Geovari McCollister + Opportunistic Defense Ignite John Tyler’s 44-0 Rout of Rival Tyler Lee [VIDEO]
TYLER -- The John Tyler Lions weren't quite ready to hand over the title of "Rose City's best" to crosstown rival Tyler Lee.
Quarterback Geovari McCollister accounted for 329 yards of offense and four touchdowns and John Tyler took advantage of five first-half miscues in a 44-0 rout of the Red Raiders in front of a capacity crowd at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday night.
John Tyler's margin of victory was its largest over the Red Raiders since 1996's 55-7 win, and was the third time in four seasons the Lions (2-1) recorded a shut out of Lee (2-1), which was shooting for its first 3-0 start since 2003.
McCollister completed 16-of-22 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 100 yards and two more scores, the last on a 84-yard run down the far sideline in the fourth quarter that served as the exclamation point for JT's emphatic victory.
"Our main focus at practice and coming into every game is start fast," McCollister said. "We know if we start fast and jump on people, it'll be hard for them to catch up."
Lee, which opened the season with impressive wins over Sulphur Springs and Lufkin, hurt its cause by losing three fumbles, throwing an interception and failing to recover a pooch-kickoff in the first half as John Tyler raced to 31-0 halftime lead.
"We created the perfect storm, and we couldn't get that ship turned and get out of it," said Lee coach Darrell Piske. "Every time we'd get some momentum we'd turn the football over. You give a good team like that momentum and they take advantage of it. You can't overcome that mentally."
Two weeks after a season-opening 52-28 loss to Lufkin, in which the Lions allowed 16 sacks, two safeties and 21 plays for negative yardage, John Tyler played turnover-free and controlled the line of scrimmage.
"Not mistake-free, they're still not up to my standards but I tell you what, we're getting pretty close," said John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes.
Lee, which averaged 566 yards through two games, was limited to 216 yards and seven first downs by an aggressive Lions defense. Junior defensive end Darius Amie led the charge with three sacks, two more tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
"I gave Amie a challenge at the beginning of the year," Holmes said. "I told him he's going to be able to accomplish everything he needs to accomplish if he continues to give effort all the time ... tonight he had a fire up under him. He understands what he needs to do to be the player that we need him to be."
Lee sophomore quarterback Zach Hall was held in check all night. Hall, who went over 100 rushing yards in each of his first two starts, finished with just 66 on 16 attempts and completed only 3-of-7 passes for nine yards and an interception after passing for more than 400 yards the first two weeks.
"When you've got sophomores back there wheeling and dealing there's going to be growing pains," Piske said. "We can't panic, the kids will rise up and we'll be fine. Really it was good; we needed to be humbled."
Lee's opening drive of the night showed promise. Following Marquian Jones' 36-yard kickoff return, Hall rushed for 21 yards to the JT 27 on the Red Raiders' first play from scrimmage. But on fourth-and-7, Hall came up a yard short on the scramble, turning the ball over on downs.
It took John Tyler three plays to take lead when Jeremy Wilson sprinted around the right side for a 54-yard touchdown, putting JT up 7-0 with 9:00 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Amie recovered running back Tavon Wesley's fumble on Lee's ensuing drive, but JT came away empty-handed when Desmond Dunn blocked Jose Perez's 43-yard field goal attempt. Lee's next drive stalled, and Perez atoned with a 22-yarder to give JT a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Lee fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, giving JT the ball at the Red Raiders' 33. On third-and-18, McCollister connected with Reggie Gipson for a 28-yard score and 17-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter.
The Red Raiders moved the ball into JT territory on the their next possession, but Hall was hit and had the ball jarred loose, giving the ball back to the Lions. JT couldn't take advantage, but after a punt pinned Lee back to inside its own 10, senior safety Greg Johnson intercepted Hall and returned the ball 14 yards to the Lee 13. McCollister's 12-yard run three plays later gave the Lions a commanding 24-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Lee when no one on the return team fielded JT's pooch kick. The Lions took advantage on McCollister's 15-yard touchdown pass to Wilson with 1:34 remaining in the half, which widened John Tyler's lead to 31-0.
Lee was in complete disarray.
"Anytime they beat a team that we lost to, (they're) going to have that confidence coming into the game," Holmes said of Lee. "They handled Lufkin the way we probably should've handled Lufkin, but with all the (mistakes) that we had, it didn't quite go our way."
John Tyler hosts Mesquite Horn, while Tyler Lee travels to Texarkana to face Texas High next Friday.
John Tyler 44, Tyler Lee 0
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
Tyler Lee 0 0 0 0 -- 0
John Tyler 10 21 3 10 -- 44
JT--Jeremy Wilson 54 run (Jose Perez kick), 9:00.
JT--FG Perez 22, :53.
JT--Reggie Gipson 28 pass from Geovari McCollister (Perez kick), 11:22.
JT--McCollister 12 run (Perez kick), 3:46.
JT--Wilson 15 pass from McCollister (Perez kick), 1:34.
JT--FG Perez 37, 1:48.
JT--FG Perez 30, 9:43.
JT--McCollister 84 run (Perez kick), 7:55.
First Downs 7 20
Total Yards 216 442
Rushes-Yards 33-190 39-213
Passing Yards 26 229
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-13-1 16-22-0
Punts-Avg. 6-38.5 2-46.5
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 0-0
Penalties-Yards 4-35 5-35
RUSHING--Tyler Lee, Zach Hall, 16-66, Bryce Wilkerson 1-63, Trevor Carr 3-36, Tavon Wesley 7-16, Marquian Jones 4-11, Juwan Banks 1-(-1), Marquiston Williams 1-(-1). John Tyler, Geovari McCollister 13-100, Jeremy Wilson 2-57, Quaylan Brown 3-23, Dyran McDuff 6-19, Nick Cain 1-11, Reggie Gipson 11-6, Andre Crawford 1-1, Kadarius Henderson 2-(-4).
PASSING--Tyler Lee, Raleigh Poster 1-5-0--17, Hall 3-7-1--9, Carr 1-1-0--0. John Tyler, McCollister 16-22-0--229.
RECEIVING--Tyler Lee, Wilkerson 2-5, Williams 1-17, Paxton Potter 1-4, Johnathan Wheeler 1-0. John Tyler, Duntavion Gross 6-57, Gipson 4-54, Cain 3-91, Wilson 3-27.