Chris Warren’s Big Night Carries Rockwall To 61-54 Win Over Tyler Lee
[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]
TYLER -- There aren’t many colleges in the country that wouldn’t want Chris Warren on their team next season. His performance Friday night at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium made that abundantly clear.
Warren found the end zone six times and the Yellowjackets held off the Tyler Lee Red Raiders, 61-54, remaining undefeated on the season in the process.
One of the nations top recruits at running back, Warren scored on runs of 58, 84, 73, 1, 60, and 1 for a total of 459 yards on 34 carries.
The Yellowjackets (9-0, 6-0 in District 11-6A) rallied from a 35-22 deficit near the end of the first half, scoring 21 consecutive points to take a 43-35 lead midway through the third quarter.
Warren opened the second half much like he did the first, gashing the Lee (4-5, 3-3) defense for big chunks of yardage. Runs of 29, 4, 14 and 6 set up a second-and-goal at the 1-yard line where he punched it in on the next play.
After trading punts, Rockwall got the ball back at its own 15. It took Warren just three carries this time. After runs of 6 and 17 yards moved the ball to the 40, he broke the next carry for a 60-yard score -- his fourth of the night.
With the Yellowjackets holding a 43-35 lead, Lee needed a response, as he did most of the night. Red Raiders quarterback Zach Hall provided one.
Hall, offered this week by Texas Tech, did it as usual both through the air and on the ground. Isjuwan Baker, his favorite target on the night, was he beneficiary of two catches on the next drive, including a 23-yard score. The two-point conversion failed, keeping Lee behind 43-41.
Rockwall quarterback Matt Jones, starting in place of starter Will Reed, completed two big passes on the next drive -- 12 yards to Wyatt Miller and 14 to Xavier Castille, which set up a 30-yard field goal for Tony Pecora.
Tavon Wesley came up big for Lee on the game's next drive, picking up 32 yards on four carries to set up Devonte Craver for a 7-yard score and a 47-46 Tyler Lee lead.
It took Rockwall just four plays to regain the lead, one it kept the rest of the way.
Facing a third-and-6, Jones hit Castille on the sideline, where he juked one defender and was gone for a 51-yard score. That same duo connected again on the two-point conversion, giving Rockwall a 54-47 advantage.
Castille finished with 92 yards on four catches to lead the way for Rockwall's receiving corps.
Starting at their own 37 with just over five minutes remaining, the Red Raiders needed a score, but the Rockwall defense had other plans.
Hall dropped back on second-and-6 and faced a heavy pass rush that was able to knock the ball away, as Rockwall recovered at the Lee 14-yard line.
It was one of few mistakes by Hall on the night. He finished with 153 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 181 yards and two scores on the ground. Wesley added 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Warren put the game away just three plays later, scoring his sixth TD of the night from a yard away, giving Rockwall a 61-47 lead.
Lee kept it close, putting together a 75-yard drive in just under a minute. Passes from Hall to Tyrec Grayson and Barker set up a 12-yard score from Hall to Barker, cutting the lead to 61-54.
Rockwall recovered the ensuing onside kick and Warren ran the clock out by picking up three first downs.
Jones completed 8 of 15 passes for 145 yards and a score.
Warren established his dominance from the get-go. After Lee was forced to punt, he wasted little time finding the end zone. On Rockwall's second play from scrimmage, Warren outran the entire Red Raiders' defense for a 58-yard TD. The extra point failed, giving Rockwall an early 6-0 lead.
Lee responded on its next drive, as Hall broke a 59-yard run to match Warren, putting Lee at the Yellowjackets' 16-yard line. Two plays later, Wesley found the end zone from 9 yards away for his first of two scores on the night as Lee got its first lead of the night, 7-6.
Both teams traded punts on their next drives, with Lee’s 15-play drive coming up empty after a successful fake punt couldn’t lead to points on the board.
It took just one play on Rockwall’s next possession as Warren went back to work, going untouched up the middle for an 84-yard TD, giving the Yellowjackets a 13-7 lead.
The Red Raiders went three-and-out on their next drive, and a 15-yard punt put Rockwall in business at the Lee 39-yard line. The Red Raiders' defense held however, forcing a 31-yard field goal by Tony Pecora for a 16-7 Rockwall lead.
Lee came storming back in a big way, scoring the game's next 21 points.
An 11-yard run by Trevor Carr, followed by a 56-yarder from Grayson set up Wesley for his second TD of the night -- an 8-yarder -- cutting the lead to 16-14.
