TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler Lions will go head-to-head with the Texas High Tigers for their first game of the season. The Lions will host the Tigers Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Rose Stadium.

The decision over which quarterback will carry the Lions through the rest of the season is over. Eli Sanchez, a junior, and senior Ken’yontae Pinkard will both hold the position.

According to Lions Head Coach Ricklan Holmes, Pinkard should start off tonight’s game and coaches are still figuring out how they plan to utilize both key players.

For tonight’s match-up, Holmes said their team is paying close attention to two main areas: running the ball and defense, knowing the Tiger’s strength lies in their offensive line. With tonight being a non-district game, both teams plan to utilize this game as a chance of preparation for the top tier level of play they will face with the district schedule.

“Well first of all Texas High is going to be the type of caliber team that we’re gonna see in the playoffs you know as long as we handle our business during district, and making a deep run. We’re gonna see this type of team, we’re gonna see this caliber team that is very athletic, they’re fast, fundamentally sound and well-coached.”

Ricklan Holmes, Tyler Lions Head Coach

The Tigers ended last season on a successful note with a major upset when beating Lufkin in the first round of playoffs are looking to carry on that same momentum this season. One of the main factors to the team’s success lies within their leadership.

“I feel like we really gained an identity of what it looks like to play football when everything is on the line. A lot of our leaders grew from that and knew how to carry our team through those rough times,” said Tigers Head Coach Gerry Stanford. Going into tonight’s game, Stanford is also looking forward to strong non-district match-ups.

“We really truly believe in playing a solid non-district schedule that will prepare us for our district schedules which will be tough as it is and hopefully obviously when we get to the playoffs for those tough district games it’s always good as a coach and as a team to always look back historically as to what you’ve been through to where you are.”

Gerry Stanford, Texas Tigers Head Coach

All home Tyler and Tyler Legacy home games will also be streamed LIVE on KETK.com, FOX51.com, and the free KETK mobile app.

The game will air on our sister station The Z (KTPN). It can be seen on channel 51.2 with an over the air digital antenna or Suddenlink cable channel 9 in Tyler as well as on many other cable systems throughout East Texas.