TYLER -- The debut of new Tyler Lee head coach Clayton George could not have been scripted any better.

The Red Raiders dominated both sides of the ball, and rolled to a 34-7 season-opening win over Marshall at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday.

“It feels great," said George, who was hired in January after spending the last several years as the offensive coordinator at Southlake Carroll. "I’m just super excited for our players and our coaches. There was a lot of hard work that went into this. I couldn’t be more proud of the execution in all three phases of our game plan.”

The Red Raiders (1-0) offense picked up 471 yards on the night, 415 of which came on the ground, thanks in large part to another spectacular debut.

Lee sophomore running back LaDarius Wickware, in his first varsity action, burned hte Marshall (0-1) defense for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries.

“I was happy with LaDarius," George said. "I thought he ran hard. I couldn’t be more proud of our offensive line; they set the tone for us. We had a lot of different guys touching the ball running it, and if we can do that we’ve got a good chance to win every night we step on the field.”

Red Raiders junior quarterback Chance Amie did most of his damage as runner, totaling 126 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He also passed for 56 yards and a score.

“We’ve worked really hard just to get to this point," Amie said. "It came fast, and we came out and performed like we thought we would.”

Perhaps the most striking statistic of the night was Marshall's total offensive output of just 83 yards. The Mavericks managed only six first downs, and their only touchdown of the night was set up by a long kickoff return in the first quarter.

“(Defensive coordinator) Tony Holmes had an outstanding game plan tonight," George said. "But the real key is the players bought in to what Coach Holmes and his staff put in front of them. And they went out and executed it.”

Lee's performance on defense was a far cry from last season when opponents averaged 49 points per game.

“Our defense works really hard, and they’re coached really hard," Amie said. "They’ve been waiting for this moment for a while, and for them to nearly have a shutout, that’s great for them.”

Lee drove 54 yards in seven plays -- all rush attempts -- on its opening drive of the night, and scored on Wickware's 1-yard plunge into the end zone.

Marshall's Demarcus Alexander returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to the Lee 15-yard line, and tied the game at 7-7 on the first play -- a sweep with receiver Jacouri Mitchell.

The Red Raiders then mounted their longest drive of the night, but on the 14th play of the series, Marshall's Sheldon Williams recovered an Amie fumble at the Mavs' 8-yard line. It was the first of two Lee lost fumbles in the half.

“We’ve got work to do," George said. "We’ve got to protect the football, and we’ve got to play better on special teams."

Marshall's ensuing series fizzled, and Lee went back to work on offense. Four consecutive Wickware carries netted 30 yards, which preceded Amie's 39-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Keashun Davis for a 14-7 lead with 10:01 to play until halftime.

The Mavs then went three-and-out, and Lee increased its advantage on the next possession.

The Red Raiders, after an incompletion on the first play, went to the ground for 11 consecutive snaps and scored on Wickware's 4-yard run. The PAT was missed, leaving Lee up 20-7, the score at halftime.

“Our O-line had a very big impact," Amie said. "Everything they did was nice for us, and we knew coming into this week it was gonna be a running scheme.”

Following a three-and-out to begin the third quarter, Lee scored on its next two series to put the game out of reach.

Amie reversed field, and scored on an 11-yard run to give Lee a 27-7 lead midway through the third. Sophomore running back Jordan Printers' 3-yard touchdown with 1:41 remaining in the quarter finished off the scoring.

Meanwhile, Marshall managed just 25 yards of offense in the second half.

“We played good defense tonight," George said. "It was a great start, and you’re gonna win games on defense and running the football.”

Both teams return to action next Friday night. Lee travels to Corsicana, while Marshall plays host to Longview.


Tyler Lee 34, Marshall 7

At CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler

Marshall           7      0      0      0    --      7
Tyler Lee          7    13    14      0    --    34

First Quarter
LEE--LaDarius Wickware 1 run (Leonel Coreas kick), 7:45.
MAR--Jacouri Mitchell 15 run (Jacob Suarez kick), 7:22.
Second Quarter
LEE--Keashun Davis 39 pass from Chance Amie (Coreas kick), 10:01.
LEE--Wickware 4 run (kick failed), 4:21.
Third Quarter
LEE--Amie 11 run (Coreas kick), 6:13.
LEE--Jordan Printers 3 run (Coreas kick), 1:41.

                                        MAR                   LEE
First Downs                            6                     29
Total Yards                            83                   471
Rushes-Yards                  20-49              69-415
Passing Yards                       34                     56
Comp.-Att.-Int.               5-16-0                4-8-0
Punts-Avg.                      8-33.5              1-50.0
Fumbles-Lost                       2-1                   2-2
Penalties-Yards                   5-33                7-53

RUSHING--Marshall, Artavius Brooks 5-18, Jacouri Mitchell 2-16, Cam Haller 6-15, Hunter Herrington 7-0. Tyler Lee, LaDarius Wickware 32-200, Chance Amie 17-126, Jordan Printers 9-58, Donerick McCray 10-27, Keashun Davis 1-4.
PASSING--Marshall, Herrington 5-16-0--34. Tyler Lee, Amie 4-8-0--56.
RECEIVING--Marshall, Tahj Washington 3-12, DeKendrick Bender 2-22. Tyler Lee, Isaiah Davison 2-14, Davis 1-39, Jaylon Brown 1-3.

More From East Texas Sports Network