TYLER -- Markeith Miller and the Garland Owls had two weeks to prepare for Friday's game at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. It showed.

Miller rushed for 343 yards and five touchdowns in Garland's 62-54 win against Tyler Lee in District 11-6A play and made the Red Raiders's defense look silly for three quarters. But the star running back had to admit the Owls got pushed to their limits before escaping.

"It was kind of upsetting because we played a good half and let them get back in it," Garland's running back said. "But we got back in it and showed a willingness to fight. I think we're happy with the result tonight."

Quarterback Zach Hall turned the Red Raiders' fortunes around in the second half with three passing touchdowns to compliment 93 rushing yards on 17 carries. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

Lee had its chances, dating back to the first quarter when quarterback Zach Hall put a throw just inches too far in front of Isjuwan Baker for an easy touchdown. A failed fake punt, a clutch pass breakup and missed late onside kick opportunity all loom large in retrospect.

The two teams entered the match up in a four-way tie for second place in the district. Garland (5-2, 3-1) is now tied with Rowlett for second place while Lee fell to 2-2 in the league and 3-4 overall.

The Red Raiders are tied with Sachse for District 11-6A's fourth-place spot, but they do own the head-to-head win against Sacshe. Only four teams will make the playoffs and there are three games remaining for Lee, including a game against undefeated Rockwall on Halloween night.

"We've got to let this one go," head coach Darrell Piske said. "We battled hard. I was proud of them. They fought to the end. You've got to let this one go and get ready for North Garland, get a little winning streak going and make a run at the playoffs."

Lee will travel to the Metroplex to play North Garland, the league's lone winless program, Thursday.

The Red Raiders took an early 7-0 lead on Devonte Craver's 49-yard score, but Miller accumulated more than 250 yards on 22 carries through the first half. Garland led 35-24 at the break and got the ball back to start the second half.

Piske's squad faced a 49-24 deficit with 4:46 left in the third frame. Miller had three scores at the time.

Fortunes changed quickly. Hall threw for three fourth quarter touchdowns, and the Red Raiders drew to within 10 points twice and then eight points with an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute.

"Zach missed a couple of deep balls early that he should have put a little more air under," Piske said. "But overall I thought we did really well offensively. We scored 54 points, and that's a decent night. We've just got to play better defensively and make stops when we can."

Zach Hall connects with Jordan Devers for a 29-yard Lee touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

Hall found Barker for a 40-yard score, Jordan Devers for a 29-yard touchdown and hit Barker again for an seven-yard reception which made the game 62-54 with 1:01 remaining.

Juwan Banks also scored in the second half, a three-yard run which got the comeback effort started in the third quarter.

With the game on the line and already having recovered a surprise onside kick in the third quarter, Lee kicker Matthew Hawk delivered a perfect kick with a high bounce. Unfortunately, Lee couldn't get to the ball and it rolled out of bounds.

The Red Raiders didn't have any timeouts and were forced to watch the remaining 61 seconds tick off the clock.

"Really, we had to score on every possession and, defensively, tried to make every adjustment we could think of at halftime," Piske said. "We just didn't make tackles. We didn't tackle that well. Offensively, we knew we had to score on every possession we got."

Garland will visit Garland Lakeview Centennial on Friday.

"We had two weeks to prepare for this game," Miller said. "We played Rowlett the last time we played and didn't feel like we came out in the first half. We just wanted to play a complete game. I think we did that against a good team."

Garland's Michael Turman reaches for the end zone on a short carry. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

Garland 62, Tyler Lee 54

District 11-6A Game
Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler

Garland                   7    28     14    13    -- 62
Tyler Lee                 7     17     7    23  --    54

First quarter
LEE--Devonte Craver 49 run (Matthew Hawk kick), 6:16
GAR--Markeith Miller 8 run (Hunter Merriman kick), 3:05
Second quarter
GAR--Gabriel Theriot 21 run (Merriman kick), 10:41
LEE--Trevor Carr 1 run (Hawk kick), 9:07
GAR--Miller 72 run (Merriman kick), 8:52
LEE-Zach Hall 31 run (Hawk kick), 7:51
GAR--Luther Kirk 31 run (Merriman kick), 5:55
GAR--Michael Turman 1 run (Merriman kick), 3:19
LEE--Hawk 20 kick, 2:03
Third quarter
GAR--Miller 1 run (Merriman kick), 9:35
GAR--Kirk 16 run (Merriman kick), 4:46
LEE--Juwan Banks 3 run (Hawk kick), 2:56
Fourth quarter
LEE--Isjuwan Barker 40 pass from Hall (Juwan Banks pass from Hall), 11:16
GAR--Miller 15 run (Merriman kick), 10:28
LEE--Jordan Devers 29 pass from Hall (Hawk kick), 8:26
GAR--Miller 1 run (kick failed), 2:09
LEE--Barker 7 pass from Hall (Carr pass from Hall), 1:01

 

                                               GAR                   LEE

 

First Downs                               29                    24
Total Yards                               669                 498
Rushes-Yards                        68-569           42-281
Passing Yards                          100                  217
Comp.-Att.-Int.                     8-16-1             17-36-1
Punts-Avg.                             2-49.0              4-24.5
Fumbles-Lost                           1-0                   0-0
Penalties-Yards                      4-19                 2-20

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Garland, Markeith Miller 39-343, Luther Kirk 12-150, Gabriel Therot 7-38, Michael Turman 8-31, Jacoby Williams 1-2. Lee, Zach Hall 19-103, Devonte Craver 7-78, Tavon Wesley 9-53, Juwan Banks 2-21, Tyree Grayson 1-16, Hudson Hill 2-11, Trevor Carr 1-1, Mark Russell 1(-2).
PASSING--Garland, Luther Kirk 5-9-0--78, Jacoby Williams 3-7-1--22. Lee, Hall 17-35-1--217, Teddy Matlock 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING--Garland, Jaylan Hadnot 2-43, Coree Compton 2-27, Melvin Loveless 1-14, Latresmond Darnell 1-14, Samson Gotiola 1-5, Michael Lee 1-1. Lee, Isjuwan Barker 3-76, Carr 4-49, Tyree Grayson 4-36, Jordan Devers 1-29, Mason Parker 3-25, Juwan Banks 1-2.