Tyler Lee Aims To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive When It Travels to District-Leading Rockwall
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (4-4, 3-2)
Rockwall Yellowjackets (5-3, 5-0)
6:30 p.m. Friday
Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, Rockwall
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- Rockwall: Rodney Webb
- Tyler Lee: def. North Garland, 48-21
- Rockwall: def. Rowlett, 45-27
- Tyler Lee: vs. Garland Naaman Forest, Nov. 5
- Rockwall: at Garland, Nov. 6.
- QB Zach Hall, Sr., 5-11, 170
- WR Tyrec Grayson, Sr., 5-8, 150
- ATH Datavion Thacker, Sr., 5-9, 180
- RB Tavon Wesley, Sr., 5-11, 190
- WR Isjuwan Barker, Sr., 6-3, 185
- LB Campbell Miller, Jr., 6-2, 245
- DL John Samples, Sr., 6-3, 250
- WR Mason Parker, Sr., 5-10, 165
- QB Will Reed, Sr., 6-1, 180 (101 of 160, 1,635 yards, 21 TDs, 5 INTs; 30 carries, 179 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Caleb Broach, Sr., 5-8, 190 (126 carries, 836 yards, 9 TDs; 10 catches, 147 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Sam Crawford, Jr., 6-1, 190 (45 catches, 941 yards, 11 TDs; 9 carries, 100 yards)
- DE Luke Termin, Sr., 6-1, 230 (committed to UTEP)
- OL Austin Sargent, Sr., 6-3, 295
Just the facts
- This is the sixth all-time meeting between Rockwall and Tyler Lee. Rockwall leads the series, 4-1.
- The Red Raiders are currently in a three-way tie for third place in 11-6A with Sachse and Garland. Lee defeated Garland (51-47), but lost to Sachse (66-41).
- Tyler Lee is averaging 46.5 points per game, while allowing 48.9.
- The Red Raiders are currently on a three-game winning streak, their longest since 2009.
- Rockwall is currently on a 12-game district winning streak, and is 17-4 overall since the beginning of the 2014 season.
- The Yellowjackets are averaging 43.8 points and 424.6 yards per game --- 215.5 passing and 209.1 rushing.
- Rockwall has won five straight since losing non-district games to Denton Ryan, Euless Trinity, and Mesquite Horn, which are a combined 21-4 on the season.
- The Yellowjackets' average margin of victory in district is 31.6 points.
Key matchup: Rockwall passing attack vs. Tyler Lee secondary. There's been no denying the Tyler Lee Red Raiders defense has had its struggles, and its the defensive backfield has played a big role in that. Despite bringing in an offense that's averaging well over 500 yards and 40 points per game, Lee is just a .500 team at this point in the season. However, in the last five quarters of action, the Red Raiders defense has played as well as it has at any juncture during the year. Lee shut out Garland in the fourth quarter two weeks ago, allowing the Red Raiders offense to score 23 unanswered points in the final 12 minutes to complete a stunning 51-47 comeback victory that, up to his moment, stands as Lee's biggest win of the year. Lee followed that performance with its best defensive outing of the year, surrendering a season-low in points (21) and yards (216) to North Garland.
Lee will certainly be put to the test Friday night against a Rockwall offense that's as explosive -- 43.8 points per game -- as it is balanced. The Yellowjackets' offense is led by a trio of productive performers in senior quarterback Will Reed, junior receiver Sam Crawford, and senior running back Caleb Broach. The three of them have accounted for 61 percent of Rockwall's total offense, and combined for 30 of the team's 41 offensive touchdowns. The team's top big-play threat is Crawford, who is closing on 1,000 receiving yards for the year and has caught 11 of Reed's 21 touchdown passes. His yards-per-catch average of 20.9 should be enough to warrant extra attention from the Lee secondary.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game develops into a shootout. The average score of a district game involving Tyler Lee this season is 48-44. Last season's meeting between Lee and Rockwall was certainly one that must've had lovers of defense cringing. In the 61-54 Yellowjackets win, the two teams combined for 1,228 yards with six of the 15 total offensive touchdowns covering 30 yards or more. The good news for the Red Raiders is that running Chris Warren, now a freshman at the University of Texas, will not be returning for the rematch. Warren pounded the Lee defense for 459 yards and six touchdowns on 34 carries that night. In fact, most of Rockwall's starters from last season's 12-1 regional quarterfinalist have graduated. On the other side, Lee brought back most of its offensive firepower from 2014, including quarterback Zach Hall and running back Tavon Wesley. Hall, who missed three games with a knee injury earlier in the year, has played well since his return. In last year's game against Rockwall, the dual-threat quarterback totaled 334 yards of offense and accounted for four touchdowns. Wesley, coming off a 107-yard, two-touchdown performance in last week's win, ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns against Rockwall a season ago.