Tyler Lee Eyes First District Win When Red Raiders Host Unbeaten North Mesquite
North Mesquite Stallions (4-0, 0-0)
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (3-2, 0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- North Mesquite: Mike Robinson
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- North Mesquite: idle
- Tyler Lee: lost 48-21 at Mesquite Horn
- North Mesquite: vs. Rockwall
- Tyler Lee: idle
- QB Cody Williams, Sr., 6-2, 175 (21 of 36, 411 yards, 5 TDs; 10 carries, 94 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Ta'Varius Luke, Sr., 5-5, 160 (67 carries, 707 yards, 4 TDs; 7 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Corey Hunt, Sr., 5-8, 202 (79 carries, 584 yards, 8 TDs; 2 catches, 12 yards)
- WR Pat Mobley, Sr., 5-7, 161 (11 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Kayveon Brown, Sr. (6 catches, 106 yards)
- OL Dezmand Candelarie, Sr., 6-3, 270 (committed to New Mexico State)
- OL Mike Nichols, Sr., 6-2, 265
- LB London Spain, Sr., 5-10, 188
- QB Zach Hall, Soph., 5-10, 155 (35 of 53, 580 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs; 88 carries, 546 yards, 6 TDs)
- RB Tavon Wesley, Soph., 6-1, 185 (52 carries, 327 yards, 5 TDs)
- RB Marquian Jones, Jr., 5-7, 158 (16 carries, 154 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Bryce Wilkerson, Sr., 5-8, 158 (17 catches, 335 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Marquiston Williams, Sr., 6-0, 175 (14 catches, 218 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Triston Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 255
- LB Brandon Durman, Jr., 6-2, 215
- OL Amier Wilson, Sr., 6-3, 245
Just the facts
- North Mesquite and Tyler Lee have met 10 times in a series that dates back to 2000. The Red Raiders have won seven of the matchups, but have lost the last two.
- The Stallions have not won a playoff game since 2000. They defeated Lee in the area round of the playoffs that year.
- North Mesquite has missed the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, compiling a 23-30 record since 2008.
- The combined record of the four teams North Mesquite has beaten this season -- Rowlett, Arlington Sam Houston, Garland Lakeview Centennial and South Garland -- is 6-12.
- North Mesquite is averaging 37.5 points per game, while its defense is surrendering 16.3.
- Tyler Lee, at 3-2, is off to its best start to a season since the 2006 Red Raiders began 4-1.
- Since 2010, Tyler Lee is just 2-15 in district games. From 1997-2009, the Red Raiders were 50-19 in league contests.
- The Red Raiders put up 97 points in their first two games of the season, but have scored just 59 in the last three.
- Tyler Lee currently ranks fourth in 12-5A in total yards per game at 396.6.
- The Red Raiders are averaging the second-most rushing yards per game in the district at 254, trailing only North Mesquite, which is averaging 366.
Key matchup: North Mesquite running game vs. Tyler Lee defensive front. The Stallions have been impressive through the first four weeks of the season, using their one-two combo of running backs Ta'Varius Luke and Corey Hunt to gash opposing defenses. Luke and Hunt have combined for 1,291 yards and 12 touchdowns, while averaging 8.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Cody Williams has only attempted 36 passes on the season, so it's obvious what North Mesquite's mode of attack will be Friday night. To this point in the season, nobody has had an answer to North Mesquite's ground game. And until an opponent devises a scheme or has the personnel to stop it, don't expect the Stallions to deviate too much from what they've done the first four weeks.
Tyler Lee's run defense has been solid all season. The Red Raiders have allowed just 594 rushing yards all year, which is an average of just 118.8 yards per game. North Mesquite, which averages right at 366 yards on the ground per game, could be facing its stiffest challenge to its powerful rushing attack to date. If Lee can limit the effectiveness of Luke and Hunt and put the Stallions in third-and-long situations, the Red Raiders can go into pass-rush mode and let senior defensive end Triston Taylor go to work and do what he does best. It's obvious that North Mesquite would like to avoid dropping back to pass as much as possible, but if Lee continues its outstanding play against the run, the Stallions will have no other choice than to put it in the air.
Don't be surprised if: Tyler Lee puts together one of its best performances of the year in an effort to break a string of 12 consecutive district losses. The Red Raiders' last district win occurred in the final of week of 2010 with a win over North Mesquite, and it would be fitting if the Red Raiders return to the winner's circle against the Stallions on Friday night. The Lee offense, which gashed its first two opponents for a handful of big-play touchdowns, has sputtered since. It wouldn't be surprising to see Zach Hall, Tavon Wesley, Bryce Wilkerson and the explosive offense return this week.