All week long the pregame chatter was about the tide turning away from perennial power John Tyler and toward upstart Robert E. Lee.
Take away the fact that JT was coming off a second-consecutive trip to the state semifinals.
The teams had split their last four meetings in the annual Rose City Rivalry. The Lions were 1-1 and had lost to Lufkin, while the Red Raiders were flying high after knocking off the long-time rival Panthers to start 2-0.
Well, the only tide Friday at Earl Campbell Field was a Cujo Blue riptide that swallowed up Lee and dumped the Red Raiders out with a 44-0 loss at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
"That team had a lot to play for (and it showed)," said Lee coach Darrell Piske about the Lions. "They've been the talk of the city for a couple years and then (now people were) talking about us. They came out ready to play and we came out and I think pressed a little too much."
The Red Raiders committed five turnovers in the first half — three lost fumbles, one interception and a failure to recover the ball on a short kick.
"We've been working on that ever since spring ball, making sure we're the ones that cause the turnovers and not give up the turnovers," JT coach Ricklan Holmes said.
Seemingly all of it led to JT points, with the Lions scoring 31 unanswered in the first half.
"We created the perfect storm … and once you turn it over five or six times against a good football team …" Piske continued. "You can't really put it into words. We just really had the worst night we possibly could have had.
"But hats off to them as well because they played a tremendous football game."
JT quarterback Geovari McCollister took advantage of his offensive line giving him plenty of time to find his receiving targets. The junior had 229 yards passing and two scores while also rushing for 97 yards and two scores, highlighted by an 84-yard romp to the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Lee sophomore quarterback Zach Hall and his mates, who had scored 97 points in two games, were held scoreless by JT for the third time in four years. Hall finished with 66 yards rushing and 7 passing with REL totaling 229 as a team.
The Red Raiders had chances to end the shutout, but on every occasion JT's defense rose up to deny them.
It was the first time JT has won back-to-back games against Lee since 1997-98.
Lee now tries to regroup and prepare to go back on the road against Texas High.
"We'll be fine, we just have to go back to work," Piske said. "You can't make excuses, you just have to go back to work tomorrow and try to get better."