TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Going into the 60th meeting between John Tyler and Tyler Lee on Friday, there is more on the line than just bragging rights.
"We blew it, because of our lack of focus, thinking it's over. And so we're not going to let that happen again," said Darrell Piske, Tyler Lee's head football coach.
"Starting out 0-2 is never a good feeling. Plus we're playing our cross-town rivalry we got to bring it this week," said Bryston Gipson, John Tyler senior.
"Neither one of us have played the weak sister yet, so you play good people. There's a chance you can start out 0-2," said Piske.
The pre-season has not been kind to the Lions or Red Raiders. In fact, it's been four years since these two teams have entered a meeting between one another under the same circumstances. So while there may be a city championship on the line, the bigger picture is pulling each team together, before district starts.
"All three of our phases need to improve: special teams, offense, and defense. We have very talented kids, but those talents are not football players right now. This is a lot of these guys' first time playing under Friday night lights, and it's a lot different than Thursday," said Ricklan Holmes, John Tyler's head football coach.
"It's a team game and we got to keep them focused on that; they can't afford to point fingers. Hey, if you don't like how one side of the ball playing, get your butt over there and play the other side too," said Piske.
One thing is for sure, this will be a knock down-drag out. Whoever comes out on top will finally grab their first win, and the other will be seeing another notch in the loss column.
"A win would give us that little bit of encouragement, that little bit of boost. And it would let them know that we are doing things the right way," said Holmes.
"They just got to take it in a progression and play one game at a time. But this week is the city championship, and we want to win it," said Piske.