Greetings Lion fans, after one of the strangest weekends ever in college football, involving two stadiums and two days with many a mile traveled, we’re back at it with another huge Lone Star Conference game. This week the #16 ranked and 5-0 Tarleton State Texans come to The Hawk with sole leadership of the conference race on the line. Let’s take a look……
TALE OF THE TAPE-
Passing 213.6 ypg
Total- 308.6 ypg
CAST OF CHARACTERS-The Lions are led by junior transfer Kane Wilson, who has been a real boost to a struggling offense. 45-75 for 679 yards with 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, Wilson has a cool demeanor with an uncanny ability to extend plays and has provided a running threat, scoring 5 TD’s with his legs. Redshirt Sophomore Carandale Hale leads the rushing attack with 66 carries for 323 yards with 3 TD’s , and EJ Thompson, last week’s Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of The Week made a very welcome return, rushing for a season high 156 yards. He has totaled 58 carries for 286 yards, with 3 TD’s.
The Lion offense continues their tradition of spreading the wealth among the receivers, with senior Marquis Wimberly leading the way with 31 catches for 437 yards with 4 TD’s. Chance Cooper follows with 17-205 with a touchdown, and Ryan Stokes makes an appearance with 16 receptions for 265 yards and an incredible touchdown catch against Midwestern last week.
The Lions have OWNED the special teams game, with punter Tristan Perry having 22 kicks for a 42.4 yard average. Kristov Martinez, arguably the finest kicker in Division 2, is 8-11 with a long of 37 yards. His free kick that sailed through the end zone for a touchback after a safety against the Lions was instrumental in flipping field position, and protecting a narrow Lion lead. Reggie Kincade averages 34.7 yards per return, with a long of 68. Dominque Ramsey averages 15.9 yards per punt return with a long of 72 and a touchdown. These two are a legitimate threat to score every time they touch the ball.
The Texans bring a high pressure, turnover producing defense to the contest, forcing a total of 10 interceptions and 3 fumbles. Linebacker Ronell Wilson leads in tackles with 35(15 solo), followed by free safety Jai Edwards with 35(22 solo), and Chadwick Thibadeaux and strong safety Ed Hayes with 29 each. Junior defensive end Chris Radford leads in sacks with 4, and junior cornerback Prince Robinson has 4 interceptions.
The Lions have the size advantage on offense, averaging 6’2″ 208 at the skill positions, and 6’3″ 278 on the offensive line. The Texans average 6’3″ 243 in the front seven, and 6’2″ 196 in the secondary.
OVERVIEW-The Lions come in on somewhat of a short week, having finshed the epic contest with Midwestern State on Sunday afternoon. The Texans, on a five game win streak, defeated Eastern New Mexico 48-28, last week. That is the only common opponent the teams have faced so far.
THE BOTTOM LINE-No rest for the weary, Lion fans. This is a struggle for conference supremacy with a very talented Tarleton State team that gave the Lions everything they could handle last year in Stephenville. This year will be no different. The Texans have a very stingy defense against the run, and play a very high pressure style, much like the Lions. They will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum, and be balanced. Protecting Kane Wilson will be a top priority.
Buckle up, Lion fans…this should be another thrill a minute game. See you at The Hawk