Neither team could get much going on offense in the first half of Friday night’s Rose City Rivalry contest at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Tyler High went into the locker room with a 14-6 advantage.
Tyler Legacy came out in the second half and found the end zone twice in the third quarter.
But it was in the fourth quarter when the fireworks display began. The Red Raiders and Lions combined to score five touchdowns in a 3:22 span as Legacy picked up the 40-28 victory.
It was the second consecutive win in the series for the Red Raiders, which is led by the Lions 33-31-1, but the first since the schools switched names from Robert E. Lee and John Tyler.
A week after Legacy opened with a 70-32 win over Lufkin and Tyler dropped a 41-21 decision to Texas High, it was the Lions who set the tone early on Friday.
On the second play of the game, Travion Ates picked off the pass and returned it into Legacy territory.
The Red Raiders ended up getting a stop on fourth and two as they tackled Kameron Medlock just short of the first-down marker.
Legacy was then in its own fourth-down situation, and Jacob Villela came through with a sack.
The Lions capitalized. On fourth and 7, Ken’Yontae Pinkard connected with sophomore Makavion Potts for a 16-yard pickup. On the next play, Pinkard kept it and went up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown to give Tyler a 7-0 victory with 6:16 left in the first quarter.
This time, it was the Red Raiders’ turn to convert on fourth down as Jamarion Miller gained 9 yards on a fourth and 1. Two plays later, Bryson Donnell got to the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good, making the score 7-6.
Tyler tried to add to its lead midway through the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal attempt by Kendell Howard but the kick was no good. Two plays later, Ates go the ball back for the Lions once again with his second pick of the game. That led to a 4-yard touchdown run by Pinkard with 3:55 on the clock.
The Lions kept that 14-6 lead until the half.
Legacy forced a quick punt to start the third quarter. The Red Raiders then tied the score as Trent Adams hit Donnell for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Legacy used a little trickery on the two-point conversion as LaDavion Butler completed the pass to Adams to knot things at 14.
Aaron Sears made leaping interception to get the ball back to the Red Raiders, but they were unable to convert on fourth down.
Tyler tried a double pass, but the ball hit the ground and it was picked up by Legacy’s La’Brendo Flowers. The officials ruled an incomplete pass, but then reversed the call to give the Red Raiders the ball at the Tyler 42.
Adams tossed a shovel pass to Elijah Grogan, who sprinted 41 yards to the 1 to set up a touchdown run by Miller to give Legacy a 21-14 lead.
Tyreke Jones returned the ensuing kickoff into Legacy territory, but the Red Raider defense got an interception from KJ Humber at the 1-yard-line.
The Red Raiders followed with a 14-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a 2-yard run by Adams with 8:58 to play that made the score 27-14.
Tyler responded with a 21-yard touchdown run by Kameron Medlock to cut the score to 27-21.
On the next play from scrimmage, Donnell went 87 yards for a score. The Red Raiders went for two and were unable to convert to put the score at 33-21.
On the next play from scrimmage, it was the Lions with the big play as Pinkard hit sophomore Montrell Wade with a 67 yards pass to cut the score to 33-28 with 6:26 to play. Less than a minute later, Miller broke free for a 56-yard touchdown run to stretch the lead to 40-28.
Pinkard connected with Wade on a 48-yard completion, but on the next play, Humber picked off another pass just in front of the end zone to give the Red Raiders the ball with 5:07 to play.
Legacy punted, and Tyler took over at the Legacy 41 with 3:01 remaining.
After a second down pass that was nearly intercepted, Pinkard went to the sideline. Eli Sanchez came in and picked up 11 yards on the ground on third and 19, but his pass attempt toward the end zone on fourth down was incomplete with 1:07 on the clock. The Red Raiders were able to run out the clock to move to 2-0 on the season.
“Coach Holmes and those guys do a great job over there,” Legacy head coach Joe Willis said. “They played really physical and fast, especially in the first half tonight. I thought they created a lot of challenges for us. The first half, we didn’t really respond. Halftime, our guys kind of got some things fixed. We had some mental busts in the first half, got all that corrected, came out in the second half and played really well.
“We didn’t turn the ball over (in the second half). First half, we made some uncharacteristic decisions, turned the ball over. The other thing we did was just fix our assignments up front. They did a few things we hadn’t prepared for this week. Early in the season, our guys were not accustomed to seeing that different front. We came out in the second half and got it all fixed. So I was really satisfied with the way our guys responded at halftime.”
"We knew that it’s a rivalry game. The whole city is talking about it all week, so we knew we were going to get their best shot, and they were going to get ours," Legacy quarterback Adams said. "We came out a little bit slow in the first half, but we definitely had a lot of things to clean up, but I was very proud of this team and this coaching staff for going into the second half, getting locked in and making adjustments to have a big second half like we did."
Miller finished with 170 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. Donnell had 125 yards and two scores on 11 carries, and he had three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown. Adams had 148 yards passing and another 35 rushing with a touchdown apiece. Grogan caught four passes for 99 yards.
Pinkard threw for 265 yards and a touchdown. Wade caught four passes for 154 yards. Medlock led the Lions on the ground with 49 yards on 11 carries.
Legacy will travel to take on Longview next week, while Tyler (0-2) will play at Nacogdoches. It will be the first time for either team to play away from Rose Stadium this season.
Tyler Legacy 40, Tyler High 28
Tyler 7 7 0 14 — 28
Legacy 6 0 15 19 — 40
TYL — Ken’Yontae Pinkard 21 run (Kendell Howard kick), 6:16
LEG — Bryson Donnell 26 runs (Kick failed), 3:44
TYL — Pinkard 4 run (Howard kick), 3:55
LEG — Donnell 25 pass from Trent Adams (Adams pass from LaDavion Butler), 8:59
LEG — Jamarion Miller 1 run (Christian Baxter kick), 5:36
LEG — Adams 2 run (Kick failed), 8:58
TYL — Kameron Medlock 21 run (Howard kick), 7:06
LEG — Donnell 87 run (Run failed), 6:42
TYL — Montrell Wade 67 pass from Pinkard (Howard kick), 6:26
LEG — Miller 56 run (Baxter kick), 5:36
First Downs 15 16
Rushes-Yards 36-127 45-328
Passing Yards 265 148
Comp.-Att-Int. 12-26-3 9-18-2
Punts-Ave. 2-30 2-43.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-16 4-28
RUSHING — Tyler, Kameron Medlock 11-49, Ken’Yontae Pinkard 12-38, Jakyron Lacy 6-25, Derrick McFall 5-13, Eli Sanchez 1-11, Makavion Potts 1-(-7). Legacy, Jamarion Miller 25-170, Bryson Donnell 11-125, Trent Adams 8-35, Team 1-(-2).
PASSING — Tyler, Ken’Yontae Pinkard 12-25-3 265, Eli Sanchez 0-1-0 0. Legacy, Trent Adams 9-18-2 148.
RECEIVING — Tyler, Montrell Wade 4-154, Makavion Potts 4-46, Tyreke Jones 1-35, Ja’Davion Lacy 1-17, Kameron Medlock 1-7, Derrick McFall 1-0. Legacy, Elijah Grogan 4-99, Bryson Donnell 3-40, LaDarius Newsom 1-5, LaDavion Butler 1-4.