Records

Sabine: 8-0, 4-0 in District 8-3A, DI

Gladewater: 5-3, 3-1

Time: 7:30 p.m., tonight

Stadium: Jack V. Murphy Stadium, Gladewater

Coaches

Sabine: Rex Sharp (3rd season, 15-13; 29-49 overall)

Gladewater: John Berry (6th season, 42-24)

Last week: Sabine 31, Mineola 6; Gladewater 44, White Oak 0

Up next: White Oak at Sabine; Gladewater at Tatum

WHEN SABINE HAS THE BALL

Players to watch

Sabine: OL Tristan Green ... OL LJ Mitchell ... QB Landon McKinney (67-124-2, 1,164 yards, 11 TDs; 137 carries, 911 yards, 17 TDs) ... RB BJ Stidham (62 carries, 598 yards, 6 TDs) ... RB Brannigan Willige (63 carries, 598 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 116 yards, TD) ... WR AJ Gresham (23 catches, 438 yards, 6 TDs) ... WR Weston Pritchard (14 catches, 218 yards, TD) ... WR Clayton Simmons (13 catches, 204 yards, 2 TDs)

Gladewater: LB Zach Villareal (112 tackles, 8 TFL, sack, FF, FR) ... LB Eli Kates (34 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 sacks) ... DB Nick Lincoln (44 tackles, 6 INTs) ... LB Kale Perot (62 tackles, 4 PBU, 2 TFL) ... DB Robert Hodges (62 tackles, 3 TFL) ... LB Austin Moran (74 tackles, 4 TFL, sack, FF, FR) ... DL Zach Tyeskie (69 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 FF) ... DB Landon Ellis (2 INTs)

Keys: Spy McKinney, which has proven to be a tall task this season. Sabine’s high-octane offense that is averaging 40 points and over 400 yards per game all goes through the senior quarterback that has accounted for over 2,000 yards of total offense this season. Nearly 250 of those yards come on the ground for the Cardinals against a Gladewater defense that has allowed 221.4 rushing yards per game. McKinney is the target but the Bear defense has a solid linebacker corps led by Villareal, who is among the top tacklers in East Texas. Gladewater can’t be pushed around on the line of scrimmage or McKinney and a strong group around him will be able to hit the ground running from the start.

WHEN GLADEWATER HAS THE BALL

Players to watch

Sabine: DL Brent Warren (100 tackles, 18 TFL, 6 sacks) ... DL Tristan Green (71 tackles, 6 TFL, FR) ... S Bre’den Ford (65 tackles, 2 INT, 2 TFL) ... DB Cayden Fortson (45 tackles, 5 INT, 6 PBU) ... LB Brannigan Willige (64 tackles, 6 TFL, INT) ... DL Asher Foster (57 tackles, 4 TFL, 6 TFL)

Gladewater: RB Eligia Carter (84 carries, 506 yards, 9 TDs; 6 catches, 182 yards, TD) ... RB Malachi Gordon (73 carries, 384 yards, 4 TDs) ... RB Marcos Rocha (22 carries, 237 yards, 2 TDs) ... QB Tristian Holmes (20-21-0, 150 yards; 24 rushing yards, TD) ... ATH DJ Allen (33 carries, 210 yards, 2 TDs) ... ATH Devin Walker (37 carries, 194 yards, 2 TDs)

Keys: Grind away. Gladewater has a host of backs to get it done and keeping drives alive will be key for the Bears to keep Sabine on the sideline. The Bears are averaging 194.9 rushing yards per game and Sabine is allowing 144.6 rushing yards per game. The Cardinal defensive line with Green and Warren, a sophomore, have been disruptive throughout the season. Sabine has 58 tackles for loss and 16 sacks on the season. If Sabine can get Gladewater off schedule then it could be a long night for the Bears.

Did you know: Sabine is averaging 40.1 points and 400.3 yards (151.5 passing/248.8 rushing) and allowing 15.8 points and 256.8 yards (112.1 passing/144.7 rushing) per game ... Gladewater is averaging 26.4 points and 263.8 yards (68.9 passing/194.9 rushing) and allowing 22.8 points and 319.3 yards (97.9 passing/221.4 rushing) per game ... Sabine is first in 8-3A, DI at 4-0 and Gladewater is second at 3-1. Mineola, Tatum and Winnsboro are all 2-2 while West Rusk is 2-3 with two games left in the regular season ... Gladewater won in 2018, 28-16

Twitter-sized preview: Sabine’s stellar season gets put to the test on the road and if its defense can hold up against the Bear ground game, look for a nine-win season for the Cardinals in a big game in the district standings.

Hayden Henry

Hayden Henry