It’s been a team effort for the Tyler Lee Red Raiders to start the season 3-0.
A prime example of that has been senior Mark Patton.
The starting quarterback and punter for the Red Raiders as a junior after moving to Tyler from Malakoff, Patton has moved into a new role this season.
Still seeing snaps as the signal caller, Patton has also had reps at tight end and even as a fullback depending on the package.
“It means he’s an athlete,” Lee head coach Kurt Traylor said. “When you’re 6-5, 225 and can play multiple positions, those are very coachable people.”
With junior Trent Adams coming to the varsity level this season, it has allowed the Red Raiders to move Patton around. And there are certain times where Adams and Patton are both on the field with neither taking the snap thanks to the versatility of players like Jamarion Miller and Jamal Ligon, as well.
“That’s special,” Patton said. “Not a lot of people are going to know what to do with that. There’s no way to game plan for that.”
“I think for a defensive coordinator, it stresses them out,” Traylor said. “They don’t know what to call. I know it stresses us as a staff when our opponent has two quarterbacks on the field. And then you throw in a dynamic running back, what do you defend?”
Patton has made his mark in all three offensive categories this season. He’s 13 of 29 through the air for 129 yards. He’s second on the Red Raiders in rushing with 34 carries for 193 yards with a team-high five touchdowns. Patton has also caught a pass for 11 yards.
“He’s a big kid,” Traylor said. “He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and he’s getting better at blocking.”
In Saturday’s 35-28 win over Nacogdoches, Adams opened the game as the quarterback. He threw for 55 yards and a touchdown.
When Patton’s number was called — no matter the position — he was ready. Patton threw for 43 yards and carried the ball 13 times for 81 yards and two scores.
Patton continues to handle the team’s punting duties, as well. He has attempted nine punts this season for an average of 36.2 yards with a long of 56 yards.
Whatever the Red Raiders need, they can depend on Patton.
“He’s the definition of being selfless,” Traylor said. “He wants what’s best for the team, and I love that about the kid. He makes us a better team when we put him in different positions, because he’s such a threat.”
“I’m just doing whatever they ask me to do,” Patton said. ”I’ve just got to stay locked in at practice, because there’s a lot on my plate and just trying to remember everything that I have to do. I just want to help us win.”
Patton and the Red Raiders will take on Mesquite Poteet at 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.