As Marshall’s football team prepared for Pine Tree two weeks ago, it got more and more personal after losing to the Pirates the previous season. It’s a similar story this week as the Mavericks travel to Texarkana to take on the Texas High Tigers.
“It’s another rivalry,” said Marshall’s athletic director and head coach Jake Griedl. “It’s a game with a lot of rich history between the two teams, between the two communities and the programs in general, not just football. I think at this point each of them is a personal game. I think the way we played last year wasn’t indicative of what we wanted to be as a football team and our seniors this year don’t want to taste the same in their mouths, that is so a bit like that they work and prepare. , very similar. I feel like we have a good plan and we’ve had two good training sessions and we need to keep having good training this week.
For the Mavs, that plan involves being physical, playing their own brand of football, and not getting caught up in who is on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
“I think you would be hard pressed to find two teams in 5A DII that are more athletic than T-High at all levels,” Griedl said. “I don’t know where they find these kids, but man, they’re cute. They have Division I children everywhere. Their quarterback is a Division I kid. Their running back is a DI kid. They have another running back who is a super talented kid. They have a young sophomore who I think already has Division I offers for wide receiver. They are huge on the O line.
Brayson McHenry leads the Tigers to quarterback, and running back Braylon Stewart joins him in the backfield. Wide receiver Blake Rogers and tight end Nate Mennie are solid targets for McHenry.
One of the highlights of Marshall’s defense in recent weeks has been his ability to intercept passes, which has happened nine times this season, including five a week ago against the Jacksonville Indians. Two of those interceptions came from linebacker Quintarus Hawkins who went the distance for a pick of six on each. He now has a total of three interceptions during the year while defensive backs James Perkins and Montana Warren each have two interceptions. The Mavs will also be looking to win the battle in the trenches with defensive linemen Carson Combs, La’Travion Adams and others.