It may have been little more than a warm-up game for the Cardinals but they came away with the Bi-district title after a big 48-14 win over Dallas Roosevelt on Nov. 14 at Plano’s John Clark Stadium.
Melissa (9-2, 3-1) scored on its first possession and never trailed as it crushed the outnumbered and outmanned Roosevelt (2-9, 1-2) in the opening round of the UIL playoffs. The Mustangs finished fourth in their four-team district to nab a spot in the postseason.
The Cardinals advance to the next round where they will face Argyle, a team which annihilated Krum 57-12 in bi-district play. The two teams will play Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Prosper High School in the Region II Area round contest.
"I thought we played well tonight," Melissa Head Coach Seth Stinton said after the game. "We executed well, especially in the second half, and got a good bi-district win."
J.C. Cottrell helped Melissa get off to a strong start. In the first nine plays of the game, a time span of two-and-a-half minutes, he had two interceptions and scored a touchdown on a 43-yard pass from Taylor McGehee.
Melissa’s strength was its passing game which finished with 386 yards in the air compared to 100 yards on the ground, most of which were in the final minutes of the game. McGehee was 10-of-14 for 173 yards and two scores, while Tyler West was able to complete 80 percent of his passes for 200 yards and two more scores. Twelve different Cardinal receivers caught a pass in the game.
Midway through the opening quarter the Cardinals again found the end zone when a 46-yard drive was capped off with an Xavier Mason touchdown catch from West.
The Mustangs put together their only scoring drive on the ensuing possession with a three-minute, 75-yard drive that included a 47-yard Jamar Mack pass to Tarrin Mitchell on fourth-and-two. Three running plays later, Mack scored from eight yards out to bring Roosevelt within one score by the end of the first quarter.
Melissa responded, scoring 35-unanswered points in the next 25-minutes. If there was any doubt prior, it was all erased by the end of that run.
Cade Cruce scored early in the second quarter. Just before halftime, Melissa charged down the field in less than a minute with Jackson Webb catching a 4-yard pass from West to put the Cardinals up 28-8 as they went into the locker room at halftime.
The start of the second half was very similar to the start of the game. Melissa took advantage of a great return and Marcus Ellis scored on the first offensive play of the half with a 14-yard run. Two plays later, the Cardinals recovered a fumble, and on the ensuing play Mason caught his second touchdown pass of the game as McGehee found him from 26-yards out. The game was officially blown wide open.
Each team scored once in the fourth but the game was already decided as Melissa went on to get the 34-point win.
ME — J.C. Cottrell 43-yard pass from Taylor McGehee (Cade Cruce kick)
ME — Xavier Mason 7-yard pass from Tyler West (Cade Cruce kick)
DR — Jamar Mack 8-yard run (Harbor Elizalde kick)
ME — Cade Cruce 1-yard run (Cade Cruce kick)
ME — Jackson Webb 4-yard pass from Tyler West (Cade Cruce kick)
ME — Marcus Ellis 14-yard run (Cade Cruce kick)
ME — Xavier Mason 26-yard pass from Taylor McGehee (Cade Cruce kick)
ME — Byron Beard 1-yard run (kick blocked)
DR — Jamar Mack 1-yard run (Harbor Elizalde kick)
First downs 24 15
Rushes-Yds 22-101 44-150
Comp-Att-Int 28-36-1 9-21-2
Pass yards 386 140
Total yards 487 290
Punts-Avg 1-43 3-22
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 3-2
Penalties-yds 10-90 7-53
Passing – Melissa: Tyler West 17-21-200-2-1, Taylor McGehee 10-14-173-2-0, J.C. Cottrell 1-1-13-0-0; Roosevelt: Jamar Mack 9-18-140-0-2, Tarrin Mitchell 0-3-0-0-0.
Rushing – Melissa: Byron Beard 8-50, Cade Cruce 3-21, Marcus Ellis 5-19, Tyler West 2-12, CJ Tyler 2-9, J.C. Cottrell 1-(-7), Roosevelt: Tarrin Mitchell 10-61, Jamar Mack 19-47, Ronnie Johnson 10-28, Dinomcauther Thomas 3-9, Michael Thomas 2-5.
Receiving – Melissa: Jackson Webb 6-75, J.C. Cottrell 3-63, Kevyn Dietrich 2-48, Cameron Hunter 2-47, Xavier Mason 4-47, Dylan Cardwell 3-33, Marcus Ellis 2-25, Jacob McCraw 2-14, Jace Whittington 1-13, CJ Tyler 1-9, Junior Torres 1-6, Tristan Sanner 1-6; Roosevelt: Tarrin Mitchell 5-86, Dinomcauther Thomas 2-51, Hershiel Jones 1-3, Michael Thomas 1-0.