Kilgore at Navarro
Saturday, 7 p.m.
RECORDS: 2nd-ranked Navarro (3-0 overall, 1-0 in SWJCFC) and Kilgore (1-2, 1-0))
RECENT HISTORY: This rivalry heated up a year ago when Kilgore stunned the Bulldogs 45-35 in the regular season, but Navarro got its revenge in the postseason, thanks to a withering 42-14 win on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
KEY PLAYERS: Navarro: OL Carter Wall, QB Josh Greer, RB Tim Wright, RB Cameron Washington, LB Dominique Kelly, WR Markel Steward-Gillespie, OL Tim Hines, DE Desmond Owino, DL Kerry Holiday, DL John Williams, CB Sherman Gilbert, S Aaron Shaw, S Alex Miller, CB KeUntis Thompson, LB Chrishard Buhl, WR Devin Lauderdale, WR Austin Collins. Kilgore: QB Tanner Tausch, RB Eddie Smith, RB Ladaedrix Payton, WR Derrick Ledet, WR Jeremiah Baines, LB Joe Lynch, LB Daniel Lopez, S Cliff Butler, K Luis Sanchez.
GAME NOTES: Tausch had success against the Bulldogs as a freshman, completing 34 of 63 passes (53.9 percent) for 412 yards with 4 TDs and 5 interceptions. Tausch continues to be the lynchpin of the Ranger offense as Kilgore attempts to solidify a running game that is averaging only 3.5 yards per carry this year. Tausch is completing 65 percent of his passes this year and he was excellent in last week’s win over Trinity Valley, firing a pair of touchdown passes . . . This is a vastly different Navarro team than the one that allowed a lead to slip away in a 10-point regular season loss at Kilgore a year ago. One of the most understated changes for the Bulldogs is the dramatic change in penalties. Navarro had season highs of 20 penalties for 182 yards in the loss to Kilgore last season. The Bulldogs would eventually lead the nation in both categories. In 2013, Navarro is committing a meager 6.3 penalties for 57 yards per game, about half of both categories compared to last season . . . P Roy Patti proved to be a weapon against Trinity Valley, averaging 47 yards per attempt and pinning the Cardinals inside their 5 on three different occasions. His performance earned him SWJCFC Special Teams Player of the Week . . . Navarro is ranked second in the country in scoring (58.3), third in total offense (550.3) and 10th against the run (77.3 yards) . . . The Bulldogs are especially tough of late against teams that wish to establish a ground game, allowing less than 2 yards per carry. Thanks the emergence of DTs Michael Starts and Marquis Anderson, transfers from Texas Tech and Oklahoma, respectively, Navarro has a deep defensive line rotation that allows for fresh players in the game at all times. Starts already has 3 tackles for losses in just two appearances . . . QB Josh Greer was brilliant a week ago, firing three long TD passes to Lauderdale, stretching the defense and allowing the run game duo of Wright and Washington to go against a spread out defense . . . Greer is completing 66.2 percent of his passes this year and Lauderdale is averaging 29.9 yards on 9 catches, four of which resulted in scores.