The Raiders head into their regular season finale hoping to close on a high note after losing 35-14 to Paris in a non-district game. This week they travel to Highland Park Friday to face the Fighting Scots in their final district game.
Here are three keys to a Raiders victory:
- Play smart and disciplined
Wylie East turnover struggles returned against Paris. The Raiders had five fumbles in the game, with Paris recovering three of them. The passing game has also seen its turnover struggles with an interception in six of their last seven games. In order to get the win against Highland Park, the Raiders will need to avoid turnovers and limit penalties.
- Stop Brennan Storer and the Scots offense.
Highland Park operates a balanced offense that utilizes both the run and the pass. Quarterback Storer is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state and has offers from four NCAA schools. He has completed 125 of his 191 passes for 1,831 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Storer also has 212 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 63 carries.
His leading receivers include John Rutledge, who has 474 yards and seven touchdowns on 33 receptions; Jay Cox, who has 445 yards and three touchdowns on 25 catches; and Jackson Heis, who has 319 yards and five touchdowns on 15 receptions. Christian Reeves is Highland Park’s leading rusher, recording 598 yards and 10 touchdowns on 103 carries.
Wylie East’s best strategy on defense will be to account for everything. Focusing heavily on one player could lead to strong performances from other athletes.
- Run at a consistent pace.
Wylie East has succeeded when it can establish the ground game. In their win over West Mesquite, the Raiders finished with 195 rushing yards on 39 carries, averaging 5 yards per attempt. Terrell Washington Jr. was the focal point of the offense with 133 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.
Wylie East is best on offense when they can run down the field, converting long drives and keeping their defense off the field. The Raiders have a strong backfield, with Ka’Neal Reed, Christian Williams, Brandan Nurse, Tristan Lee and Charis Jackson complementing quarterbacks Washington Jr. and Jaedon Hubbard. The Raiders should establish the rushing attack early in order to set up the passing game.
For live scoring breakdowns and updates from Wylie East versus Highland Park, follow The Wylie News on twitter, @wylienews. A full recap of the game will be available in next week’s issue.
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By Jackson King * [email protected]