CLASS 6A DIVISION II
State Semifinal

Amarillo Tascosa Rebels (11-3)

vs.

No. 4 Longview Lobos (14-0)

8 p.m. Saturday
AT&T Stadium, Arlington

Coaches

  • Tascosa: Ken Plunk
  • Longview: John King

Last week

Next week

  • Winner vs. Beaumont West Brook or Austin Westlake, 3 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 22), AT&T Stadium, Arlington, 6A Division II state championship game

Players to watch

Tascosa

  • RB King Doerue, Sr., 5-11, 205 (154 carries, 1,321 yards, 20 TDs; 15 catches, 304 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Purdue)
  • WR Brandon White, Sr., 6-0, 170 (11 catches, 197 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Baylor)
  • QB/FS Joseph Plunk, Jr., 5-9, 170 (26 of 62, 575 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs; 255 carries, 1,549 yards, 14 TDs; 72 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT)
  • RB/LB D’Andre Gonzalez, Sr., 5-8, 175 (109 carries, 855 yards, 12 TDs; 28 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks)
  • SB Ayden Noriega, Sr., 5-9, 170 (43 carries, 671 yards, 7 TDs; 4 catches, 82 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Parker Settle, Jr. (98 carries, 598 yards, 4 TDs)
  • DE Randall Campbell, Sr., 6-0, 225 (67 tackles, 16 for loss, 9 sacks)
  • LB La’Byreous Moore, Jr., 6-3, 215 (82 tackles, 18 for loss, 6 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • SS Brandon White, Sr., 6-1, 170 (41 tackles, 3 for loss, 8 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries)
  • LB Daemian Gray, Sr., 6-0, 180 (80 tackles, 13 for loss, 2 sacks)
  • CB Tylan McKellar, Sr., 5-11, 182 (43 tackles, 3 INTs)
  • LB Christopher Sunn-Solis, Jr. (41 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries)

Longview

  • QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-2, 185 (132 of 237, 3,153 yards, 39 TDs, 3 INTs; 55 carries, 449 yards, 7 TDs; 1 catch, 20 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (76 catches, 1,596 yards, 17 TDs)
  • OT Marcus Williams, Sr., 6-6, 290 (committed to TCU)
  • S Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (95 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 5 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
  • RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (182 carries, 1,321 yards, 11 TDs; 20 catches, 473 yards, 6 TDs)
  • FB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (128 carries, 935 yards, 21 TDs; 13 catches, 168 yards, 2 TDs)
  • DE Sawyer Goram-Welch, Jr., 6-4, 270 (58 tackles, 14 for loss, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles)
  • DE Jaylon Allen, Sr., 6-0, 225 (41 tackles, 14 for loss, 7 sacks, 1 blocked punt)
  • LB Ja’Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (107 tackles, 13 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • WR Kaden Kearbey, Jr., 6-1, 175 (25 catches, 466 yards, 4 TDs)
  • CB Isaiah Rodgers, Sr., 5-11, 170 (47 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • S Jacob Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 175 (49 tackles, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)

Just the facts

  • Amarillo Tascosa is the first school from Amarillo ISD to reach the state semifinals since 1992.
  • A school from Amarillo ISD has not reached the state finals since 1948.
  • Tascosa is averaging 36.4 points and 458.4 yards per game -- 405.3 rushing and 53.1 passing.
  • Rebels senior running back King Doerue has accounted for 1,625 yards of offense and 25 touchdowns.
  • The cumulative record of Tascosa's opponents is 98-60 (.620).
  • Tascosa is allowing 25.6 points per game, has 24 sacks, and has forced 23 turnovers -- 14 interceptions and nine fumbles.
  • Longview is in its fifth state semifinal under head coach John King.
  • The Lobos are shooting for their first state finals appearance since 2009.
  • Longview is averaging 51.1 points and 504.8 yards per game -- 274.4 rushing and 230.4 passing.
  • Lobos junior quarterback Haynes King has accounted for 3,622 yards of offense and 47 touchdowns.
  • The cumulative record of Longview's opponents is 105-59 (.640).
  • Longview is allowing 17.1 points per game, has 28 sacks, and has forced 25 turnovers -- nine interceptions and 16 fumbles.
Longview LB Ja'Vontae Writt. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Tascosa rushing attack vs. Longview defensive front. The Rebels operate out of the flexbone formation, an offense rarely seen anymore, which has been giving opposing defenses fits all season long. During Tascosa's run through the playoffs, it is averaging 443 rushing yards per game. Several players contribute to the Rebels' success on the ground, including a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, King Doerue and quarterback Joseph Plunk. Doerue, a Purdue commit, has run for 1,321 yards and 20 touchdowns, while Plunk has posted a team-best 1,549 yards to go along with 14 touchdowns. But those two aren't the only weapons. Five other Rebels have rushed for at least 268 yards, including D'Andre Campbell, Ayden Noriega, and Parker Settle, who have combined to run for 2,124 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Longview WR Kamden Perry. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Tascosa won't attempt many passes as it comes into Saturday's semifinal averaging only 6.4 attempts per game. However, when the Rebels do put the ball in the air, success often follows. Of the Rebels' 38 completions on the year, 11 have gone for touchdowns. For the season, Tascosa is averaging 19.6 yards per completion.

Longview has been excellent against the run this season, and in particular, during the playoffs. In the Lobos' four playoff games, they are limiting opponents to 103.8 rushing yards per game. In addition, Longview's four postseason foes have averaged just 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. Tascosa's goal is to shorten the game by milking as much time off the clock as possible with its grind-it-out approach on offense. If that plan is not successful, Longview's high-powered offense will have more opportunities to do what it does best: score points.

Don't be surprised if: Longview's tests Tascosa's pass defense early and often. The Lobos' passing game had its worst outing of the season last week. A combination of the wind and rain and a suffocating Spring Westfield defense limited Longview's high-flying attack by taking away big plays through the air. Junior quarterback Haynes King has passed for more than 3,100 yards with 39 touchdowns this season, but was limited to 94 yards last week. In addition, two of his three interceptions on the year occurred against Westfield. With Saturday's game inside the climate-controlled AT&T Stadium, expect Longview's offense to get back on track, especially with the pass.