West Mesquite and Tyler John Tyler followed similar roads during the first month of the season.
Facing a bevy of highly-ranked opponents, the Wranglers and Lions each went winless during non-district play.
The start of the 7-5A Division I season has offered a chance to get things turned around and they have each taken advantage.
West Mesquite (1-4, 1-0) and Tyler John Tyler (2-4, 2-0) are two of four undefeated teams in district, but that will change when they meet at 7 p.m. Friday at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Wranglers should be rested and ready after enjoying their bye week.
In their last on-field action, they took out some frustrations on Wylie East in a 37-14 victory.
Sophomore Kevin Jennings had perhaps his best game to date under center, completing 19-of-26 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Overall, Jennings has been solid, completing 75-of-129 passes for 901 yards and eight touchdowns.
Texas pledge Ty Jordan continues to be a threat any time he touches the ball. Jordan is averaging 7.5 yards per carry (37-278, 5 TDs) and leads the team in receiving (30-331, 4 TDs).
West Mesquite will look to get other playmakers involved with Jordan, with junior Ja’Kobe Walton and sophomore D’erian Mitchell among the candidates.
They will face at John Tyler defense that has found its groove in recent weeks.
The Lions gave up 35.5 points during their four-game losing skid to start the season but have given up only seven total points in their last two games. That includes a shutout of Texarkana Texas High and a dominant effort against Wylie East in which they allowed less than 200 total yards and a late-game touchdown when the game was out of reach.
Travion Ates has a team-high 73 tackles and Kitan Crawford leads the secondary with three interceptions.
Like Jennings, John Tyler quarterback Cameron Ford is coming off one of his top performances, as he completed 11-of-17 for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition to his work on defense, Crawford (40-300) also leads the team in rushing and is among the leaders in receiving (15-189) while Austin Campbell (16-181), Frank Turner (9-243, 3 TDs) and Robert Draper (9-103) are other options in the passing game.
The West Mesquite defense also had its way against Wylie East in its last outing, holding them to 264 yards and forcing three turnovers.
Both teams also have impact players on special teams and Walton had a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Wranglers two weeks ago.