Negative Plays Doom Tyler Lee in District-Opening Loss to Rockwall-Heath
TYLER -- Every time Tyler Lee did something positive Friday night, it seemed as if the Red Raiders took a couple steps back.
Lee fumbled seven times, lost two of them, and had 12 plays go for negative yardage in its 24-14 loss to Rockwall-Heath in the District 11-6A opener for both teams at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Red Raiders (3-1, 0-1) outgained Heath (3-1, 1-0) by more than 100 yards despite the big losses, and ran 33 more plays from scrimmage than the Hawks.
Two of Heath's three touchdowns were set up by mistakes -- a blocked punt in the second quarter that led to a 10-0 lead, and a returned fumble that got the Hawks in position to take a 24-7 advantage late in the third quarter.
Almost all of Heath's offense came from two players. Senior running back Tanner McCalister, an Arkansas commit, ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while senior quarterback Tyrus Fort rushed for 100 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns.
McCalister also picked up a Lee fumble and returned it 40 yards to set up Fort's second scoring run of the third quarter.
Lee senior quarterback and University of Houston pledge Chance Amie completed 17 of 27 attempts for 221 yards and a touchdown. He also added a score on the ground, but was limited to just 24 yards on 20 carries.
Amie was brought down behind the line of scrimmage eight times, often killing any momentum the Lee offense was building.
Red Raiders junior running back Ladarius Wickware ran for 99 yards on 22 carries, and added 25 yards receiving on three catches. Senior receiver Marquis Gray was Amie's favorite target Friday night, pulling down eight receptions for 150 yards, including a touchdown.
Neither team could get anything going on offense in the early going, as Lee and Heath entered the second quarter in a scoreless tie.
On Heath's first possession of the second quarter, McCalister broke free for a 54-yard gain, and a Lee personal foul penalty moved the ball inside the Red Raiders' 15-yard line.
Lee's defense didn't break, forcing the Hawks to settle for Bijon Nichols' 29-yard field goal, which put Heath up 3-0 three minutes in the second period.
Heath blocked a Lee punt on the ensuing series, taking over at the Red Raiders' 18. Three plays later, McCollister scored from eight yards for a 10-0 Hawks lead with 6:39 to play until halftime.
Fort fumbled inside the Lee 10 late in the half, and Lee responded with an impressive 94-yard scoring drive. On third-and-8, Gray leapt high in the air to pull down a 37-yard catch near midfield.
And then on fourth-and-9 with time running out, Amie faked a spike, and hit Gray for a 20-yard touchdown with two seconds until halftime.
Lee was stopped on downs and went three-and-out on its first two drives of the second half, and Heath went up by two scores on its second possession of the third quarter.
A 33-yard McCalister run got the Hawks into Lee territory, and on third-and-5, Fort scored on a 12-yard touchdown that gave Heath a 17-7 lead with 3:13 to play in the third.
McCalister's fumble return occurred on the next Lee series, and Heath's lead quickly swelled to 17 points with Fort's 10-yard touchdown.
Lee responded by scoring on its next drive. Completions of 41 and 23 yards to Gray and Wickware, respectively, set up Amie's 5-yard touchdown run that cut the Red Raiders' deficit to 24-14 with 10:57 remaining.
The final two drives of the night for Lee ended on fourth down and with a lost fumble.
Lee returns to the field next Friday night at Longview (3-1, 0-1). Heath will face crosstown rival Rockwall (2-2, 1-0).
Rockwall-Heath 24, Tyler Lee 14
At CHRISTUS TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
Heath 0 10 14 0 -- 24
Lee 0 7 0 7 -- 14
HEATH--FG Bijan Nichols 29, 9:01.
HEATH--Tanner McCalister 8 run (Nichols kick), 6:39.
LEE--Marquis Gray 20 pass from Chance Amie (Mason Magers kick), :02.
HEATH--Tyrus Fort 12 run (Nichols kick), 3:13.
HEATH--Fort 10 run (Nichols kick), 1:05.
LEE--Amie 5 run (Magers kick), 10:57.
First Downs 10 22
Total Yards 275 391
Rushes-Yards 41-246 54-170
Passing Yards 29 221
Comp-.Att.-Int. 4-7-0 17-27-0
Punts-Avg. 4-26.8 3-42.7
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 7-2
Penalties-Yards 3-15 5-45
RUSHING--Heath, Tanner McCalister 18-150, Tyrus Fort 17-100, Garrett Cody 6-(-4). Lee, Ladarius Wickware 22-99, Lanthony Simmons 4-28, Chance Amie 20-24, Kameron Ross 3-24, Malcolm Miller 1-5, Jordan Printers 2-4, Team 1-(-6), Te'vion Massey 1-(-8).
PASSING--Heath, Cody 2-4-0--16, Fort 2-3-0--13. Lee, Amie 17-27-0--221.
RECEIVING--Heath, Nathan Johnson 3-21, Casey Curtin 1-8. Lee, Marquis Gray 8-150, Wickware 3-25, Massey 3-24, Harrison Branham 1-13, Malcolm Miller 1-6, Zaylon Walker 1-4.