Henderson (6-1, 2-1) at Center (5-3, 3-1); 7:30 p.m., Friday, Roughrider Stadium
Coming off its first loss of the season, Henderson, ranked No. 6 in TheOldCoach.Com’s Class 4A Division I rankings last week, dropped to 9th in this week’s poll. … The Lions are averaging 43.2 points per game, while Center averages 24.7, but allows 33.8. The 33.8 is inflated by losses to state-ranked Gilmer (70) and Gladewater (56), though. … TCU verbal commit RB Lakendrick Vanzandt leads the Lions in rushing yardage and touchdowns with 756 and 9, respectively. QB Trae Hall has 399 yards and four touchdowns rushing, and RB Lynn Freeney follows with 249 and two. For the season, Henderson has rushed for 1,762 yards and 21 touchdowns on 234 carries. Hall is 57 of 89 passing for 810 yards. His favorite receivers have been TCU commit Trestan Ebner and WR Matthew Childers. Ebner has 25 receptions for 484 yards and eight TDs, while Childers has 19 catches for 209 and three. Henderson QBs have 63 completions for 992 yards and 15 touchdowns. … OLB Adrian Johnson continues to be the playmaker for the ’Riders’ defense with 88 tackles, 27 TFL, 10 SK, and 1 INT. FS/WR Octavius Evans, an FBS Division I recruit, has 48 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FR, 1 INT for a unit that has 94 TFL, 25 SK, 8 INT, and 11 FR in eight games. … The Center offense is averaging 274.8 yards per game (2,199 for the season: 755 rushing and 1,444 passing). QB Kyle Parks is 109 of 184 passing for 1,433 yards and 11 touchdowns with a completion rating of 59.2 percent. His average yards per completion is 13.1. His favorite target continues to be Octavius Evans with 47 catches for 605 yards and three touchdowns. WR Jaterius Evans follows with 25 receptions for 465 yards. Jacarious Hall is the Roughriders’ leading rusher with 362 yards and one touchdown on 79 carries, while Parks has rushed for 220 yards on 207 carries with nine touchdowns. … Henderson defensively is allowing just 18.7 ppg. The Lions’ leading tackler is ILB Keaton Hand with 83 stops and 3 TFL. He is followed by OLB Ty Blanton with 75 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 SK, 7 QBP, ILB Josh Mapps (70, 1 TFL), and OLB Garrett Lybrand (66, 5 TFL, 2 SK).
JOE’S PICK: Henderson by 21
Carthage (4-2, 1-2) at Bullard (3-4, 0-3); 7:30 p.m., Friday; Panther Stadium
Carthage got back on the winning track against Center last week, following consecutive district-opening losses to Henderson and Kilgore. Bullard, which had won three of its first four games, has dropped all three of its district contests. … Carthage is ranked 14th in this week’s TheOldCoach.Com’s Class 4A Division I poll. The Bulldogs are averaging 36.0 points per game and allowing 27.1. … Carthage QB Kason Davis is 109 of 183 passing for 1,705 yards and 18 touchdowns with six interceptions. His favorite targets are WRs Dee Bowens (31-507) and Dewaylon Ingram (25-404), along with RB Keaontay Ingram (21-278). Keaontay, only a jr., is the leading rusher with 115 carries for 905 yards. He is averaging 7.9 ypc. … The Bullard defense is allowing an average of 29.2 ppg. The Panthers leading tacklers are ILB Donovan Yeley with 47 tackles and 2 TFL, ILB Thomas Brooks with 45 and 7 TFL, and S Tre Crayton with 43 tackles. … Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 23.5 points per game. The Bullard rushing game against Chapel Hill was ineffective, though, averaging only a yard per carry (23-for-23). For the season, RB Tre Crayton is the leading rusher with 347 yards on 66 carries and four touchdowns. RB Luke Bowman follows with 244 yards on 71 carries, and has 2 TDs. QB Cleet Bowman was 17 of 38 passing for 247 yards against Chapel Hill, bringing his figures for the season to 91 of 175 for 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions. His favorite receivers have been Ty Crayton (20-349, 2) and Nic Costas (14-305, 1). … The Carthage defense is allowing opponents an average of 197.5 yards rushing and 147.1 yards passing per contest. The unit is led by LB Jase Dixon with 66 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 CF, 2 FR and 1 SK. Other top tacklers include jr. MLB Mykel Gates with 62 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 CF, 2 FR, and LB Jose DeJulian with 62 stops, 6 TFL, 4 CF and 1 FR.
