TEXARKANA — There is one positive Robert E. Lee can take out of its 44-0 loss to John Tyler last week.
The Red Raiders (2-1) have Friday on the road at Texas High to try and make amends and get back on track before district play starts. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.
Lee scored 97 points in victories over Sulphur Springs and Lufkin with a plus-1 turnover differential. Against JT, the Red Raiders were shut out while also committing five first-half miscues to fall behind 31-0 at halftime.
But again, that was last week and head coach Darrell Piske has made sure his players understand that and learn from the loss.
“The biggest thing is we had to realize that, No. 1, we are not a great football team and have a lot of work to do to continue to improve; but we’re not that bad a football team, either,” Piske said. “They just have to know that every day in practice, you have to practice to win to assure that never happens again.”
The Tigers (2-0) are fresh of their own victory for city bragging rights, taking down Liberty-Eylau 30-8 last week. Those eight points are the only points Texas High has allowed in two games.
The Tigers have given up just 26 yards passing and 225 rushing in their two victories. Texas High also has forced five turnovers, four of those interceptions.
Piske understands the challenge Texas High presents his team, but adds the Red Raiders are more concerned with repairing what broke down in the loss to JT.
“If we fix the turnovers last week, I think it’s a competitive game, so really it’s about us fixing the mistakes we made defensively and mistakes we made offensively and just trying to be as good as we can be when we get over there,” Piske said.
Despite a 7-yard passing performance last week, REL sophomore quarterback Zach Hall still enters with 457 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 364 yards and three scores.
Lee’s running game is also powered by sophomore Tavon Wesley (33-203, 3 TDs) and junior Marquian Jones (16-154, 2 TDs).
Piske said Texas High presents many of the same obstacles for Lee that JT did with its speed and size. Senior tailback Traeveon Walker has rushed for 221 yards in two games with one touchdown while senior quarterback Cody Hunter has passed for 103 yards and a touchdown.
“We are just going to have to try and play our best football game and try to improve from last week,” Piske said.
ROBERT E. LEE VS. TEXAS HIGH
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Tiger Stadium, Texarkana
Radio: ESPN 92.1-FM, Tyler
Records: Robert E. Lee (2-1); Texas High (2-0)
Last Week’s Result: John Tyler 44, Robert E. Lee 0; Texas High 30, Liberty-Eylau 8
2012 Result: Robert E. Lee 23, Texas High 7
All-Time Series: Tigers lead 20-13-4
Players to Watch: Robert E. Lee — QB Zach Hall (5-10, 155, Soph.), LB Teddy Matlock (5-10, 190, Jr.), LB Brandon Durman (6-2, 215, Jr.); Texas High — QB Cody Hunter (5-11, 170, Sr.), RB Traevon Walker (5-8, 170, Sr.), LB Anthony Rhone (6-1, 210, Sr.)
Quick Slant: The Red Raiders will try and break through a Tigers defense that has allowed eight points in its two games. The road was kind to REL in its season opener and Hall and Co. will attempt to put last week’s 44-0 debacle against JT behind them. Texas High hasn’t produced eye-popping offensive numbers in its two victories, but the Tigers haven’t needed to, thanks to their defense giving up 121.5 yards total per game. On defense, REL is giving up an average of 237 yards per game through the air.
Notable: This will be the 38th time the Tigers and Red Raiders will meet on the gridiron, but just the second since 1999.
Next Up: Robert E. Lee open; Texas High at Kennedale, Friday, Sept. 27
Stadium Address: Tiger Stadium at Grim Park, Summerhill Road and West 12th street, Texarkana.