WEST MESQUITE FOOTBALL BRICESON WALKER

West Mesquite’s Briceson Walker had a 37-yard touchdown run, but it was not enough, a Poteet pulled away for a 40-14 victory on Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

Poteet and West Mesquite met for the 31st time on Friday, but first as non-district opponents.

While bragging rights are always on the line in the city’s second-oldest rivalry, both teams were also hoping to build some momentum after suffering losses in their season openers.

This series has produced some classics over the years, but the 2020 installment was largely written by the Pirates, who used a suffocating defense and a balanced offense to roll to a 40-14 victory at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.

Poteet evens its record at 1-1 as they prepare to head into the start of the 6-5A Division II campaign on Thursday against Thomas Jefferson.

The Wranglers, who fell to 0-2, have a couple of more weeks before their 7-5A Division I season gets started and they will play at Fort Worth Chisholm Trail next Friday.

The Pirates were in control for much of the night, but there was a moment early in the second half where it looked as if West Mesquite could make things interesting.

Trailing 19-0, the Wrangler defense produced a big play, jarring the ball loose, with Jose Torres recovering at the Poteet 40.

It was the type of moment that can swing momentum from one sideline to the other, but the Poteet defense had other ideas.

The Pirates pushed West Mesquite backward in three plays, highlighted by a sack from Malik Harrison.

The special teams then got into the act, blocking the punt and recovering at the Wrangler 36.

Quarterback Jaylond Police darted through the defense on a 32-yard run and Jacoby Kahey did the rest from four yards out to push the lead to 26-0.

West Mesquite then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, with the Pirates recovering at the 39. It once again took them just two plays, as Police hit a wide-open Keenan Puckett for a 35-yard gain and then Kahey found the end zone on a 5-yard run and in a span of 39 seconds, they had extended the lead to 33-0.

Though the Pirates were in control from the opening kick, the Wrangler defense did enough to keep them within striking distance early on.

Poteet drove 87 yards in nine plays on its opening possession, with Police finding Marcel Jackson on the sideline, and he side-stepped a defender and went 14 yards for the touchdown. The extra point was missed, though, leaving it at 6-0.

It stayed that way until midway through the second quarter, when the Pirates cashed in a eight-play, 61-yard drive, with Demarques Taylor scoring on a 4-yard run to push it to 12-0.

It looked as though it might stay that way until halftime, but in the final minute, Poteet got one more chance and it seized it, as Police lofted a deep ball that Jackson was able to run under for a 31-yard touchdown to make it 19-0 with 13 seconds left before halftime.

While the offense provided some exciting plays, the Pirate defense was dominant in the first half, holding West Mesquite to just one first down and 25 total yards, including minus-4 on the ground.

After falling behind 33-0, the Wranglers did put together their best drive of the night.

Sophomore quarterback Craig Dale had a 10-yard scramble and then hit Eric Tennison for a 17-yard gain.

Briceson Walker, who found running room tough to come by, finally got by Poteet’s initial rush and turned into a 37-yard touchdown to cut it to 33-7.

The Pirates put it away later in the third quarter, as Kahey caught a little swing pass from Police and did the rest himself for a 34-yard score to push it to 40-7.

West Mesquite found the end zone one more time in the final two minutes, as Dale went back to Tenison for a 10-yard touchdown that provided the final margin.

Police was 14-of-23 for 201 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 65 yards on 14 carries. Taylor paced the ground game with 14 carries for 97 yards and Jackson had seen receptions for 95 yards and a pair of scores.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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