Week 8 of the high school football season had multiple great games and performances.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph and TylerPaper.com Players of the Week for Week 8 of the high school football season include: West Rusk quarterback Andon Mata for offense; Brownsboro linebacker Tanner Ackerman for defense; and Tyler kickoff returner Derrick McFall for special teams.

Previous winners include: Offense — Week 1: Jackson Rainey, QB, Van; Week 2: Eli Holt, QB, Tyler; Week 3: Ty Arroyo, QB, Athens; Week 4: Owen McCown, QB, Rusk; Week 5: Ryan McCown, QB, Jacksonville; Week 6: Jamarion Miller, RB, Tyler Legacy; Week 7: Jason Brisbois II, QB, Canton; Defense — Week 1: Dorian Reyes, LB, Bullard Brook Hill; Week 2: Coy Anderson, LB, Mineola; Week 3: Cayden Mitcham, LB, All Saints; Week 4: Jacob Villela, LB, Tyler; Week 5: Solomon Macfoy, LB, Chapel Hill; Week 6: Lindale DE Christian King and Lindale DL/LB Colton Widemon; Week 7: Caleb Ferrara, LB, Rusk; and Special Teams — Week 4: Adolfo Tamayo, PK, Chapel Hill; Week 5: Derrick McFall, kick returner, Tyler; Week 6: Sam Peterson, P, Lindale; Week 7: Perez.

To nominate someone for the Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, please email sports@tylerpaper.com by noon Monday. Please also include a head shot/photograph of the player.


Mata helped his West Rusk Raiders stay unbeaten by throwing a school-record six touchdown passes in a 62-0 win over Winona in a District 9-3A Division II football game at Bruce Bradshaw Stadium in New London.

Mata completed 19 of 25 passing and threw touchdowns to four different receivers.

Will Jackson caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Omarion Anthony had three catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremiah Smith hauled in three passes for 54 yards and a TD, and Tate Winings had two catches for 41 yards and a score.

Ty Harper finished with three catches for 57 yards, and Noah Murphy rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries.

On the season, Mata has hit on 84 of 136 passing attempts for 1,323 yards with 19 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He has rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.

The Raiders (7-0, 3-0) are ranked No. 5 in the state. West Rusk is scheduled to visit Harmony (6-1, 2-1) in a big league contest on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.


In a close District 7-4A Division II game on Friday, the contest came down to the final minutes as Brownsboro scored a 33-28 win over Bullard at Panther Stadium in Bullard.

One of the reasons for the Bears’ victory was the performance of Ackerman, a sophomore.

Ackerman had 16 tackles and an interception as the Bears improved to 4-4 on the season and 2-0 in district.

The Bears are back in action on Friday, hosting the Canton Eagles (5-2, 1-0). Kickoff at Bear Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


McFall, the Lions’ speedster, is a threat to score any time he touches the ball.

The sophomore has returned two kicks this season, both for touchdowns. On Friday, he had an 84-yard kickoff return in Tyler’s 48-10 win over Wylie East in Tyler. In the district opener with McKinney North he had a 92-yard kickoff return.

McFall has a total of 11 touchdowns, with five rushing and four receiving. On the ground, he has rushed for 257 yards on 25 carries, along with 26 catches for 531 yards.

The Lions (5-2, 3-0) return to play on Friday, traveling to Dallas to meet Highland Park (6-1, 3-0). Kickoff at Highlander Stadium is 7:30 p.m.



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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.