It’s win or go home for the Tyler Lee Red Raiders and Mesquite Horn Jaguars when the teams square off at 7:30 p.m. Friday on Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Lee (5-4) and Horn (3-6) have identical 2-3 marks in District 11-6A competition, and the winner of Friday’s meeting will earn the final playoff spot and a first-round matchup at Waco Midway in the Class 6A Division II bracket.
“We have to finish strong,” Lee head coach Kurt Traylor said. “Everybody starts off the season excited, and now it comes down to the last game of the year. But we haven’t talked about the playoffs at practice. It’s been the same message as every week — let’s go 1-0 this week.”
“We’re still focusing on the main goal, but at the end of the day, it’s still one game,” senior linebacker Devon’T Bolton said. “We’re going to buckle up and see who is better. We’ve been doing pretty good this season, but we’ve got to finish strong.”
Rockwall and Mesquite have already earned the playoff spots for the Division I bracket. Longview will be the other Division II representative from 11-6A as the district champion.
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
Last week’s results in District 11-6A: Longview 49, Tyler Lee 7; Mesquite Horn 28, North Mesquite 14; Rockwall 66, Mesquite 42; Rockwall-Heath, bye.
This week’s games: Rockwall-Heath (4-5, 1-4) at North Mesquite (2-7, 0-5) on Thursday; Longview (9-0, 5-0) at Mesquite (7-2, 3-2); Rockwall (8-2, 5-1), bye.
Rockwall leads the league at 501.9 yards per game. The Yellowjackets are followed by Longview (452.9), Rockwall-Heath (441.3), Mesquite (401.6), Lee (335.2), Mesquite Horn (329.4) and North Mesquite (253.2)
In scoring, Rockwall has 475 points. The Yellowjackets are followed by Longview (382), Mesquite (318), Rockwall-Heath (313), Mesquite Horn (241), Tyler Lee (237) and North Mesquite (178).
In rushing, Longview’s Kaden Meredith leads the way with 1,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. Mesquite’s La’Darius Turner has 1,114 yards and 14 touchdowns. Rockwall’s Zach Henry is third with 1,047 yards and 14 touchdowns. Lee’s Jamarion Miller is fourth with 974 yards and eight touchdowns, and Mesquite Horn’s Ben Wyatt rounds out the top five with 683 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In the passing department, Rockwall’s Breadeyn Locke leads the way. He’s 171 of 289 for 2,914 yards with 36 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rockwall-Heath’s Josh Hoover is 178 of 292 for 2,746 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Longview’s Haynes King has thrown for 1,493 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Rockwall-Heath has the second- and third-leading receivers. Corban Cleveland has 66 catches for 866 yards and eight touchdowns, and Jayden Jones has 40 grabs for 987 yards and 12 scores. Rockwall’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba — an Ohio State commit — is at the top with 68 receptions for 1,434 yards with 23 touchdowns.
Longview is the top defense, allowing 178.4 yards per game, followed by North mesquite (320.7), Tyler Lee (324.9, Mesquite (336.7), Rockwall (396.9), Mesquite Horn (407.7) and Rockwall-Heath (410.1).
Longview has allowed just 70 points all season and only 42 points in district. Lee is third in scoring defense with 227 points allowed this season and 153 in district, which ranks second behind Longview.
Lee is tied for fifth with Rockwall in team interceptions with seven. Rockwall-Heath leads the way with 12. Airyk Lexion of the Hawks has five picks, while Lee’s Elliott Davison and Horn’s Evan Williams each have four.
Lee’s Mark Patton is the district’s top punter at 35.18 yards per attempt.
Rockwall’s Ethan Spearman has made a league-high seven field goals and 55 extra points.
JV results: Mesquite Horn 38, North Mesquite 6; Longview 18, Lee 0; Rockwall 20, Mesquite 14.
Sophomore results: Longview 22, Lee 0.
Frosh A results: Mesquite Horn 20, North Mesquite 0; Longview 34, Lee 17; Rockwall 42, Mesquite 12.
Frosh B results: Longview 22, Lee 6; Rockwall 27, Mesquite 26.