Joplin aims to slow down dominant Carthage run game led by Gall, Kabance

The Eagles (6-0) host the Tigers (6-0) on Friday for 1st place in the COC.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Eagles host the Carthage Tigers in a battle of unbeaten teams on Friday night.

Joplin will have the tough task of slowing down a dominant run game for Carthage featuring running back Luke Gall and quarterback Caden Kabance.

Gall has already topped the 1,000-yard mark, rushing for 1,047 yards in just six games with 18 touchdowns. Kabance has racked up 716 yards on 86 carries, scoring 12 times.

“Those are the two that most people will start the conversation about, but honestly I feel like their offensive and defensive lines are also really good,” says Joplin head coach Curtis Jasper, “Those are what stood out to me. Obviously the quarterback and the running back are very good, but the offensive and defensive lines also stood out to me on film.”

On the other side, the Joplin offense will aim to stay hot against the best defense in the COC. The Eagles are averaging 42 points per game, while Carthage is only giving up 10 per week.

“We’re going to have to be more physical up front,” Jasper says of his offense, “We’ve done a really good job of spreading the ball around and being balanced offensively. I think those things will continue to help us. Obviously we have to take care of the football, and we’ve got to be the more physical team on Friday night. I think that’s a big deal.”

“They haven’t given up more than 14 points all season, so we know it’s going to be a tough challenge,” says Joplin QB Always Wright, who has thrown for 1,301 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, “We have a lot of play-makers on the field…I know they’re going to try to limit me getting out of the pocket, but I just need to stand in there and make plays and get balls to my receivers.”