Tyler Lee grabbed its first District 11-6A win Friday with a convincing 49-20 victory over Mesquite on homecoming at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Red Raiders entered with a clear objective to run the ball and eliminate negative plays. The Red Raiders also wanted to be more sound with their own run defense and be better on special teams.
Here are some final numbers:
Rushing Attempts: 55
Rushing Yards: 390
Average yards per rush: 7.09
Total negative rushing plays in game: 8 (5 occurred with Lee trying to run out the clock)
Mesquite's Rushing Attempts: 31
Mesquite's Rushing Yards: 48
Lee's PATs: 7 for 7
Special Teams Superlatives: 1 blocked punt; 7 for 7 on PATs; recovered an onside kick; prevented onside kick recovery
"It was almost a perfect game," Lee coach Kurt Traylor said. "If it wasn't for that pick-6, but that's one of those deals where can't have the perfect game."
Senior quarterback Chance Amie produced his best rushing numbers of the season, carrying 16 times for 139 yards and four touchdowns.
The University of Houston commit produced arguably his best showing on his last carry of the game, late in the third quarter. On second-and-six from the Mesquite 22, Amie rolled out and waited as long as he dared for a receiver to come open. He skirted several Skeeters defender while keeping his eyes downfield before finally reached the point of no return, the line of scrimmage, so he pulled the ball down and went down the sideline for a 22-yard touchdown.
"He played well," Traylor said of his quarterback. "He is such a dual threat."
The lone blemish on Amie's scorecard was an interception returned for a touchdown that tied the game 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Traylor said the pick-6 pumped Amie up, but he was more "ticked off" by a play that happened on Lee's first drive.
"As coaches we always want to get off to a fast start, and we have fourth-and-one and I would've bet my house on Chance getting that, but he kind of stumbled and was pulled down short.
"He was mad about being stopped on the fourth-and-one. That is what got him going."
With the scored tied 7-7, Amie was sacked on second-and-five to make it third-and-13. It was the last times Mesquite prevented the Lee quarterback from accomplishing what he wanted as Amie took the next snap and ran 16 yards for a first down. He capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown keeper. Three more TD runs followed that (15, 20, 22), each longer than the previous one.
Meanwhile Lee's defense, which came in statistically a the worst against the run in District 11-6A, held the Skeeters to 0 total yards rushing in the first half and 48 for the game.
"I was real proud of our defense bouncing back," Traylor said. "They had (a coupled drives), but other than our guys controlled them."
Lee also controlled the momentum of the contest and made sure Mesquite did not have a chance to spark a comeback.
Leading 28-7 at halftime, Lee was set to kick off to Mesquite to begin the second half.
Instead, the placekicker produced a perfect onside kick, which travelled the required 10 yards and went straight to Lee's Marquis Gray.
"Everything that we'd worked on; that we practiced during the open week, we were successful on," Traylor said. "I told them at halftime we were going to do it, and our kids got excited about it. That onside kick is one we've been practicing for a while. You can only use it one time because it's now on film, and our guys executed it perfectly."
The Red Raiders went on to tack another touchdown to their lead on a 20-yard run by Amie and never looked back.
Lee now looks forward to Friday and a road test against Rockwall (2-5, 1-3) which Traylor cautions is much better than its record.
"The games in district they've lost have been by a combined 11 points," Traylor said. "They are a really good team; very talented. And it's the Fox Sports Southwest DQ Game of the Week, so a lot of eyes are going to be on us."
Notes: Kickoff between Lee and Rockwall is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wilkerson Sanders Stadium. … The current 11-6A standings are: Mesquite Horn (4-0); John Tyler (3-1); Longview (3-1); Rockwall-Heath (3-1); Tyler Lee (1-3); Rockwall (1-3); North Mesquite (1-3); Mesquite (0-4) … The other 11-6A games scheduled for this week are Thursday: Heath at Mesquite; Friday: Longview at JT, and Horn at North Mesquite.