Spring Hill: 4-5, 1-2 in District 6-4A Division II
Pittsburg: 4-5, 1-2
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Stadium: Panther Stadium, Longview
Spring Hill: Johnny Louvier
Pittsburg: Brad Baca
Last week: Pleasant Grove 63, Spring Hill 28; Pittsburg 33, Liberty-Eylau 6
Up next: Both teams have made the playoffs
WHEN SPRING HILL HAS THE BALL
Players to watch
Spring Hill: OL Aaron Collier … OL Gavin Amerson … OL Brandon Krenek … OL Colby Bowles … OL Tony Natera … QB Gage White (124 of 214, 2,247 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions) … RB Michael Marrs (93 carries, 423 yards, 3 TD) … RB Davonte Powers (63 carries, 334 yards, 8 TD) … WR Jay Rockwell (43 catches, 820 yards, 11 TD) … WR T.J. Jones (29 catches, 534 yards, 4 TD) … WR Zach Henry (22 catches, 450 yards, 6 TD) … WR Eric Morrow (20 catches, 194 yards, 1 TD)
Pittsburg: Issam Toler (66 tackles, 17 TFL, 11 sacks) … Cade Busch (63 tackles) … James Arroliga (9 TFL) … Ty Price (89 tackles, 8 TFL) … Christian Bates (89 tackles, 22 TFL) … Jemarian Hill (6 interceptions)
Keys: The Panthers must be able to at least threaten with the running game to keep the Pirates honest and not allow Toler, Arroliga, Price and Bates to simply pin their ears back and make life miserable for White and the passing game.
That chore falls on an offensive line that has started every game this season for the Panthers.
“It’s rare. We have some guys up front who have played with bumps and bruises, but they haven’t missed a game.” — Louvier
“He (White) is really good. He throws a great ball, gets it out of his hands on time and has good receivers. The secondary will be challenged, but the No. 1 thing is we have to get a pass rush. We need to make him uncomfortable and throw off his timing. We can’t let him sit back there and deliver the ball without pressure.” – Baca
“They are good up front and at linebacker. We have to be able to pick up blitzes and give Gage time to find his receivers.” — Louvier
WHEN PITTSBURG HAS THE BALL
Spring Hill: Vencent Rockwell (55 tackles, 13 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, two pass breakups, two blocked kicks, 15 QB pressures) … Matthew Shankles (27 tackles) … Casey Mudoh (35 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 forced fumbles, 3 sacks, 5 QB pressures) … Malik Cooks (25 tackles, 6 TFL) … Logan Hutchins (44 tackles, 3 sacks, two fumble recoveries) … Christian Garcia (50 tackles) … Curtis Crowe (31 tackles, 10 pass breakups, 4 interceptions) … Kaden Rogers (42 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks)
Pittsburg: OL Jared Roman … OL Trace Reynolds … OL John Peters … OL Jacob Hoover … OL Thomas Taylor … QB Kemarian McCain (54 of 107, 466 yards, 4 TD, 6 interceptions; 73 carries, 313 yards, 2 TD) … RB Brayden Bolton (137 carries, 984 yards, 11 TD) … WR Promous Morrison (33 catches, 331 yards, 2 TD)
Keys: The Pirates can throw it a little, but prefer to run the ball. That would take precious time off the clock and keep White and a dangerous fleet of receivers off the field.
“They run the ball well and run a lot of trick plays. We need to stop the run and make them throw it.” – Louvier
“I’ve noticed watching tape they line up in a variety of fronts, and that poses a problem because you have to be prepared for so many things. The offensive line will need to do a great job identifying the front, calling out the correct blocking schemes and – in pass protection – finding where guys are coming from and picking them up.” — Baca
Did you know: Both teams are in the playoffs, so tonight’s game is strictly for seeding purposes with the winner earning the third spot and the loser heading to the postseason as the No. 4 team … Spring Hill is in the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and that season the Panthers opened the playoffs with a 38-12 loss to Pittsburg in a 3A Division II bi-district game … Pittsburg has won three in a row against the Panthers (41-12 in 2018, 57-56 in overtime in 2017 and 54-17 in 2016) … Spring Hill’s last win against Pittsburg came in 2011, a 26-14 decision
Twitter-sized preview: Both teams will play again next week, so tonight is all about seeding and momentum heading into the postseason