Class 2A Division II Region III
Hughes Springs Mustangs (11-0)
Centerville Tigers (11-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse
Hughes Springs: Chris Edwards
Centerville: Kyle Hardee
Road to Regionals
•Area: def. Hearne, 70-20
•Area: def. Garrison, 34-7
Next week: Winner plays Arp or Elysian Fields in a 2A Division II Region III final.
•FB Michael Martinez (219 carries, 1,723 yards, 28 TDs)
•RB Dustin Garamillo (32 carries, 557 yards, 7 TDs)
•RB Fred Hopkins (45 carries, 547 yards, 7 TDs)
•RB Kane Sampson (51 carries, 473 yards, 5 TDs)
•RB Chad McKinney (50 carries, 410 yards, 9 TDs)
•QB Trenton Shelton (32 of 57, 717 yards, 13 TDs, 2 INTs; 39 carries, 240 yards, 2 TDs)
•C/DT Kaddarian Chism (71 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 13 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries)
•LB Eric Berryhill (84 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 4 QB pressures, 3 forced fumbles, 4 recoveries)
•RB Jamal High, Sr. (20 carries, 145 yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Garrison)
•RB Ryan Payne, Sr. (14 carries, 104 yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Garrison)
•RB Tulley Pickens, Soph. (10 carries, 86 yards last week vs. Garrison)
•QB Garrett Chase, Sr.
Just the facts
•Hughes Springs have played just one game this season decided by a touchdown or less, and that was the Mustangs’ 28-21 season-opening win over Clarksville.
•The Mustangs’ average margin of victory this season is 38.9 points. Hughes Springs averages 49.3 points and 445.5 yards per game.
•Hughes Springs has 11 wins this season, the most the Mustangs have had in a season since 1998 when they finished 12-1.
•The Mustangs ran for 491 yards in last week’s 70-20 drubbing of Hearne, averaging 11.7 yards per rush.
•Centerville is 11-0 on the season as well. The combined record of the Tigers’ opponents is 59-58. Hughes Springs’ opponents are are a combined 50-68.
•The Tigers are outscoring the opposition on average, 47-11.
Key matchup: Hughes Springs running game vs. Centerville defensive front. Both team’s M.O. on offense is a powerful rushing attack, which plays into Centerville’s strength on defense. The Tigers allowed just 137 total yards (80 rushing) to Garrison last week, including just 14 after halftime. By contrast, the Mustangs go for 380 yards on the ground per game. Hughes Springs quarterback Trenton Shelton has only attempted 57 passes all season, so if Centerville is able to curtail Hughes Springs’ rushing attack, the Mustangs will be relying on a passing game that averages just 68 yards each week. What makes Hughes Springs’ running game so difficult to prepare for is its collection of five backs that all possess unique running styles. Martinez is the workhorse, who usually runs straight forward and gets extra yardage after contact. Garamillo is the speedster, who averages 17.4 yards per rush and finds the end zone one out of every 4.5 touches. Hopkins is a slasher who goes for more than 12 yards per carry, while Sampson and McKinney utilize their vision and patience to rack up big gains.
Don’t be surprised if: Friday night’s showdown between unbeatens ends up being much closer than most of Hughes Springs’ games have been this season. This will be each team’s toughest challenge of the season, and will likely come down to which team’s running game is the most dominant and which team turns the ball over the least. It will be interesting to see how each team would handle a close game in the second half, considering neither has been involved in many close calls this season.