Overlooking the Pizza Hut Park field right now, which is almost totally covered in shadows, I thought we might shed a little light on Mesquite, LH’s opponent in the North Texas Football Classic.

Anyone who remembers last year’s game will recall that Luke Halpin sliced up the LH secondary with pinpoint passing. Mesquite’s new quarterback offers a different look. Davian Harper is a taller, more athletic quarterback than Halpin. In fact, Harper was a receiver last season, but he has played quarterback at the sub-varsity level. 

Harper has been described as looking like a receiver playing quarterback, but don’t be fooled by that. Plenty of athletic quarterbacks have won lots of games operating out of the spread. Cedar Hill won a state title with William Cole, a run-first quarterback.

Harper will have a big target in receiver Tim Paris, who is 6-5 and plays center on Mesquite’s successful basketball team. The Skeeters did recently lose their expected starter at running back, Robert Marshall, who transferred to A. Maceo Smith.

Mesquite returned eight starters on offense and just two on defense, but one of the returning defenders is a top cornerback in Marshawn Grays.

Reports from Mesquite’s scrimmage with Plano last week had Plano winning, 51-17. But again, that can be deceiving with the limited preparation and liberal substituting of a scrimmage. Mesquite is an athletic, aggressive team and LH will have to be fundamentally sound and disciplined to take advantage of that aggressiveness.