MANSFIELD — Mesquite jumped out to an immediate lead and never relinquished its advantage, defeating Shoemaker 52-6 in the Class 6A, Division I playoff opener at Newsom Stadium.

Making its first playoff appearance since 2015, the Grey Wolves were overwhelmed from the onset as the Skeeters recorded 17 unanswered points to open the contest, and the Grey Wolves’ bounce-back season came to a close.

Winners of just two games during the previous three seasons, Shoemaker could not produce enough offense to overcome its slow start, finishing with just 151 total yards while committing seven turnovers, including four lost fumbles.

It took the Skeeters less than a minute to reach the end zone as Dylan Hillard-McGill scored his first of two touchdowns in the half on the second play from scrimmage, running for a 54-yard score.

The Grey Wolves then saw their first possession come to a end before crossing midfield after losing a fumble, and Mesquite added a field goal to push its lead to 10-0 with a 29-yard kick from senior Danny Castaneda.

After the teams exchanged a series of fruitless possessions, the Skeeters struck again as Hillard-McGill’s 7-yard touchdown run gave Mesquite a 17-0 advantage.

Shoemaker (7-4) got on the scoreboard with 7 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the half thanks to a 22-yard pass from Ty Bell to De’Andre Exford after Trey Dixon set up the drive with a 72-yard kickoff return.

They Grey Wolves could not maintain the momentum, though.

Mesquite (8-3) added a touchdown on Ja’Darion Smith’s 4-yard run, and the Skeeters held a 24-6 advantage at halftime as they limited Shoemaker to just 33 total yards of offense, including minus-18 rushing yards due in part to seven sacks.

Conversely, Mesquite tallied 255 total yards despite racking up 85 penalty yards.

Shoemaker turned the ball over three consecutive times to begin the third quarter, sealing its fate.

Exford led the Grey Wolves offensively, catching four passes for 51 yards and rushing twice for 15 yards, while Dashawn McCubbins caught a pass for 40 yards. Bell completed 5 of 11 passes for 89 yards.

Hillard-McGill accounted for more yards by himself than Shoemaker, carrying the ball 14 times for 171 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 4 of 9 passes for 71 yards and a score.

With the win, Mesquite advances to play Prosper in the area round after the Eagles defeated Wylie 24-0 on Friday.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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