With four straight wins, including two in district, the Tyler Lions are nearing a return to the postseason.

Capturing a 31-18 victory West Mesquite last Friday in Mesquite, inched the Lions goal of making the playoffs after a one-year absence.

Tyler Coach Ricklan Holmes said his team continues to grow. improve and work together.

He said there are numerous players who were keys to the win over the Wranglers.

Sharing the Offensive Player of the Week honors were senior quarterback Eli Holt, sophomore running back/wide receiver Derrick McFall and wide receiver Montrell Wade.

Holt used his arm and his feet to guide Cujo to the win. He connected on 9 of 18 passing attempts for 328 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed for 93 yards and a TD on 18 carries.

His favorite targets were McFall, who had four catches for 121 yards and a TD as well as two rushes for 10 yards, and Wade, who hauled in three receptions for 155 yard and two touchdowns. On defense, Wade, who plays safety, had three tackles, an interception and broke up a pass. Twice, Wade sped past the Wranglers’ secondary.

There were a trio of defenders who shared the Defensive Player of the Week — senior linebacker Jacob Villela, senior defensive end Ka’Darius Tave and sophomore linebacker LaDarius Franklin.

Villela and Tave continued to have outstanding seasons. Villela had 12 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack (his ninth) and a quarterback hurry. Tave had five tackles, four TFL and four sacks (22 yards in losses). He now has eight on the season.

Franklin had nine tackles, a TFL and a sack. He has three sacks on the season.

Specials teams was highlighted by punter/linebacker Eric Munoz (2 for 26.5 average) who pinned the Wranglers deep and had two tackles. Saul Perez booted a 45-yard field goal and was 4-for-4 on extra points.

Holmes gave the Lion Heart award to sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Marquette Martin, sophomore DB/WR Zachuan Williams, senior running back/linebacker JaKyron Lacy and junior defensive end/offensive lineman Ameer Johnson.

The Lions (4-2, 2-0) will celebrate Homecoming on Friday as they play host to Wylie East (2-4, 0-3) at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. Kickoff on Earl Campbell Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For tickets go to https://tylerisd.brushfire.com/tylerhs/ and pre-sale prices are $8 (reserved), $5 (adult general admission) and $3 (student general admission). Ticket prices on game day are $10 (reserved) and $8 (general admission). Ticket purchase subject to a convenience fee.

Other District 7-5A Division I games on Friday include: Sherman (3-3, 1-1) at Longview (5-2, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.; and Dallas Highland Park (5-1, 2-0) at McKinney North (3-4, 2-1), 7:30 p.m. West Mesquite (2-5, 0-3) is off.


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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.