By Jake Evans:
Friday night, the Houston Mustangs will travel to the Bartlett Panthers for a 6A Region 7 showdown. Both teams enter the matchup with a 3-1 record, and are coming off of big wins last week at home. Bartlett beat Sheffield last Friday night by a score of 47-0, while Houston was busy rolling over Bolton, 41-0. Through 4 games this season, Bartlett is averaging an astounding 47.7 points per game, with Houston not far behind, averaging 37.7 points per contest.
For Bartlett this season, their offense has been a well-oiled machine. Senior QB Preston Raines has thrown for 626 yards this season, and added 6 TDs, however, the real success has been running the ball. Raines’ has tallied 22 carries for 70 yards, and 5 TDs, good for second best on the team. The real offensive story for the Panthers though, has been their three-headed ground attack, made up of three sophomores, Robert Giamio, Thomas Jones, and Dailan Jones. Giamio had averaged 7.6 YPC this season, and leads the team with 7 TDs. Thomas Jones has leads the team in rush yards with 247, and had added 3 TDs of his own. Dailan Jones rounds out this trio with 131 yards of his own, with 9.4 YPC and 1 TD so far. However, Dailan Jones has been a lethal receiving threat for the Panthers also, catching 11 passes for 234 yards and 3 TDs so far. He is the only Panther to have more than 10 catches or 100+ receiving yards. On defense for Bartlett, the defense has been led by sophomore MLB Kyler Hartunian, who is averaging 6.5 tackles per game, and has 3.0 TFL so far. Sophomore OLB Justin Jefferson has been equally stout on defense for the Panthers, averaging 6.3 tackles per game, and 6.0 TFL through 4 games.
For Houston, they’ve been exceptional so far this year. Their only loss came at Germantown in week 2. The Mustangs gave up 49 points, the most they’ve given up this season.