Improved Tyler Lee Seeks Statement Win in 12-5A Opener at Mesquite Horn
District 12-5A Opener
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (3-1)
Mesquite Horn Jaguars (4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- Mesquite Horn: Mike Overton
- Tyler Lee: vs. North Mesquite
- Mesquite Horn: at Rockwall
- QB Zach Hall, Soph., 5-10, 155 (30 of 42, 534 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; 74 carries, 476 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Tavon Wesley, Soph., 6-1, 185 (44 carries, 255 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB Marquian Jones, Jr., 5-7, 158 (16 carries, 154 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Bryce Wilkerson, Sr., 5-8, 158 (13 catches, 245 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Marquiston Williams, Sr., 6-0, 175 (11 catches, 192 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Triston Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 255
- LB Brandon Durman, Jr., 6-2, 215
- DB Isjuwan Barker, Soph., 6-3, 182
- QB Destri White, Sr., 6-0, 195 (committed to Rice; 51 of 90, 857 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs; 44 carries, 236 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB Justyn Oliphant, Sr., 5-9, 170 (49 carries, 286 yards, 7 TDs; 3 catches, 56 yards)
- WR Jarrison Stewart, Jr., 5-11, 180 (18 catches, 321 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Del'Michael High, Sr., 6-2, 180 (13 catches, 202 yards, 4 TDs)
- DB Darreon Jackson, Jr., 5-11, 170 (33 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 INTs, 1 pass break-up, 1 fumble recovery, 4 QB pressures)
- DB Nehemiah Wagner, Sr., 6-0, 170 (11 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 pass break-ups)
- OL Jonathan Alvarez, Sr., 6-3, 305 (committed to Oklahoma)
- DL Andrew Morris, Sr., 6-2, 290 (committed to Baylor; 29 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB pressures)
Just the facts
- Tyler Lee holds a 6-3 all-time series lead over Mesquite Horn, but the Jaguars have won the last three meetings.
- The Red Raiders are just 2-14 in district play since 2010 and have lost their last 11 league contests.
- Lee is averaging 33.8 points and 411.3 yards yards per game -- 272.3 on the ground and 139 through the air.
- The average distance of Lee's 17 offensive touchdowns is 33.2 yards.
- Since passing for 460 yards in his first two games, Lee quarterback Zach Hall has thrown for just 74 total in the previous two contests.
- Mesquite Horn is averaging 45.5 points and 407.5 yards per game -- 192.0 on the ground and 215.5 through the air.
- The Jaguars' first season of varsity football was 2002 and they did not collect their first playoff appearance until 2008, but Horn has made the postseason in each of the last five years.
- Rodney Webb, who coached Horn to a 31-28 record from 2008-12, is now the head coach at Rockwall.
- The combined record of the four teams to defeat Horn in 2012 -- Duncanville, John Tyler, Mesquite and Dallas Skyline -- was 39-12.
Key matchup: Lee running game vs. Horn defensive front. Despite putting up gaudy passing game in their first two games of 2013, the Red Raiders prefer to run first out of their spread offense. Most of the rushing has been left to the trio of quarterback Zach Hall and running backs Tavon Wesley and Marquian Jones, who have combined for 81 percent of Lee's rushing yards and 11 combined touchdowns. In three wins, Lee has averaged 294 rushing yards. But in its shutout loss to John Tyler, Lee managed just 190. Almost everything offensively for Lee hinges on a successful running game. Hall has shown the ability to hurt teams in the passing game with big gainers, but recent history has also shown that for that to be the case the Red Raiders first must establish a rhythm running the football.
Horn's defensive front figures to receive a bigger challenge this week against Lee after going up against a John Tyler team that's struggled to consistently run the football early in the season. The Lions managed only 103 yards on 33 rushing attempts last week, which bodes well for Horn in this matchup. However, the biggest fundamental difference between JT's spread offense and Lee's is the Red Raiders' philosophy of running the ball first to set up the pass. If the Jaguars can contain the elusive Hall on designed QB runs and bottle up of the duo of Wesley and Jones, the Horn defense stands a good chance of making it a long night for the Lee offense.
Don't be surprised if: Lee adds a few new wrinkles and takes a few more chances on the offensive side of the ball this week. After opening the season strong on offense, the Red Raiders have struggled to find a spark the last two weeks, which is not a good sign as Lee prepares to begin the district season. The Red Raiders, like most teams, probably did not show everything their offense has to offer in non-district and Friday night could be the perfect time for Lee to unleash a couple new tricks for Horn and the rest of 12-5A to think about. Don't expect Lee to come out and throw it 40 times, but it would not be surprising to see the Red Raiders open up the playbook a little more and let Hall's strong arm go to work downfield. Lee is considered a heavy underdog against Horn, which figures to be among the favorites to win the district, but a Red Raiders win could go a long way in re-shaping the program's image and respectability.