JOE’S PICK: Carthage by 28
Gilmer (6-1, 2-0) at Longview Spring Hill (3-4, 0-2); 7:30 p.m., Friday; Panther Stadium
Gilmer is ranked 4th in this week’s TheOldCoach.Com’s Class 4A Division II poll and has won three in a row since its only loss of the season on Sept. 17 against state-ranked Carthage. … Spring Hill has lost two in a row to open district -- to Gladewater and Pittsburg, who have a combined 10-3 record. … The Buckeyes are averaging 50.1 points per game for the season, but only 33.0 in its district wins against Pleasant Grove and Gladewater. … Gilmer’s offense with Aaron ’Poppy’ Brown at QB is averaging 359 yards passing and 178.4 rushing. Brown is among the East Texas passing leaders, completing 164 of 249 attempts for 2,461 yards and 25 touchdowns. He has suffered seven interceptions. His favorite receivers are Oklahoma State verbal commit LaMarcus Morton (37-724, 6 TDs), Red Jones (32-468, 6), and Qua Heath (22-347, 4). Leading the Buckeyes’ rushing attack is RB Kameryn Cuevas with 41 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Rashaad Ward is close behind with 260 yards and three TDs. … The Spring Hill defense will have its work cut out for it this week against the Buckeyes. Soph. FS Daryn Beck is the Panthers’ top tackler with 61 and 1 TFL, while ILB Vaughn Bufkin follows with 55 tackles, 3 TFL and 5 SK. For the season, the Panther D has 33 TFL, 11 SK, 2 INT and 6 FR … Spring Hill’s offense is averaging 242 yards per game, most of that coming on the ground (202 yards rushing). RB Zach Tulpa is the leading rusher with 730 yards and eight touchdowns on 148 carries. QB Dayson Attaway follows with 364 yards and five TDs on 77 carries. Attaway has thrown for 173 yards (17 of 49) and one touchdown. His leading receiver is Ryan Willis (17-174, 1 TD). … Gilmer’s Black Flag defensive unit is allowing 34.2 points, 222 rushing yards and 146 passing per contest. The unit has four interceptions, six fumble recoveries and 24 sacks. Individually, the leaders are La. Tech commit S Kollin Hurt and LB Jeremy Kelly. Hurt has 75 tackles, 2 TFL and 2 INT, while Kelly has 67 tackles to go along with 6 TFL and 1 INT.
JOE’S PICK: Gilmer by 48
Atlanta (5-2, 1-1) at Gladewater (5-1, 1-1); 7:30 p.m., Friday; Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium
This is a key District 7-4A Division II matchup between a couple of once-beaten teams behind state-ranked Gilmer and Pittsburg with only two weeks remaining in the regular season, after tonight’s games. Four teams will qualify for the playoffs. … Through seven games, the Rabbits, No. 21 in this week’s TheOldCoach.Com’s 4A Division II rankings, are averaging 32.0 points, 122.1 passing and 222.2 rushing yards per contest. Like Atlanta, Gladewater, No. 11 in this week’s Division II poll, prefers the run, averaging 377.5 on the ground and 65.6 through the air. … The Rabbits’ ground attack is led by RB Jwan King with 438 yards on 55 carries (7.9 ypc) with five touchdowns. RB Kelton Young (51-367, 5) and QB Leighton Henson (68-334, 5) follow. Henson is 48 of 100 passing for 843 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. His leading receivers are Hunter Roberts (15-248, 2) and Trin Taylor (11-233, 2). … Gladewater’s defense is allowing just 15.4 points, 60.9 rushing yards and 126.3 passing yards per game. For the season, the unit has 62 TFL, 19 sacks and seven interceptions. Individually, the leaders have been LB Bryson Oliver with 56 tackles, 16 TFL, 7 SK and 2 INT, and DT Isaiah Tiner (40, 13 TFL, 3 SK). … Gladewater’s offense is led by QB Cameron Callaway, Jr., and RBs Isaiah Davis and Darnell McKnight. Davis is the leading rusher with 730 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Callaway has 576 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. McKnight has 530 yards and three TDs. Callaway, a former WR, is 19 of 39 passing for 394 yards and two touchdowns. His primary receivers have been Tyler Glenn and Daniel Robertson. Glenn has eight catches for 189 yards and a touchdown. Robertson has six for 124. … Atlanta’s defense is led by OLB Tristan Allen (64 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 Sk), ILB Gerrod Oliver (64, 5 TFL) and S Dontay Casey (59, 2 TFL, 2 CF).
