Defense Saves the Day in John Tyler’s 20-10 Win Over Mexican-Based UANL
TYLER -- It was hardly a picturesque setting Saturday night at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium as the fourth-ranked John Tyler Lions played host to the Mexican-based Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Tigres.
But at the end of a soggy night, the Lions came away with a 20-10 victory in their final tuneup before beginning district play in two weeks. The game was played under a torrential downpour of rain, which made for mistake-prone football.
The two teams combined for more defensive touchdowns than offensive, and turned the ball over a total of five times.
John Tyler (4-1) captured its third consecutive win despite managing just five first downs and 178 yards of offense. UNAL (1-4), playing its last five games in the U.S., picked up 166 yards but committed three costly second-half turnovers.
JT senior defensive end Tyus Bowser swung the momentum his team's way by returning a Tigres fumble 39 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 17-10 late in the third quarter.
With time winding down in the fourth quarter, UANL drove deep into JT territory in hopes of tying the game when Lions senior defensive back Elliot Hart intercepted a pass from UANL quarterback Jorge Chavez at his own 14-yard line with 3:47 remaining.
That marked the end of the longest drive for either team on the night. The Tigres ran 17 plays for 58 yards, chewing more than seven minutes off the clock.
A 33-yard by DeQuante Woods and a 24-yard pass play from Greg Ward to Fred Ross set up Porfirio Benitez's 22-yard field goal that effectively put the game away with JT up 20-10 and just 1:12 left.
It was a struggle all night for the JT offense. The Lions only two first downs of the second half occurred on their final drive.
John Tyler, which led 10-2 at halftime, fumbled on its first two drives of the second half. Reggie Gipson's fumble on JT's second play of the half was returned 18 yards for a touchdown by Tigres linebacker Antonio Ovalle. Americo Gonzalez's run for the two-point conversion tied the game, 10-10, just nine seconds into the third quarter.
Dyran McDuff fumbled at his own 26 on JT's ensuing drive, but the Lions defense came up with a fourth-down stand inside their own 10.
Later in the third quarter, UANL drove the ball deep in Lions territory before Sergio Enrique Barbosa lost a fumble inside the JT 15.
When the game began, it seemed the Tigres defense would be in for a long night.
John Tyler took its first possession of the game inside the UANL 20, but had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Benitez and a 3-0 lead.
On the Lions' next drive, Ward hooked up with Darion Flowers for a 66-yard touchdown that gave JT a 10-0 advantage with 3:37 remaining in the opening quarter.
That long scoring play would be the Lions' last first down until late in the fourth quarter.
John Tyler is off next week before opening its District 16-4A schedule at Corsicana on Oct. 12.
No. 4 John Tyler 20, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon 10
At TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
UANL 0 2 8 0 -- 10
John Tyler 10 0 7 3 -- 20
JT--FG Porfirio Benitez 35, 6:36.
JT--Darion Flowers 66 pass from Greg Ward (Benitez kick), 3:37.
UANL--Safety, JT punter tackled in end zone, 7:42.
UANL--Antonio Ovalle 18 fumble return (Americo Gonzalez run), 11:51.
JT--Tyus Bowser 39 fumble return (Benitez kick), 2:46.
JT--FG Benitez 22, 1:12.
First Downs 10 5
Rushes-Yards 52-166 27-63
Passing Yards 0 115
Comp.-Att.-Int. 0-6-1 5-13-0
Punts-Avg. 7-30.7 6-35.2
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-2
Penalties-Yards 1-5 7-60
RUSHING--UANL, Sergio Enrique Barbosa 22-60, Francisco Alfonso Gonzalez 8-57, Americo Gonzalez 12-36, Manuel Alejandro Torres 7-25, Fernando Isaias Gamez 1-1, Jorge Chaves 2-(-13). John Tyler, DeQuante Woods 13-61, Reggie Gipson 4-8, Rodrick Smith 1-6, Fred Ross 1-4, Dyran McDuff 1-(-3), Greg Ward 7-(-13).
PASSING--UANL, Chavez 0-4-1--0, F. Gonzalez 0-2-0--0. John Tyler, Ward 5-12-0--115, Tyus Bowser 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING--John Tyler, Darion Flowers 2-71, Ross 2-40, Justice Liggins 1-4.