PREVIEW: Tyler Lee Draws Rockwall-Heath to Begin District
Rockwall-Heath Hawks (2-1)
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
CHRISTUS TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Rockwall-Heath: Mickey Moss
- Tyler Lee: Kurt Traylor
- Rockwall-Heath: def. Irving MacArthur, 48-9
- Tyler Lee: def. Nacogdoches, 41-19
- Rockwall-Heath: vs. Rockwall, Sept. 29
- Tyler Lee: at Longview, Sept. 29
- ATH Tanner McCalister, Sr., 6-0, 185 (36 carries, 415 yards, 7 TDs; 1 catch, 7 yards, 0 TDs; 17 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 INT; committed to Arkansas)
- QB Garrett Cody, Sr., 5-10, 180 (7 of 12, 131 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs; 18 carries, 100 yards, 0 TDs)
- OL Michael Denson, Sr., 6-5, 265
- DB Kendell Jimerson, Sr., 5-10, 175 (8 tackles, 2 INTs)
- WR/DB Tyrus Fort, Sr., 5-10, 160 (7 catches, 155 yards, 3 TDs; 12 carries, 51 yards, 2 TDs; 7 tackles)
- LB Desmon Williams, Sr., 6-0, 235 (47 tackles, 2 for loss)
- DL Cutter Cleveland, Sr., 6-2, 225 (26 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack)
- LB Wyatt Watson, Jr., 6-1, 185 (26 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT)
- QB Chance Amie, Sr., 6-5, 185 (40 of 65, 662 yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs; 35 carries, 189 yards, 1 TD; committed to Houston)
- LB Ladarius Wickware, Jr., 6-0, 190 (65 carries, 452 yards, 4 TDs; 4 catches, 48 yards, 0 TDs)
- DL Nathan Niedrauer, Sr., 6-1, 230 (25 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 11 QB pressures)
- RB/LB Lanthony Simmons, Sr., 6-2, 210 (13 carries, 53 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 67 yards, 0 TDs; 19 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 10 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, 2 INTs, 2 PBUs)
- DB Rhett Parker, Sr., 5-8, 150 (26 tackles, 1 INT)
- WR Te'vion Massey, Soph. (9 catches, 157 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Zaylon Walker, Jr. (5 catches, 118 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB/LB Jordan Printers, Jr. (8 carries, 47 yards, 2 TDs; 15 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 2 fumble recoveries)
Just the facts
- In last year's meeting, a 34-7 Rockwall-Heath win, Tyler Lee committed four turnovers.
- Tyler Lee is 11-32 in district games since 2010.
- Rockwall-Heath is averaging 34.3 points and 295.3 yards per game -- 224 rushing and 71.3 passing.
- Hawks running back Tanner McCalister is averaging 11.5 yards per carry, and is responsible for seven of his team's 13 offensive touchdowns.
- Rockwall-Heath's defense is allowing 17.7 points and 280.3 yards per game -- 164.3.rushing and 116 passing.
- Tyler Lee is averaging 37.3 points and 490.7 yards per game -- 270 rushing and 220.7 passing.
- Red Raiders running back Ladarius Wickware rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown in last week's win.
- Tyler Lee's defense is allowing 20.3 points, and has forced seven turnovers -- five interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Key matchup: Tyler Lee rushing attack vs. Rockwall-Heath defensive front. The first three games of the 2017 season have yielded three wins for the Red Raiders, and the offense has certainly lived up to its end of the bargain. Lee heads into Friday's district opener against Rockwall-Heath averaging almost 500 yards per game. And it's been a balanced attack.
Senior quarterback and University of Houston commit Chance Amie might get a large portion of the notoriety, but the ground game has been lethal in the early going. Junior running back Ladarius Wickware, after bursting onto the scene in 2016 with a 1,400-yard season, has rushed for more than 450 yards and four touchdowns in the Raiders' three wins. He's coming off a season-high 224-yard performance in Lee's blowout win over Nacogdoches.
And while Wickware gets the majority of the carries, Lee's running game is fairly diversified. Amie is closing in on 200 yards rushing, and the duo of Jordan Printers and Lanthony Simmons are prime short-yardage and red-zone options for the Red Raiders.
The Lee ground game should get put to the test against Heath, which has defended the run especially well through the season's first three weeks. The Hawks are allowing less than 300 total yards of offense per game, and a little more than 160 on the ground.
Don't be surprised if: Amie is forced to do a little extra. With so much attention likely to be paid to Wickware and Co. in the backfield, the Red Raiders might need their quarterback to carry the load on offense this week. And he's more than capable. The running game is an added dimension to Amie's skill-set, and he's found quality playmakers down the field with receivers Te'vion Massey and Zaylon Walker.
While Amie's numbers aren't low by any means, he has yet to have a breakout game both passing and running. With Heath's tough defense coming to town Friday, his breakout moment could be on the horizon.