Head coach Mart Graham and the Mount Pleasant Tigers are looking to improve on their recent success with their first playoff victory in six years.
Graham’s 2012 team advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and won eight games for the first time since 1997. They found success mostly through the air, with two Tigers receivers each gaining over 500 yards.
Kadarrius Cannon is aptly named, exploding onto the scene in 2012 after a slightly above-average 2011. Last year, Cannon caught 105 passes for 1,592 yards and 28 touchdowns. Cannon is a member of the Dave Campbell’s 2013 Texas Football Super Team, and ranked as one of the top four or five receivers in the state.
Secondaries that face Cannon can’t feel like they can just double team him and win, though. Andrew Flanagan (54 receptions, 679 yards, 7 touchdowns) will make any of those defenses pay on the other side of the field.
The Tigers don’t just hurt opponents through the air. Running back Tarrence Taylor is reported to have run a 4.4 40-yard-dash and had 10 touchdowns and almost 800 yards rushing last season.
Defensively, last year's Tigers allowed just 153.8 yards per game on the ground. Mount Pleasant features defensive back Ladarius Craddock (seven interceptions), defensive end T’Nheous Smith (52 tackles, 13 for loss) and outside linebacker Joshua Scroggin (50 tackles, four interceptions).
Graham and the Tigers don’t have too challenging of a non-district schedule — their only difficult challenges come against Paris (8-4 regional semi-finalist in Class 3A) and at Kilgore (11-2 semi-finalist in class 3A). Mount Pleasant's other non-district opponents went a combined 9-23 last season.
In district play, the Tigers lost only one game (Sulphur Springs) last season. This year, they face title contenders Sulphur Springs and Hallsville on the road. Dave Campbell's Texas Football predicts Mount Pleasant will finish second in District 14-4A, behind Sulphur Springs.
Head Coach: Mart Graham 2012 Results: 8-3 bi-district finalist, 4-1 in District 14-4A Top Players: WR Kadarrius Cannon, Sr., 6-0, 165; Receiving 105-1,592 yards, 28 TD. RB Tarrence Taylor, Sr., 5-11, 165; Rushing 114-787 yards, 10 TD. WR Andrew Flanagan, Sr., 6-1, 195; 54-679 yards, 7 TD. DB Ladarius Craddock, Sr., 5-9, 170; 7 interceptions. DE T’Nheous Smith, Sr., 6-1, 220; 52 tackles, 13 tackles for loss. LB Joshua Scroggin, Sr., 5-10, 180; 50 tackles, 4 interceptions.