The Red Raiders left Thursday morning for the "Buckeye State" for their match up against Cincinnati Colerain.
One wave left dark and early, the second not long after daylight. Players, coaches and Red Raider fans were feeling pretty good.
"I never flew before," said defensive tackle Bryan Mills. "Going out to Ohio to beat Colerain. It's going to be great."
"As far as the state goes, I can't think of a better team to represent Texas," said TISD Superintendent David Simmons.
The 2-0 Red Raiders loaded up, Ohio bound with nothing but victory on the mind.
"Coach has told us all week we are going to play a game and win," said Quanta Dunn, "and that's what we've got in our mind to do."
It was before the sun's light even hit the school, Coach Mike Owens and a set of players and coaches got a head start on the road.
"Everything I've seen on them, they won 45 to 14 last week," Owens said of Colerain. "They're big, fast, physical. It will be real hard for us to win up there."
The match up is the second of the Raiders national games. Opening weekend they played Florida's Chaminade Madonna.
"Florida came down here and thought their football was best," said Mills. "But, we showed them and hopefully we're going to show Ohio too."
"Seeing where Lee came from 20 years ago, 30 years ago, and seeing where we are now, it's hard to imagine kids taking a trip to Ohio for a football game," said TISD School Board President and former REL football player Andy Bergfeld."
But don't be fooled. They are excited and confident, but these players said at the end of the day, despite the hype and the TV cameras, this is just another ball game.
"We approach it like we do week in and week out," Dunn said. "Go out and play great defense, execute, on the offense and hopefully come out with the win." Maya Golden reporting