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Nederland to Battle “bEAST Texas” Power

By Ashly Elam

My dad always told me it was better to win ugly than lose pretty. Last week Nederland was expected to blow past Fort Bend Willowridge in the opening round of the playoffs, instead the Bulldogs needed a fourth quarter comeback to advance to the Area Round. But as we all know, it’s all about surviving and advancing this time of the year. Big Ned’s reward for their win is “bEAST Texas” power Marshall. In case you’re not familiar the “bEAST Texas” term, it refers to East Texas football teams that are known for their size and physical play. That’s what you’ll see out of the Mavericks. Marshall is the type of the team that will punch you in the mouth, but also has dangerous speed. Last week in a 56-14 blowout of Lamar Consolidated, the Mavs piled up over 500 yards of offense with 367 coming on the ground. Quarterback JJ Green ran for 136 yards and a score, while also passing for 109 yards and a touchdown. The junior, who currently holds offers from Ole Miss, Nebraska and Texas State; has passed for over 2,000 yards and 29 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. A dangerous trio of receivers for the Mavs all have DI offers as well. Tahj Washington (13 offers), Dkendrick Bender (2 offers) and Savion Williams (8 offers) all have game breaking capabilities. Marshall has won eight-straight games since back-to-back losses against Longview and Carthage, averaging 46 points a game in that span.

The Bulldogs were able to pull out a win despite missing the services of quarterback Blaysin Fernandez most of the night. The senior suffers from a hip injury that can be irritated by cooler temperatures. That combined with a soggy Bulldog Stadium playing service, led Head Coach Monte Barrow to hold out his leader until his number was called for the game-winning score. Luckily this week the black and gold will be playing indoors on the turf of NRG Stadium. Nederland leans on an extremely tough defense, but in their past two games against Port Neches-Groves and Willowridge it has been exposed at times. The biggest key of the afternoon will be if Big Ned can matchup in the trenches with Marshall. The Bulldogs secondary has been able to shutdown most opponents, but if that’s this case this week, the Mavericks are more than capable of pounding the rock.

GAME INFORMATION
5A-DII Area Round
Nederland Bulldogs (10-1) vs #10 Marshall Mavericks (9-2)
Date: Friday, November 3
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston
Time: 4:00 pm
Winner vs #5 Huntsville (10-1) vs #3 Manvel (9-2)
COACHES
Monte Barrow (18-4 overall, 2nd year at Nederland)
Claude Mathis (114-46 overall, 13th year; 15-7, 2nd year at Marshall)
SERIES
First Meeting
PREDICTIONS
Cal Preps Computer: Marshall 31 Nederland 19
Ashly Elam: Marshall 34 Nederland 23

Countdown To Mid County Madness

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