The Wharton Tigers (4-4, 2-1) have an important District 11-4A Division II contest this Friday, Oct. 25 on the road against the La Marque Cougars (4-4, 2-1) at Etheredge Stadium.
After shutting out the Houston Kashmere Rams last Friday, the Tigers clinched a playoff spot and with a win over the Cougars, it will give them a second-place finish in district.
“That was our main goal to reach the playoffs,” said Royal Matthews, who plays both sides of the field. “We took care of Kashmere, but it’s going to be different with La Marque. They have some big boys on the line.”
Another two-way player is Kurtys Mayberry. He plays defensive lineman and running back.
“We came out and did our job,” Offensively, we converted on everything we did and defensive-wise we went out there and shut them out,” Mayberry said.
La Marque will be a tough test for the Tigers on the road Friday night. In district play, the Cougars have only allowed 15 total points with Sweeny being the only team to score on La Marque. At 212 yards allowed a game, La Marque is the district’s number defense (yardage allowed).
“It’s going to be a dog fight against La Marque; we’ve been watching film on them, and practicing hard,” Mayberry said.
The Tigers will try and give them some problems with their aerial attack. Wharton’s offense is the second-best in district, behind Sweeny, which beat La Marque. Senior quarterback Donovan Krushall’s 1,453 yards leads the district. He has two big and speedy targets in senior Joerell Davis and junior James Jones, both can break tackles and blow past defenders.
In the game against the Rams, the Tigers’ running game got going with junior Keijon Waddell gaining 143 yards. With a running game, it will only make the Tigers’ offense harder to guard if they have to focus on more than the passing game.
Wharton’s defense will have to slow the Cougars running attack that has the second most yards in district – 1,254. The problem for Wharton is it has no big-time rusher that it can key in on. Cougars sophomore Armond Robinson is La Marque’s leading running back with 267 yards.
Wharton has recovered 13 fumbles this year, so if La Marque backs don’t have the ball secure, the Tigers could punch the ball out. Last week, WHS had three interceptions, too.
Matthews is one of the defensive leaders on the team. He said he’s going to keep his teammates fired up. It’s too important not to against a talented Cougars team.
With two games left before the playoffs, the Tigers will try to keep building momentum through the rest of district.
Next week, the Tigers’ final game is with the Houston Scarborough Spartans at home.
“We’ve had a couple of bad games, but the season is going good so far,” said Roy Gentry, who had an interception in the Rams’ game. “We have a big game going up against La Marque and it’s a good thing everyone is pretty healthy.”
Boling once agains hosts foe at home
The battle of the Bulldogs is happening in Boling Friday in week nine as District 13-3A Division I foes meet. The Boling Bulldogs (1-6, 0-3) will play the Hitchcock Bulldogs (3-5, 1-2).
Boling played the Palacios Sharks tough last Friday night, but the green Bulldogs had mistakes and penalties hamper them. Still, it was a 7-7 stalemate until the fourth quarter.
The game Friday night will be a quick one, with both teams featuring a heavy running attack. Boling on the season has 1,755 yards while Hitchcock has run the ball for 1,533 yards.
Boling’s running game will have to combat Hitchcock, which owns the best defense in district allowing 229 yards a game.
BHS senior Deven Rodgers and junior Gage Eastep have combined for 1,019 of the team’s rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Last week, Boling averaged just over four yards a carry.
For Boling, playing a clean game and limiting turnovers will be key against Hitchcock if it wants to win in front of the home crowd.
The Bulldogs next Friday will have a tough final game on the road when they take on the Columbus Cardinals.