Melissa Capitalizes on Rusk’s Turnovers to Eliminate Eagles, 56-34
CORSICANA – Rusk committed six turnovers on Friday night, which helped 10th-ranked Melissa capitalize on the mistakes en route to a 56-34 Class 4A Division II area round win at Tiger Stadium.
Melissa sophomore Brendon Lewis ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in the win while throwing for another 107 yards and three scores. Running back Ja'Bray Young rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
Melissa advances to face Gilmer, a 63-14 winner over Caddo Mills on Friday, in the regional round of the playoffs. Rusk ended its resurgent 2017 season with a 9-3 record.
The game stayed neck-and-neck much of the night, with the score tied at 28-28 in the fourth quarter before Rusk's wheels fell off. Consecutive fumbles helped Melissa notch late touchdown runs from Lewis and Young to put the game out of reach.
Rusk running back Sam Thomas led the Eagles offense with 16 carries for 183 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Darrian McDuff ran for 71 yards and added 121 yards through the air, completing 11 of 18 passes with a touchdown on the night.
Young scored on runs of 11, 54 and 27 yards for Melissa in the win.