Punch those tickets Tyler Lee.
The Red Raiders are headed to the UIL state football playoffs for the first time since 2014 following a 42-14 win over Mesquite Horn Friday night on Earl Campbell Field at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Lee (6-4, 3-3) will open the postseason against Waco Midway at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 in Waco. Midway was also the Red Raiders’ bi-district opponent in their 2014 playoff appearance. Midway took a 76-47 victory in that meeting.
“It’s crazy,” quarterback Trent Adams said. “I’ve grown up every Friday night going to the lee games, and we haven’t been to the playoffs since I was in the sixth grade. Just to finally make it once we all got up to varsity, it’s incredible. I love this team so much.”
Lee also has its second six-win season in three years under head coach Kurt Traylor, making him the first Red Raider coach to accomplish that feat since Mike Owens in 2009. None of the three head coaches at Lee between 2011 and 2016 led Lee to a six-win season.
“It just shows that when you have kids that show up every day who are dependable, work hard and believe in what we as coaches try to instill in them, good things are going to happen,” Traylor said. “It was a total team effort tonight. I talked about the playoffs on Monday, but that was it. I didn’t talk about it Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I just told them to go 1-0 this week. If you go 1-0 this week, we will go play next week, and that’s what we did. We went 1-0. The kids played their tails off. “
After a nearly scoreless first quarter, Lee got on the board with 31 seconds on the clock on a 1-yard run by sophomore Bryson Donnell to cap off a 12-play, 88-yard drive.
That seemed to be just the spark the Red Raiders needed.
Elliott Davison picked off Horn quarterback Davazea Gabriel on the first play of the quarter.
Donnell then scored on a 15-yard run with 11:19 left in the half to give Lee a 13-0 lead.
Following a Horn punt, the Red Raiders used a 60-yard completion from Trent Adams to Jeremiah Turner to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Jamarion Miller. Trent Adams ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 21-0 with 7:06 left in the second quarter.
Horn got on the board on its next possession. A 56-yard by Ben Wyatt to the 1 led to a touchdown run from Charles Crawford. The two-point pass was no good to make the score 21-6.
The Red Raiders added to their lead with 38 seconds until halftime as Miller scored on a 17-yard run. Lee went into the locker room up 28-6.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. Horn threw a deep pass toward the end zone in the final two minutes, but Davison secured his second interception at the 3-yard line on a ball tipped by one of his teammates.
“It was all up that pressure up front making the quarterback throw a bad ball,” Davison said. “I was just in the right position at the right time.”
Lee’s defensive line of Jamal Ligon, Garfield Lawrence, Seth Leon, Tariq Woods, Chris Harris, Jaydien Williams and TJ Hawkins put pressure on Gabriel all night.
Early in the fourth quarter, Adams threw a pass to Nick Bennett, who sprinted to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown to push the sore to 35-6 with 10:35 left to play.
Wyatt scored on a 16-yard run just more than a minute later, and Crawford converted the two-point conversion to cut the score to 35-14. On the ensuing kickoff, the Jaguars attempted an onside kick, and Devon’T Bolton grabbed the ball and ran 50 yards to the end zone for the touchdown.
Sophomore Aaron Sears helped seal the deal with an interception in the end zone with five minutes remaining.
Donnell ran for 119 yards — 93 in the second half — and two touchdowns for the Red Raiders. Adams threw for 220 yards and a touchdown. Turner had four grabs for 134 yards — all in the first half.
Wyatt finished with 147 yards rushing on eight carries for Horn (3-7, 2-4). He also had four catches for 25 yards.
Friday was the final home game for seniors Bolton, Kedric Walker, Jack Zimmerman, Mark Patton, Turner, Colin Junot, Will Landes, Jamichael Turman, Jamar Arceneaux, Davison, Bryce Newman, Coleman Hinshaw, Bryce Gregory, Michael Rosson, Andre Andrews, Hawks, Noah Springer, Mason Magers, Miguel Sosa, Woods, Willie Figueroa, Anthony Farmer, Ligon and Leon.
But thanks to Friday’s win, it won’t be the last high school game for those seniors.
Tyler Lee 42, Mesquite Horn 14
Mesquite Horn 0 6 0 8 — 14
Tyler Lee 7 21 0 14 — 42
LEE — Bryson Donnell 1 run (Christian Baxter kick), 0:31
LEE — Donnell 15 run (Kick failed), 11:19
LEE — Jamarion Miller 1 run (Trent Adams run), 7:06
HORN — Charles Crawford 1 run (Pass failed), 3:42
LEE — Miller 17 run (Baxter kick), 0:38
LEE — Nick Bennett 49 pass from Adams (Baxter kick), 10:35
HORN — Ben Wyatt 16 run (Crawford run), 9:16
LEE — Devon’T Bolton 50 kick return (Baxter kick), 9:09
First Downs 12 19
Rushes-Yards 29-148 38-235
Passing Yards 143 220
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-24-3 10-17-0
Punts-Ave. 5-27 3-32
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-55 3-45
RUSHING — Horn, Ben Wyatt 8-147, Charles Crawford 8-22, Davyon Miller 2-7, N’Kowsi Emory 1-1, Sir’Elston Hill 2-(-7), Davazea Gabriel 8-(-22). Lee, Bryson Donnell 16-119, Jamarion Miller 10-55, Mark Patton 4-20, Jamar Arceneaux 2-14, Anthony Farmer 1-13, Trent Adams 3-10, Bryce Gregory 1-9, Team 1-(-5).
PASSING — Horn, Davazea Gabriel 15-24-3 143. Lee, Trent Adams 10-17-0 220.
RECEIVING — Horn, Cameron Jackson 4-31, Ben Wyatt 4-25, N’Kowsi Emory 2-11, Donovan Payne 1-39, Derik Jackson 1-15, Sir’Elston 1-8, Omari Walker 1-8, Charles Crawford 1-6. Lee, Jeremiah Turner 4-134, Bryson Donnell 2-23, Nick Bennett 1-49, Jay’Lon Warren 1-8, Mark patton 1-3, Elliott Davison 1-3.