Brawl Breaks Out in John Tyler’s Dominating 77-20 First-Round Win Over Waxahachie
GARLAND — The mood after No. 2 John Tyler’s 77-20 Class 4A Division I bi-district win over Waxahachie on Friday night was anything but positive, thanks to a third-quarter brawl that overshadowed a dominating performance.
Both of John Tyler’s safeties and Waxahachie’s starting running back were ejected in the third quarter after a fight broke out on the Indians’ sideline of Homer B. Johnson Stadium. Dozens of Waxahachie players bombarded three JT defenders while scores of Waxahachie fans ran up to the railing and referees and coaches worked to separate the players.
The game was already in hand at that point, but the mood immediately shifted and stayed that way on the JT sideline.
“It shows that everyone is going to come for you. You’ve got a big target on your back, so teams are going to come at you,” JT coach Ricklan Holmes said after the game. “But our reaction we had was completely unacceptable. That will never happen again.”
JT’s starting safeties Terry Ausborne and Elliot Hart were ejected, leaving their status in the Lions’ area-round matchup with Wylie next Friday night up in the air. Holmes said footage of the brawl would be reviewed before the decision is made whether Ausborne and Hart are allowed to play next week.
That game is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at E.H. Hanby Stadium in Mesquite.
Running back Treyvon Hughes, who rushed for 195 yards for Waxahachie, was ejected, as well.
Holmes declined to comment on the decision to eject more JT players than Waxahachie, with the brawl starting on the Indians’ sideline and multiple Waxahachie players seen throwing punches.
“That’s a judgment call the refs made, and I don’t make those,” Holmes said. “We should have just responded smarter.”
Brawl aside, John Tyler (10-1) turned in its most dominating performance of the season, posting more than 700 yards of offense and forcing five turnovers on defense. The Lions outscored Waxahachie (6-5) 42-0 in the second half after taking a 35-20 lead at the break.
Quarterback Greg Ward threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns, and DeQuante Woods and Reggie Gipson each scored twice on the ground in a dazzling offensive performance.
Ward also ran for a touchdown for JT, which erupted for four rushing touchdowns in the second half after not doing much on the ground in the first.
Not to be outdone, the Lions defense picked off Waxahachie quarterback Jake Villareal three times and recovered two fumbles. Jaylon Reese returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown with 59 seconds left in the game to put 77 on the board for JT.
“It lets everyone know that we are for real,” Holmes said. “Our offense is potent and our defense is strong. That’s John Tyler football.”
Ward, who pushed his touchdown pass total to 33 on the season and has yet to throw an interception, hit Oklahoma State commit Fred Ross for touchdowns of 87 and 33 yards just 2:05 in the second quarter to put JT up 35-13.
Ward, a Houston commit, completed 18 of 25 passes and only needed to throw eight times in the second half. His 49-yard touchdown run 91 seconds into the second half started the onslaught of 42 consecutive points by Cujo.
Ross finished with six catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while Darion Flowers (five catches, 96 yards) and Justice Liggins (four catches, 47 yards) also caught touchdown passes from Ward.
DeQuante Woods, who scored two first-half touchdowns on the ground, rushed for 150 yards on just seven carries for JT. He was brought down a foot from the goal line on a 75-yard run in the second half.
JT’s defense only allowed 182 total yards by Waxahachie in the second half after allowing 304 in the first. Before his ejection, Hughes rushed for 195 yards on 20 carries, showcasing his speed and ability to get to the outside of the JT defense. He did catch a 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter to cut JT’s lead to 21-13.
Villareal threw three first-half touchdowns, two of which went to Quinn Sargent, who finished with 143 yards receiving on six catches.
But, JT picked off Villreal three times, all deep in Lions territory to end potential scoring drives for Waxahachie, one of which was returned by Ausborne for a touchdown. The Lions defensive line frustrated Villareal all second half — the senior quarterback completed just 2 of 8 passes in the third and fourth quarters.
“We live and die by making those kind of plays on defense. We have to take care of the little things and focus on making stops when it matters most,” Holmes said.