[By Larry Krantz, Special to ETSN.fm]

JACKSONVILLE -- Geovari McCollister ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another touchdown as the John Tyler Lions held off the Jacksonville Indians, 43-30 Friday night in District 16-4A action at the Tomato Bowl.

The win clinched a playoff berth for the Lions (6-2 overall, 3-0 in district), while the Indians fell to 0-8.

Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown throws downfield against John Tyler on Friday. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)

The Lions finally broke away from Jacksonville in the fourth quarter after kick returner Jeremy Wilson returned a kickoff 70 yards to the Jacksonville 30, and McCollister capped a six-play scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Bendy.

John Tyler running back Reggie Gipson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns but was injured late in the third quarter and did not return.

Jacksonville receiver Claude Franklin caught a pair of touchdown passes as part of a six-catch, 100-yard night. The senior also returned a squib kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown, which cut the John Tyler lead to 21-17 with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

Gipson put the Lions back into scoring position moments later with a 50-yard run, setting up McCollister’s 1-yard touchdown run at the end of a six-play drive.

Indians quarterback Carter McCown completed 22 of 41 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns, but added two interceptions.

Running back Datavion Thacker caught McCown’s other touchdowon, a 29-yarder that cut the John Tyler lead to five with 6:30 remaining in the game.

Down 13 with the clock ticking down, the Indians drove 68 yards in 10 plays but Lions defensive back Terry Ausborne intercepted a McCown pass in the end zone intended for Tony Lane, then took a knee for a touchback.

Jacksonville kicker Ryan Travis booted five touchbacks and kicked a 23-yard field goal.

In spite of the winless record, the Indians can still make the playoffs by winning their remaining games at Lindale next week and at home against Corsicana in the regular-season finale.

John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister (3) hands off to running back Reggie Gipson on Friday night against Jacksonville. (Mike Davis, ETSN.fm)