Mesquite-North Mesquite rivalry turns 41

The landscape has changed since 1970 when Mesquite and North Mesquite first met on the football field.

But the addition of three more high schools over the years hasn’t watered down the 41-year-old rivalry between the Mesquite ISD’s two original high schools.

The Skeeters of Mesquite (1-5, 0-1 District 11-5A) will clash with the Stallions of North Mesquite (3-3, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the 20,000-seat Mesquite Memorial Stadium, built specifically over three decades ago with this rivalry in mind.

North Mesquite holds a 21-18 edge in the series. There has been one tie.

Mesquite has beaten the Stallions for six straight years and could set a series record with a victory on Friday.

History indicates the game’s outcome often has little to do with how the teams play the other nine weeks of the season. Last season, Mesquite’s 31-6 win over the Stallions was the only bright spot in a 1-9 season. North Mesquite finished 4-6 yet lost bragging rights.

Look for contrasting styles in this year’s game, Mesquite by air and North Mesquite plowing ahead with runs.

Senior quarterback Jake Lanford threw for 303 yards in Mesquite’s 35-21 loss at Longview last week. His favorite target is junior Kavaski Ervin with 22 catches for 232 yards.

North Mesquite favors the ground attack featuring University of Texas pledge Joe Bergeron. The senior has rushed for 963 yards and eight touchdowns.

Playoff chances will diminish for the losing team in a district that includes DeSoto and Mesquite Horn in addition to Longview.