WHITEHOUSE -- The John Tyler Lions had two weeks to reflect on the loss that knocked them from the state's No. 1 ranking. They came to Whitehouse on Friday night looking to make a statement in the District 16-5A opener.

Mission accomplished.

John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister accounted for 368 total yards of offense and six touchdowns, leading the seventh-ranked Lions to a dominating 52-17 defeat of previously-unbeaten Whitehouse in the ETSN.fm/Dairy Queen Game of the Week in front of a packed house at Wildcat Stadium.

"We had a week off, so we had a lot of time to look at our mistakes and try to correct them," said McCollister. "And tonight, we didn't play our best game, but we didn't play bad either."

John Tyler's Duntayviun Gross (19) looks for room to run after a reception during the Lions' 52-17 win at Whitehouse on Friday night. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)

The John Tyler quarterback completed 14 of 20 passes for 295 yards and five touchdowns -- all in the first half. He also rushed for a team-high 73 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

The win helped the Lions (3-1, 1-0) avenge a 55-54 loss to Whitehouse in the regular-season finale a season ago, which decided the district championship in the Wildcats' favor.

"Last year we were hanging our heads walking off the field crying," McCollister said. "This year, we're happy about it but we've got to get back to work."

A ferocious John Tyler defense grounded a normally potent Whitehouse (3-1, 0-1) offensive attack, holding the Wildcats to a season-low in points and total yards (342). John Tyler also forced four turnovers, including three interceptions -- two by safety Jordan Owens and the other from senior cornerback Isaac Warren.

"They can be as good as they want to be," John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes said of his defense. "(Defensive coordinator) Barry Anderson is doing a great job with those kids, putting a simple game plan together with them. They can use their talents, which is their speed and tenacity, to get to the ball. The game plan that he's coming up with week-in and week-out has put us in position to win four football games."

John Tyler's offense was in control from the very start with 24 first-quarter points. The Lions scored on their first four possessions, and got points on six of their eight first-half drives, building a commanding 38-10 halftime lead.

Whitehouse's Vincent Dunning rushes for a big gain during the Wildcats' 52-17 loss to John Tyler on Friday night in Whitehouse. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)

"We started off fast and finished strong, that's our motto for the whole team," Holmes said. "The offense did that from the kickoff to the end of the game. They understand that we've got the guys out there that can do the damage that needs to be done to put points on the board and to control the clock."

It was a rough night for the Whitehouse offense, with the exception of senior running back Vincent Dunning, who rushed for a game-high 135 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Wildcats quarterback Jackson Allen was just 12 of 34 passing for 147 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. He entered Friday night's game averaging more than 300 yards per game.

"We were being put under pressure that, honestly, these guys haven't been put in before," said Whitehouse coach Adam Cook. "Hopefully, we can learn from this. What I feel like it is, honestly, is we tried to do too much. I felt like Jackson was trying to do some things that really he hasn't been coached to do. If he had gone through his progressions, there were some things I think he would've seen."

Whitehouse took its only lead of the night when the Wildcats traveled 75 yards in six plays on their opening possession. Dunning's 12-yard touchdown run gave Whitehouse a 7-3 lead with 8:56 remaining in the opening quarter.

It was all John Tyler after that.

The Lions recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and regained the lead at 10-7 when McCollister hooked up with Jeremy Wilson for a 22-yard touchdown -- the first of his five first-half scoring tosses.

Whitehouse was forced into a three-and-out, and as the punter dropped down to field a low snap, the official ruled that his knee hit the ground while in possession of the ball. That gave John Tyler the ball at the Wildcats' 13, and on second down, McCollister completed a fade route to Rodney Bendy for an 11-yard touchdown that gave John Tyler a 17-7 lead.

John Tyler's Nick Cain crosses the goal line for a touchdown reception during the Lions' 52-17 win at Whitehouse on Friday night. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)

John Tyler extended its lead to 24-7 on its next possession when McCollister scrambled out of the pocket and hit a wide-open Bryson Smith, who went untouched for a 57-yard touchdown with 2:33 remaining in the opening quarter.

McCollister's 22-yard touchdown pass to Nick Cain, and his 19-yarder to Duntayviun Gross pushed the Lions' halftime lead to 38-10.

"It was very important to us because we know that if we jump on people early, and then we finish the game, nobody can play with us," McCollister said. "If we jump on you early and you give us that confidence where we keep rolling throughout the whole game, I believe that we can beat anybody in the state of Texas."

McCollister's 5-yard touchdown run on John Tyler's initial drive of the third quarter extended the lead to 45-10. Wilson, who finished with 61 rushing yards on nine carries, ran for a 2-yard touchdown later in the third. The Lions' starters took the entire fourth quarter off.

"We got back to John Tyler football," Holmes said. "In the first two games, we progressively got better. I think we kinda forgot the things that we had been doing to win those first two games. We slacked off, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We got back to what we do, understanding that what we're doing is the reason why we're successful."

The season continues for both teams next Friday night. Whitehouse travels to Lufkin (2-2, 0-1), while John Tyler plays host to Lindale (1-3, 0-1).

John Tyler's Isaac Warren pulls down an interception in front of Whitehouse's Trent Williams during their game Friday night in Whitehouse. (Jim Jackson, ETSN.fm)

No. 7 John Tyler 52, Whitehouse 17

At Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse

John Tyler                 24    14    14     0    --    52
Whitehouse                 7      3      7     0    --    17

First Quarter
JT--FG Luis Duran 43, 10:16.
WHI--Vincent Dunning 12 run (Colby Crim kick), 8:56.
JT--Jeremy Wilson 22 pass from Geovari McCollister (Duran kick), 7:54.
JT--Rodney Bendy 11 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 6:14.
JT--Bryson Smith 57 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 2:33.
Second Quarter
WHI--FG Crim 27, 9:14.
JT--Nick Cain 22 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 4:00.
JT--Duntayviun Gross 19 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), :48.
Third Quarter
JT--McCollister 5 run (Duran kick), 10:16.
WHI--Trent Williams 18 pass from Jackson Allen (Crim kick), 2:42.
JT--Wilson 2 run (Duran kick), 2:14.

                                                   JT                      WHI
First Downs                                 23                         18
Total Yards                                503                       342
Rushes-Yards                       39-195                 38-195
Passing Yards                            308                      147
Comp.-Att.-Int.                    17-24-1               12-34-3
Punts-Avg.                             5-34.4                 5-33.0
Fumbles-Lost                              2-0                      2-1
Penalties-Yards                         7-61                    2-20

RUSHING--John Tyler, Geovari McCollister 13-73, Jeremy Wilson 9-61, Dejuan Beal 9-40, Bryson Smith 5-18, Pierre Leonard 1-2, Quaylan Brown 2-1. Whitehouse, Vincent Dunning 19-135, Jackson Allen 6-41, Shemar Smith 7-17, Dominique Hollie 4-11, Keatlon Coffer 1-3, Team 1-(-12).
PASSING--John Tyler, McCollister 14-20-0--295, Smith 3-4-1--13. Whitehouse, Allen 12-34-3--147.
RECEIVING--John Tyler, Duntayviun Gross 4-36, Wilson 4-36, Cordarion Johnson 3-13, Nick Cain 2-54, Brown 1-68, Smith 1-57, Tommy Dyer 1-33, Rodney Bendy 1-11. Whitehouse, Shemar Smith 3-13, Trent Williams 2-53, Eric Munoz 2-46, Drew Smith 2-22, Dunning 1-7, Zach Parker 1-4, Isiah Clark 1-2.