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Despite Early-Season Missteps For JT + Lee, Rose City Rivalry Filled With Intriguing Storylines

Tyler Lee OLB Deontay Walker. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

No. 7 john tyler lions (1-1)
vs.
TYLER LEE RED RAIDERS (0-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Coaches
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske

Last week
John Tyler: lost to Lancaster 26-21
Tyler Lee: lost to Lufkin 41-31

Next week
John Tyler: at Mesquite Horn
Tyler Lee: vs. Texas High

Playmakers
John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-10, 160 (26 of 50, 524 yards, 6 TDs; 38 carries, 116 yards, 1 TD; committed to Hosuton)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (7 catches, 190 yards, 4 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • WR Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 165 (8 catches, 162 yards, 1 TD)
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 205 (7 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • DB Elliott Hart, Sr., 5-11, 175 (12 tackles, 1 interception)
  • WR DeQuante Woods, Sr., 5-11, 185
  • DT Chris Mobley, Sr., 6-1, 235

Tyler Lee

  • RB LaQuintas Wallace, Sr., 5-10, 190 (41 carries, 281 yards, 5 TDs)
  • RB/WR Bryce Wilkerson, Jr., 5-7, 145 (7 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Raleigh Poster, Jr. (22 of 39, 298 yards, 1 TD)
  • OLB Deontay Walker, Sr., 5-11, 205
  • OT Zacchaeus Page, Sr., 6-4, 305
  • DE/LB Del’kei Derrett, Sr., 6-1, 240
  • K Lumi Kaba, Sr., 6-2, 180

Just the facts

  • John Tyler’s spot at No. 1 in the Class 4A rankings lasted just one week following its 26-21 loss to Lancaster last Friday. The Lions were No. 1 for the first time since 1997.
  • Greg Ward nearly engineered a second-half rally for the ages last week, but fumbled at the Lancaster 1-yard line on the final play of the game. He finished the game with 226 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
  • Fred Ross’ touchdown-reception ratio is through the roof. He has four TDs on just seven receptions.
  • Tyler Lee won only one game last season, but it was against its crosstown rival, 39-30. The Red Raiders once again come into Friday’s 57th all-time meeting as heavy underdogs.
  • LaQuintas Wallace is on pace for a monster senior season after going over 100 yards in his first two games. He’s on pace for more than 1,400 yards and 25 touchdowns during the regular season.
  • In last season’s upset win over JT, Wallace ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns to aid the Red Raiders’ 413-yard rushing attack.

John Tyler QB Greg Ward. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
Tyler Lee RB LaQuintas Wallace. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Tyler Lee offensive line vs. John Tyler defensive front. While Lee has made significant progress in the passing game compared to the last couple of seasons, the Red Raiders’ bread and butter reamins their offensive line and running game. Lee has gone over 200 yards on the ground in each of its first two games. The Lions allowed 213 rushing last week to Lancaster, which averaged more than eight yards per attempt. JT’s run defense will need to tighten up against a run-heavy Red Raiders offense.

Don’t be surprised if: John Tyler tries to send a message early after falling behind 26-7 midway through the third quarter last week. Head coach Ricklan Holmes may want to get the deep-ball connection between Ward and Ross going early to prevent a young Lee defense from gathering momentum. This game has been circled on JT’s calendar for a year. Holmes made defeating Lee a point of emphasis when JT began fall practice back in August.

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