Jacksonville Indians (3-4, 1-1)
vs.
No. 3 John Tyler Lions (6-1, 2-0)

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

Coaches
Jacksonville: Chris Taber
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

Last week
Jacksonville: lost to Whitehouse, 42-35 (OT)
John Tyler: def. Lindale, 35-0

Next week
Jacksonville: vs. Lindale
John Tyler: at Nacogdoches

Playmakers
Jacksonville

  • QB Carter McCown, Soph., 6-2, 165 (66 of 119, 972 yards, 11 TDs, 7 INTs)
  • WR/DB Darrell Minifee, Sr., 5-11, 160 (43 catches, 521 yards, 4 TDs; 5 INTs)
  • WR/DB Dadrian Franklin, Sr., 6-1, 180 (26 catches, 503 yards, 4 TDs; 2 INTs)
  • RB Shakil Mosely, Sr., 5-9, 180 (43 carries, 205 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB Stacey Cummings, Jr., 5-10, 170 (32 carries, 152 yards, 2 TDs)
  • ATH LaDarius Session, Sr., 6-1, 190 (14 carries, 95 yards last week vs. Whitehouse)

John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-10, 160 (110 of 156, 1,627 yards, 18 TDs, 0 INTs; 82 carries, 279 yards, 4 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • ATH DeQuante Woods, Sr., 5-11, 185 (43 carries, 236 yards, 5 TDs; 9 catches, 61 yards; 28 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (32 carries, 598 yards, 8 TDs; 16 carries, 109 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 230 (30 tackles, 2 sacks)
  • WR Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 180 (28 carries, 446 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Justice Liggins, Sr., 6-1, 190 (24 catches, 250 yards, 3 TDs)

Just the facts

  • This is only the fifth all-time meeting between Jacksonville and John Tyler. The Lions hold a 4-0 advantage, earning wins in 1994 and 1995 and 2010 and 2011.
  • Jacksonville sophomore QB Carter McCown is making his third straight start since missing four weeks with a broken collarbone in the season-opener. The Indians average 34.7 points per game with McCown in the lineup and 26.5 without.
  • For the season, the Indians average 30 points per game on offense. The defense gives up an average of 30.8.
  • John Tyler brings a 17-game district winning streak into Friday night's game. The last league loss for the Lions was a 28-17 defeat against Tyler Lee in 2009.
  • Lions star senior QB Greg Ward is beginning to catch fire. In his last two games, Ward is 51 of 58 (88 percent) for 627 yards and six touchdowns.
  • JT is averaging 32.9 points per game offensively, while the defense gives up 14.4, which includes two shutouts.
Jacksonville WR/DB Darrell Minifee. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)
John Tyler WR Justice Liggins. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: John Tyler passing game vs. Jacksonville secondary. It's strength vs. strength when Ward and his dynamic receiving corps go up against the Indians' star-studded defensive backfield. Darrell Minifee has five interceptions on the year to lead the secondary, which also boasts of playmakers like Londedric Taylor and Dadrian Franklin. In last week's overtime loss to Whitehouse, Jacksonville limited Wildcats QB Patrick Mahomes to just 14 completions in 34 attempts and came away with an interception. The Indians will have to come up with another defensive gem in order to hang with JT, which has one of the most efficient passing games in the area. Ward has yet to throw an interception in 156 attempts. If Jacksonville is unable to get solid pressure on Ward or allows the Lions' receivers to run free, it will be difficult for Jacksonville to stay in it.

Don't be surprised if: Jacksonville is able to stay with the Lions early on. If McCown can rid of the ball quickly to his speedy receivers on the edge, that might negate any disruption JT's pass rush might create. But in the end, expect John Tyler to lean on its running game, which has improved each week it seems. The Lions only average 141 rushing yards per game, but in their district games JT has averaged 201 per game on the ground.