By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Same song, second verse.
That’s kind of the story for the Greenville Lions as they play their second straight District 13-4A football game at home on Friday night against a team from Wylie.
The 0-6 Lions, who lost 58-10 to the Wylie Pirates last Friday, will entertain the 3-3 Wylie East Raiders at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium. Like their crosstown rivals, the Raiders can move the football and score some points.
“They’re very balanced,” said Lions coach Marvin Sedberry. “They can throw it and they can run it.”
Wylie East is averaging 407 yards of total offense per game, including 208 passing and 199 rushing and is scoring at a 26.8-point clip.
Wylie East’s senior quarterback Garrett McCain has completed 81 of 141 passes for 1,248 yards, 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
McCain leads the Raider rushers with 330 yards and four TDs on 69 carries. Jason Rone is next with 328 yards rushing and five TDs on 42 carries, including a 90-yard run. Kevon Mack’s rushed for another 299 yards and two scores on 93 carries.
Sophomore Jared Wyatt leads the Raider receivers with 19 catches for 459 yards and three TDs, while Braden Shewmake has caught 12 passes for 206 yards and one score.
“Their quarterback is very good,” said Sedberry, whose team lost 42-17 last year at Wylie East. “I think they’re about the same as they were last year. They just don’t have the two wide receivers and the running back. The replacements they have are not quite as good but they’re not bad.”
McCain was 14-of-18 for 248 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s game including throws of 24 and 30 yards to Quan Jones and 49 yards to Marcell Ateman. Running back Jabari Anderson rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 89 carries.
Jones signed with Baylor, Ateman signed with Oklahoma State and Anderson is now at Tarleton State.
Despite facing a team loaded with blue-chip prospects last year, the Lions hung tough with Wylie East for the first half. The Raiders needed a Hail Mary pass from McCain to Jones with one second left in the first half to take a 21-17 halftime lead. However, the Raiders outscored the Lions 21-0 in the second half to finish with 366-243 advantage in total yardage. Wylie East had been averaging 498 yards per game.
Sedberry said the Raiders have a good secondary but don’t have the big tight end-defensive end Jesse Brubaker, who is now at Tulsa.
Wylie’s Pirates controlled the football for most of the victory over the Lions, holding advantages of 27-5 in first downs and 520-175 in total yardage. Wylie quarterback Carsen Cook was 34-of-45 passing for 331 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 44 yards and another score on eight keeps.
“I still believe Wylie is the best team in the district,” said Sedberry. “As far as talent, they may have the best talent in the district.”
Greenville lost five fumbles against Wylie and muffed a couple of kickoff returns.
“We’re still making too many mistakes,” said Sedberry. “Turnovers on their end of the field.”
Matthew Riskey, in his second straight start at quarterback for the Lions, completed three of 13 passes for 53 yards and rushed for a team-high 68 yards on seven carries.
Tyler Matthews was next for the Lions with 52 yards rushing on 15 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown.
Wylie East is tied with Wylie and McKinney North for second place in the District 13-4A standings at 2-1. Denison continues to lead at 3-0. The Lions are trailing the field with their 0-3 district record.