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YEAR IN REVIEW No. 3: Skeeter football team puts together perfect regular season
In more than 100 years of playing football, no Mesquite team has been able to top the perfect state championship squad of 2001.
But this year's team conjured up some of that same magic and gave the Skeeter faithful plenty to cheer about during the fall by winning their first 11 games before a tough loss to eventual state champion Allen in the area finals.
Mesquite had high expectations after making it to the third round of the playoffs in 2011 with most of those players returning.
Quarterback Alex Cooper put together one of the best seasons in Mesquite ISD history, completing 73 percent of his passes for 3,243 yards and 30 touchdowns compared with only two interceptions.
Cooper had plenty of help, with running back Junior Session and a talented group of receivers led by Rashard Higgins, Jordan Bracy, Dezmon Jackson and Dameon Gamblin.
The defense was equally loaded with playmakers such as Javon Jones, Christian Williams, Joseph Holmes, Javante Wilson, Marlin Simmons, Jalen Montgomery and Charles Grant.
Mesquite started strong, posting double-digit victories over Lake Highlands, Arlington Bowie, Naaman Forest and Plano West.
The Skeeters continued their dominating play against 12-5A competition.
Mesquite exorcised some demons in a 33-7 win over Longview and then outscored Horn in a 56-42 shootout to take control of the district race.
There was no let up down the stretch, as the Skeeters outscored their opponents by a combined total of 162-43 to wrap up the 12-5A crown and its second unblemished regular season in school history.
Mesquite started the playoffs strong, as Cooper threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns, Tyson Reed had a 96-yard scoring run, Roderick McGruder returned a kick for a score and the defense dominated through three quarters in a 50-28 win over Sachse.
The next match-up against Allen was probably more suited for a state title game rather than an area final, with two of the year's top teams.
Mesquite struck first and the teams were tied at 21-21 at halftime. But the Eagles were able to grab the upper hand in the third quarter and were able to hold on until the end for a 42-28 win.