Hit the road: Wylie bracing for trip to Tyler

Former John Tyler safety Chris Hackett, now at TCU, makes a play on the ball in the Lions' 2010 state quarterfinal loss on the road at Wylie. JT and Wylie meet in a rematch Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. (File photo)

Next up: John Tyler, 6 p.m. Friday (Class 4A Division I area playoff)

Where: Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium

Head coach: David Howard

Record: 5-6

Season results: Sachse, L 36-44; West Mesquite, L 33-34; Mesquite Poteet, L 14-21; Lucas Lovejoy, L 21-47; Wylie East, L 38-46; Greenville, W 50-7; McKinney North, W 35-20; Denison, W 50-33; Sherman, L 35-45; Royse City, W 31-28; Mount Pleasant, W 45-21.

Records since 2000: 6-4 (‘00), 8-2 (‘01), 12-2 (‘02), 10-3 (‘03), 10-4 (‘04), 10-4 ('05), 3-7 (‘06), 5-6 (‘07), 13-3 (‘08), 3-7 (‘0-9), 11-4 (‘10), 4-6 (‘11).

All-time playoff appearances: 21

Players to watch: QB Carsen Cook (181 of 307, 2,158 yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs), QB Kameron Kelly (37 of 49, 470 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 220 yards, 4 TDs rushing), WR Kalen Winkler (78-1,038-11 TDs).

Offensive outlook: The Pirates posted 404 total yards against Mount Pleasant. Wylie went an efficient 30 for 37 (81 percent) passing for 297 yards and three TDs. Cook completed 20 of 27 attempts and for 198 yards and three TDs, and Kelly went 10 for 10 for 99 yards. The Pirates are averaging 35.2 points and 370 yards (113 rushing, 257 passing) per game.

Defensive outlook: Wylie's stop unit held Mount Pleasant star-studded duo of QB Montravious James and WR Kaderrius Cannon in check while limiting the Tigers to 137 yards passing and zero touchdowns through the air. The Pirates upped their sack total to 28 after wrapping up the quarterback four times in the bi-district victory. Wylie is allowing an average of 31.5 points.

Team strengths: The passing attack, which involves several players, sparks the Pirates. Leland Dotson caught 10 passes for 71 yards last week, Winkler added seven catches for 88 yards, Alex Wesley grabbed nine balls for 44 yards and Freddy Gibbs gained 65 yards on two catches for the Pirates.

Noteworthy: Wylie went 25 years in between playoff trips before a 12-2 season in 2002. The Pirates played for the Class 5A Division II state title in 2008, falling to Katy, 17-3. The Pirates have won 10 games or more six times in the last 11 seasons. Wylie started 0-5 before winning five of six.

Quoteworthy: "We've had a rough season," Wylie head coach Bill Howard told the Wylie News. "We just haven't put it all together. We put it together (against Mount Pleasant), and our kids are starting to get a lot more confidence."


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