Both teams once again traded punts, with Rockwall’s punt setting Lee up near midfield. It took the Red Raiders just four plays, with Hall taking the read-option 30 yards for the score.
The Red Raiders' defense came up huge on the next Yellowjackets' possession, batting a third-and-19 pass into the air where Kolton Casey caught it and took it 16 yards for the score, giving Lee a 28-16 lead.
Warren responded, as he seemingly did all game, on the next Rockwall possession. The senior took the first play of the next possession 73 yards for a score, cutting the Lee lead to 28-22.
Lee put together its best drive of the first half on its last possession, with Hall moving the ball with his legs, including converting a fourth-down conversion near midfield. Lee was forced to punt however three plays later but a Castille fumble on the punt gave Lee the ball at the Yellowjackets' 14-yard line.
Lee took advantage as Hall found the end zone two plays later from 12 yards away, giving the Red Raiders a 35-22 lead and what seemed like all the momentum.
Rockwall regained that momentum in the final 28 seconds of the first half, and carried it into the second half.
A Lee penalty on the kickoff started Rockwall at its own 45 where the Yellowjackets took advantage.
A 7-yard run by Warren and a 20-yard pass from Jones to Jay Galloway moved the ball to the Lee 20-yard line. The 37-yard field goal attempt from Pecora was wide left, however a Lee penalty moved the ball to the 8-yard line.
Rockwall chose to go for it with an untimed down. It was a successful gamble as Castille lined up at quarterback in the wildcat and hit Jaylen Veasley on a jump-pass for the score, which cut Rockwall's deficit to 35-29 at halftime.
Rockwall hosts Garland next Friday, while Tyler Lee travels to Garland Naaman Forest next Thursday. The Red Raiders need a win and a Sachse loss to Rowlett in order to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Rockwall 61 Tyler Lee 54
At TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
Rockwall 13 16 14 18 -- 61
Tyler Lee 7 28 6 13 -- 54
ROC--Chris Warren 58 run (kick failed), 8:45.
LEE--Tavon Wesley 9 run (Matthew Hawk kick), 7:42.
ROC--Warren 84 run (Tony Pecora kick), 1:43.
ROC--FG Pecora 31, 9:34.
LEE--Wesley 8 run (Hawk kick), 9:01.
LEE--Zach Hall 30 run (Hawk kick), 4:56.
LEE--Kolton Casey 16 Interception return (Hawk kick), 3:14.
ROC--Warren 73 run (kick failed), 3:02.
LEE--Hall 12 run (Hawk kick), :28.
ROC--Jaylen Veasley 8 pass from Xavier Castille (Pecora kick), :00.
ROC--Warren 1 run (Pecora kick), 9:56.
ROC--Warren 60 run (Pecora kick), 3:34.
LEE--Isjuwan Barker 13 pass from Hall (2-pt. failed), :48.
ROC--FG Pecora 30, 10:28.
LEE--Devonte Craver 7 run (2-pt. failed), 6:48.
ROC--Castille 51 pass from Jones (Castille pass from Jones), 5:33.
ROC--Warren 1 run (Pecora kick), 3:54.
LEE--Barker 12 pass from Hall (Hawk kick), 2:46.
First Downs 14 22
Total Yards 665 563
Rushes-Yards 48-512 57-410
Passing Yards 153 153
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-16-1 12-24-0
Punts-Avg. 3-38.0 6-30.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 7-57 7-55
RUSHING--Rockwall, Chris Warren 34-459, Xavier Castille 5-34, Matt Jones 2-0, Tamba Juanah 6-11, Jay Galloway 1-8. Tyler Lee, Tavon Wesley 25-111, Zach Hall 22-181, Juwan Banks 1-3, Devonte Craver 7-42, Trevor Carr 1-17, Tyrec Grayson 1-56.
PASSING--Rockwall, Jones 8-15-1--145, Castille 1-1-0--8. Tyler Lee, Hall 11-23-0--153, Teddy Matlock 1-1-0--10.
RECEIVING--Rockwall, Castille 4-92, Warren 1-10, Galloway 1-20, Jaylen Veasley 1-8, Wyatt Miller 1-12, Sam Crawford 1-9. Tyler Lee, Campbell Miller 1-10, Jordan Devers 3-17, Isjuwan Barker 6-86, Trevor Carr 1-13, Tyrec Grayson 1-35.