42 years later, Mesquite-N. Mesquite a big game

The Mesquite Skeeters and North Mesquite Stallions renew their football rivalry for the 42nd time Friday night.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at 20,000-seat Mesquite Memorial Stadium. And this rivalry is a reason why Memorial Stadium was built in 1977 to hold 20,000.

Perhaps the intensity isn’t as fierce as in the days before the Mesquite ISD grew from two high schools to its current number of five, but the game remains one that both sides circle when the schedule is released each year.

North Mesquite defeated Mesquite last year, 49-11, to snap a six-year Skeeters winning streak.

The series began in 1970, a year after North Mesquite opened as the second high school in the Mesquite ISD. The Skeeters own a 21-19-1 series lead. The 1983 game ended in a scoreless tie.

North Mesquite (4-2, 0-1 in District 11-5A) comes into this year’s game with the better record. The Stallions last week built a 17-0 halftime lead on DeSoto, ranked No. 3 in ESPNDallas.com Class 5A Top 10, but fell victim to an Eagles comeback, 28-17.

The Stallions like to grind it out with senior Anthony Sims leading an able group of ball carriers with 631 yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback King Davis has thrown for 534 yards and six touchdowns.

Mesquite (3-3, 0-1) was beaten handily in its 11-5A opener by Longview, 54-21.

Skeeters quarterback Alex Cooper, a junior, has thrown for 931 yards and 11 touchdowns. Another 11th grader, Junior Sessions, is Mesquite’s top rusher with 631 yards and top scorer with 66 points.

Last year’s win by the Stallions continued a trend of lopsided scores in the rivalry game. The average victory margin the last five years is 28 points. The only one-score game in that stretch was Mesquite’s 28-21 victory in 2007.