Tyler Lee Could Do Itself A Favor In Playoff Race With Win Over District-Leading Rockwall
Rockwall Yellowjackets (8-0, 5-0)
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (4-4, 3-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Rockwall: Rodney Webb
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- Rockwall: def. Rowlett, 48-21
- Tyler Lee: def. North Garland, 42-7
- Rockwall: vs. Garland, Nov. 7
- Tyler Lee: at Garland Naaman Forest, Nov. 6
- RB Chris Warren, Sr., 6-2, 232 (144 carries, 1,408 yards, 21 TDs; 9 catches, 157 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Xavier Castille, Sr., 5-11, 200 (47 catches, 856 yards, 9 TDs; 32 carries, 284 yards, 3 TDs)
- QB Will Reed, Jr., 6-0, 175 (97 of 159, 1,706 yards, 23 TDs, 3 INTs)
- WR Jay Galloway, Sr., 6-2, 175 (20 catches, 391 yards, 8 TDs; 3 carries, 33 yards)
- DT Jaylon Veasley, Sr., 6-2, 270
- ATH AJ Blacknall, Soph., 5-7, 180 (32 carries, 196 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Wyatt Miller, Sr., 6-2, 190 (7 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Sam Crawford, Soph., 6-0, 175 (7 catches, 105 yards, TD)
- LB Brandon Durman, Sr., 6-2, 230 (95 tackles, 9 for loss, sack, 2 QB pressures, 2 PBUs; committed to Louisiana Tech)
- QB Zach Hall, Jr., 5-11, 170 (115 of 192, 1,619 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs; 131 carries, 855 yards, 13 TDs)
- RB Tavon Wesley, Jr., 6-1, 190 (75 carries, 509 yards, 3 TDs; 6 catches, 70 yards)
- OL Justin Willoughby, Sr., 6-3, 280
- WR Isjuwan Barker, Jr., 6-3, 186 (30 catches, 536 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Jordan Devers, Jr., 6-0, 180 (25 catches, 386 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Devonte Craver, Jr., 6-1, 175 (58 carries, 422 yards, 5 TDs; 5 catches, 43 yards, TD)
- CB Cameron Price, Sr. (20 tackles, QB pressure, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs)
Just the facts
- This is the fifth meeting between Rockwall and Tyler Lee with Rockwall leading the all-time series, 3-1.
- All four previous meetings between Rockwall and Tyler Lee were district games.
- Rockwall is averaging 50.9 points and 516.4 yards per game -- 281.7 rushing and 234.7 passing.
- Rockwall has outscored its five district opponents by an average score of 61-22.
- The combined record of Rockwall's previous eight opponents is 27-38.
- Tyler Lee is averaging 38.9 points and 475.4 yards per game -- 270.5 rushing and 204.9 passing.
- Tyler Lee's four losses have come by an average of 14.8 points per game.
- The combined record of Tyler Lee's previous eight opponents is 35-29.
Key matchup: Rockwall rushing attack vs. Tyler Lee defensive attack. Coming into Friday night's pivotal District 11-6A clash, this matchup figures to heavily favor Rockwall. The Yellowjackets' offense is led by one of the best running backs in the nation in senior Chris Warren, the son of former NFL running back Kurt Warren who has FBS offers from 21 of the country's top college football programs. Warren is averaging 176 rushing yards per game and an astounding 9.8 yards per carry on the season. He will no doubt be primary area focus not only for Rockwall's offensive game plan, but the defensive approach for Tyler Lee as well. The Yellowjackets' offense is averaging more than 50 points and 500 total yards per game, and while the passing game was been remarkably efficient, much of its success is a natural byproduct of Rockwall's rushing attack. And Warren, in particular, is the key. In Rockwall's two closest games this season -- a 21-13 win over Denton Ryan and a 26-14 defeat of Mesquite Horn, Warren only reached the end zone once on the ground. Warren has only been held to less than 100 yards rushing once this season, the season opener vs. Ryan.
With the exception of a 62-54 loss Garland two weeks ago, Tyler Lee's rush defense has been outstanding in district play. In the other four contests against district competition, the Red Raiders have allowed just 123.3 rushing yards per game. That's a drastic improvement from non-district, in which Tyler Lee surrendered an average of 258.7 rushing yards per game. Garland's Markeith Miller did a number on the Lee defense, running 39 times for 343 yards and five touchdowns, which does not bode well as the Red Raiders prepare to face the district's best running back in Warren. If Lee can get back to what it was doing well in the three games leading up to the Garland debacle, the Red Raiders stand an excellent chance of keeping the game competitive and giving their offense a chance to compete. If Rockwall is able to run the ball effectively, that sets up the Yellowjackets' explosiveness in the passing game with quarterback Will Reed and receivers Xavier Castille and Jay Galloway, who have combined to catch 17 touchdowns this season.
Don't be surprised if: Tyler Lee quarterback Zach Hall puts up big numbers through the air. There are two lines of thinking when it comes to suggesting a productive performance from the Red Raiders' passing attack. First of all, Rockwall has not been involved in any close games during district play; it's narrowest margin of victory in 11-6A action was 21 points. With that being said, it is conceivable the Yellowjackets could jump out to a big lead, which would call for more passing plays from Lee in an attempt to climb back into contention. Secondly, Rockwall's pass defense has been vulnerable in each of the last two games. In wins over Sachse and Rowlett, Rockwall has allowed a total of 657 passing yards, with both passing yardage totals being season-highs vs. Rockwall. While Hall is a dual-threat quarterback in every since of the term, his passing numbers have increased dramatically from his sophomore season. Through eight games, Hall is averaging more than 200 yards per game through the air and has only attempted more than 30 passes in a game once. Furthermore, the Lee quarterback has limited his mistakes, throwing only two interceptions in 192 attempts. Having Hall air it out might become Lee's best option to pull the upset Friday night.