In this era of spread offenses and high-scoring games, defense took center stage in a pair of 7-5A Division I contests on Friday.
West Mesquite’s search for its first win continues after it dropped a hard-fought 10-3 decision to Tyler.
The Wranglers (0-3, 0-7) spotted the Lions (1-1, 1-4) an early touchdown, but then did not allow them back into the end zone for the rest of the night.
Unfortunately for West Mesquite, the Tyler defense was up to the task itself, as the Wranglers managed a 27-yard field goal from Austin Stout and that was all.
The most anticipated game of the 7-5A Division I season was also a defensive affair, as Highland Park held off Longview for a 18-13 victory.
The Scots (2-0, 4-0) marched down the field on the opening drive, with Brayden Schager throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Josh Rutledge.
But the defenses would settle in from there, with each team managing only a field goal as Highland Park took a 9-3 lead into halftime.
The Scots tacked on another field goal early in the third quarter before the Lobos (2-1, 5-2) finally got the big play they had been looking for, as Kaden Meredith ripped off a 57-yard touchdown run to close to within 12-10.
Longview actually edged out to a one-point lead with a field goal early in the fourth quarter, but the Scots would respond when they needed, as Schager found Will Pettijohn for a 37-yard scoring strike that proved to be the game-winner.
After losing its first three games during non-district action, McKinney North (3-0, 3-3) finds itself alone atop the standings after pulling away for a 52-31 win over Wylie East (0-2, 1-3) on Friday.
The game was tied at 17-17 at halftime, but the Bulldogs erupted for 28 points in the third quarter to take control.
Gavin Constantine threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Henry for the go-ahead score. Hayden Richardson added a short scoring run and after a Wylie East touchdown, Jacobi Balous returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards for a score that made it 38-24 and McKinney North was on its way.
The Bulldogs’ schedule gets tougher down the stretch, starting on Friday with a trip to Highlander Stadium to face the Scots in a clash of the last undefeated teams.
Longview was set to try to bounce back against Sherman, but that game has been cancelled due to a COVID-19-related issue at Sherman. Tyler takes on Wylie East and West Mesquite looks to regroup with its bye.