JOE’S PICK: Gladewater by 18
Pittsburg (5-2, 2-0) at Texarkana Pleasant Grove (1-6, 0-2); 7:30 p.m., Friday; Hawk Stadium
With the season dwindling down, Pittsburg, ranked 20th in this week’s TheOldCoach.Com’s Class 4A Division II poll, hopes to stay unbeaten and on pace for the 7-4A Division II championship on the road against Pleasant Grove. The Pirates come into the contest, averaging 41.8 points per game for the season and an even better 55.0 in two district contests. Pleasant Grove has been outscored in its two district games 45-17. … Pittsburg soph. QB Jaylon Jimmerson has more than fit in rather comfortably, completing 79 of his 125 attempts passing for 1,027 yards and 14 scores with only four interceptions. WR Dejour Dowell, a recent Stephen F. Austin State University verbal commit, leads the Pirates in receptions with 35 for 563 yards and seven touchdowns. RB Deldric Shields is the leading rusher (128-780, 12) for the Pirates, who have been more than effective gaining 1,778 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns thus far this season. … Pleasant Grove’s defense is allowing 32.0 points per contest for the season, and 22.5 against two district opponents. LB Claeb Porchia is the tackles leader with 66, 1 TFL, 1 SK and 1 FR. OLB Xavier Benson follows with 65 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 SK and 2 FR. … Pittsburg’s defense is anchored by SS Jakeivian Hughes, DE Cody Jones and DE E.J. Hill. Hughes has 73 stops and 5 TFL, while Jones (59, 14 TFL, 6 SK) and Hill (59, 2 TFL, 3 SK) follow. The unit has 8 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. … The Hawks’ offense is averaging 19.2 points per game. QB T.J. Cole is 21 of 58 passing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. He has 67 carries for 244 rushing yards and six TDs. Pleasant Grove’s leading rushers are FB Logan Wesley (116-522, 6 TDs) and TB Keshawn Jones (43-270, 2).
JOE’S PICK: Pittsburg by 7
Chapel Hill (2-6, 1-3) at Palestine (4-3, 1-2); 7:30 p.m., Friday, Wildcat Stadium
Both teams are coming off victories. Chapel Hill snapped a six-game losing streak with its win over Bullard, while Palestine won its initial district game of the Robby Clark coaching era at the school, now in his second season, with its victory over Bullard two weeks ago. The Wildcats are coming off a bye. … Chapel Hill enters the matchup, averaging 16.7 points, 121 yards rushing and 153 yards passing per game. … Offensively, QB Jaxon Heckel was 13 of 28 passing for 212 yards and three touchdowns against Bullard. For the season, he is 69 of 143 for 1,013 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. Heckel’s top targets have been WRs Jordan Williams (14-236, 2 TDs), Demarcus Attaway (14-267, 1), and Cooper Daniels (11-146). The rushing leaders for the ’Dogs are RBs Andrian Minor (114-539, 4), Hunter Branin (54-341, 2) and Decorian Horton (35-230, 3). … The Wildcats’ defense is led by soph. CB Josh Williams (65 tackles and 10 TFL) and LB Edward Reese (58, 17 TFL). The unit has 13 takeaways (9 FR, 4 INT). … Meanwhile, the Palestine offense is averaging 27.5 ppg. … RB Irric Deyon earned offensive accolades with a career and season-high 309 yard rushing performance against Bullard. For the season, Deyon leads the Wildcats with 815 yards and seven touchdowns on 133 carries. QB Claude Rodgers follows with 182 yards and two scores. Rodgers is 50 of 109 passing for 1,090 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions. His primary targets have been WRs Jhamonte Milton (16-372, 4 TD), Tyler Gray (13-214, 1) and Toney Dever (12-269, 8). Palestine is outscoring its opponents 193 to 158. … The Chapel Hill defense is allowing an average of 22.7 points and 264.5 yards (140.7 rushing, 123.7 passing) per contest. It is anchored by ILB Adrian Berry, MLB Ladarian Hudson and OLB Cale Carruthers. Berry has 92 tackles, 8 TFL, 5 Sk and 2 CF, Hudson 67, and Carruthers 66, 3 TFL and 1 Sk. The Bulldogs have five fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
JOE’S PICK: Palestine by 10