a few miscues by both sides. Whitehouse's defense has thrived all season long on forcing turnovers, coming into Friday's regular-season finale with 24 takeaways, including 14 interceptions. Lindale quarterback Montana Meador has been intercepted seven times in 179 attempts, and Whitehouse junior cornerback Javier Neal is East Texas' co-leader in interceptions with seven. Lindale hopes it can count on junior running back Jordan Robinson, who had touchdown runs of 21, 30, and 44 yards in the win over Jacksonville last week. The more success Lindale has on the ground, the less opportunities will exist for Whitehouse's ball-hawking secondary to make plays.