TEXARKANA — The Texas High Tigers face the Sulpur Springs Wildcats in a 5A Region II District 16 showdown Friday night at Sulphur Springs.
Texas High (2-3, 0-1) will look to earn their first district win against Sulphur Springs (2-4, 0-2) in a showdown of the big cats, and first-year Texas High head football coach Gerry Stanford will go against familiar faces.
“I’ve got some friends on staff that I’ve known there for a while, the offensive coordinator [Matt Young],” Stanford said on the “Coaches Show” Tuesday. “They do a great job. They’ve got a staff that’s been together for a long time, and am very familiar with their kids. They’ve got an experienced team.”
The experience aspect that the Wildcats boast comes from head coach Greg Owens, who has been at the high school on I-30 for the past 10 years.
“They’re just real consistent at what they do,” Stanford said. “They just do a tremendous job of putting their kids in good positions to make plays.”
One of the kids making plays for Sulphur Springs is senior quarterback Ryan Humphries, an athlete who can play outside on both sides of the ball.
Said Stanford: “It really starts with the quarterback. The quarterback has been a four-year starter. He does a real good job; great high school quarterback. [He] really expands the pocket, does a lot with his feet. You’ve got to account for him being able to run and throw.
“They have a group of receivers that had a great summer working together. They have expectations for that group and they have been able to produce all season. And then their running backs are real consistent. They rely on them to get first downs and particularly short-yardage situations. And they’ve been able to put up points all year.”
Sulphur Springs relying on three down linemen to disrupt Texas High’s O-line
The Wildcats run a 3-4 defensive front, and the point of attack is their two defensive ends and nose tackle plugging holes along opposing offensive lines to allow their four linebackers to make plays, says Stanford.
“Those three interior guys do a great job buying up those five guys,” Stanford explained. “They had a great week last week with Marshall. They actually, Sulphur Springs, at halftime had the lead and was rolling right along and felt like everything was going their way. So, they’ve been in some big ballgames. They’re a very experienced team that’s not going to have any quit in them. And, so, we expect it to be a great game.”
Catch the Scoreboard Show on Fox Sports Radio 1400 and the Freed AM Sports app Friday night immediately after Arkansas High versus Sheridan for a report on the Tigers-Wildcats showdown.