Tyler Lee Looks to Rebound When Red Raiders Travel to Unbeaten Texas High
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (2-1)
Texas High Tigers (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Tiger Stadium at Grim Park, Texarkana
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- Texas High: Barry Norton
- Tyler Lee: lost 44-0 vs. John Tyler
- Texas High: won 30-8 vs. Liberty-Eylau
- Tyler Lee: at Mesquite Horn
- Texas High: vs. Kennedale (at Royse City)
- QB Zach Hall, Soph., 5-10, 155 (24-of-37, 457 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT; 49 carries, 364 yards, 3 TD)
- RB Tavon Wesley, Soph., 6-1, 185 (33 carries, 203 yards, 3 TD)
- RB Marquian Jones, Jr., 5-7, 158 (16 carries, 154 yards, 2 TD)
- WR Bryce Wilkerson, Sr., 5-8, 158 (9 catches, 194 yards, 3 TD; 1 carry, 63 yards)
- WR Marquiston Williams, Sr., 6-0, 175 (9 catches, 166 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Triston Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 255
- LB Brandon Durman, Jr., 6-2, 215
- DB Isjuwan Barker, Soph., 6-3, 182
- LB Desmond Dunn, Sr., 5-10, 180
- WR Diondre Allen, Sr., 5-9, 165
- RB Tre Walker, Sr., 5-9, 175 (42 carries, 221 yards, 4 TD)
- LB Anthony Rhone, Sr., 6-0, 210 (committed to SMU; 1 INT)
- QB Dakota Hunter, Sr., 5-11, 170 (10-of-22, 103 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)
- DB Kevin Harris, Sr., 6-1, 180 (1 INT)
- WR/DB Dale Williamson, Jr., 5-10, 155 (1 INT)
- OL Justin Lewis, Sr., 5-11, 275
- DL Will Brown, Jr., 6-3, 285
- DB Marquan Daniels, Sr., 5-10, 155
Just the facts
- Tyler Lee and Texas High have met 37 times in a series dating back to 1960. The Tigers hold a 20-13-4 advantage overall, but Lee has won the last five meetings.
- After averaging 566 yards through their first two games of the season, the Red Raiders were held to 216 yards last week against John Tyler.
- This is the final non-district game of the regular season for Lee, which has gone 4-13 in non-district contests since 2009.
- The Red Raiders' last trip to Texarkana came in 1998 and resulted in a 28-7 Tyler Lee victory.
- Texas High compiled a 58-8 record from 2002-06, which includes the 4A Division I state title in 2002. The Tigers have gone 44-23-1 since with only one playoff win.
- The Tigers have allowed just eight points on the season after Texas High limited opponents to 26.6 points per game in 2012.
- The combined record of the teams that defeated Texas High in 2012 -- Shreveport Evangel, Tyler Lee, Kennedale, Sulphur Springs, Mount Pleasant, Hallsville and Sherman -- was 54-28.
- Texas High coach Barry Norton is 124-42-1 in 14-plus seasons with the Tigers.
Key matchup: Tyler Lee backfield vs. Texas High linebackers. In addition to committing four turnovers and failing to recover a kickoff in the first half of their 44-0 loss to John Tyler last week, the Red Raiders never got into a rhythm offensively. Lee picked up only seven first downs on the night, and was held to season lows in both rushing yards (190) and passing (26). The rushing department is where Lee had excelled in the first two games of the season, going for more than 300 yards in its 42-30 win over Lufkin two weeks ago. Sophomore quarterback Zach Hall had eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground in both games, while fellow sophomore Tavon Wesley racked up 125 yards and three touchdowns by himself against Lufkin. Neither one was a factor last week as two combined for 82 yards on 23 attempts. The Red Raiders will need to rediscover success on the ground this week if they hope to rebound last week's humbling loss.
That may be easier said than done, however. Texas High has allowed just 225 rushing yards total in wins over Arkansas High and Liberty-Eylau. This will be Texas High's toughest defensive challenge thus far, but if there's one thing that can be expected it's that the Tigers will make Lee earn every yard Friday night. Senior linebacker Anthony Rhone is the anchor of the Tigers' defensive front, and he and his fellow linebackers will have their hands full accounting for Hall, Wesley and bevy of other Lee skill-position players, including Bryce Wilkerson, Marquian Jones, Marquiston Williams and Diondre Allen. When Lee's had success on offense this season, big plays have been the norm. If Texas High's group of linebackers can consistently stop Lee's running game from going beyond the second level, the Tigers stand a chance of giving the Red Raiders a run for their money.
Don't be surprised if: Tyler Lee's offense responds from last week's lackluster performance with a much better showing Friday night. The Red Raiders never gave themselves much of a shot against John Tyler, committing four turnovers and falling behind 31-0 at halftime. Lee did some good things on offense early, especially on the ground, but the Red Raiders' deficit grew so wide and quick that Lee was forced to deviate from its original game plan. Expect to see a lot more action from Wesley, who had just seven carries in last Friday's game. Hall is quick, elusive and explosive in the open field, but getting his running back involved early would increase the quarterback's effectiveness even more.