John Tyler Looks to Keep It Rolling Against Class 5A-Mesquite Horn
Mesquite Horn Jaguars (3-0)
John Tyler Lions (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Mesquite Horn: Mike Overton
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Mesquite Horn: won 45-33 vs. Duncanville
- John Tyler: won 44-0 vs. Tyler Lee
- Mesquite Horn: vs. Tyler Lee
- John Tyler: vs. Nuevo Leon, Mexico (Sept. 26)
- QB Destri White, Sr., 6-0, 195 (committed to Rice; 46-of-76, 734 yards, 8 TD, 3 INT; 34 carries, 162 yards)
- WR Jarrison Stewart, Jr., 5-11, 180 (17 catches, 309 yards, 2 TD)
- WR Del'Michael High, Sr., 6-2, 180 (12 catches, 181 yards, 4 TD)
- RB Justyn Oliphant, Sr., 5-9, 170 (38 carries, 190 yards, 5 TD; 3 catches, 56 yards)
- DB Darreon Jackson, Jr., 5-11, 170 (26 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 pass break-up, 4 QB pressures)
- LB Jordon Harold, Sr., 6-1, 205 (30 tackles, 2 QB pressures)
- OL Jonathan Alvarez, Sr., 6-3, 305 (committed to Oklahoma)
- DL Andrew Morris, Sr., 6-2, 290 (committed to Baylor; 19 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures)
- OL Conner Dyer, Jr., 6-5, 280
- DB Nehemiah Wagner, Sr., 6-0, 170 (8 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 pass break-ups)
- DB Terry Ausborne, Sr., 5-11, 170 (29 tackles)
- DB Isaac Warren, Jr., 6-1, 180 (1 INT)
- DB Greg Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 170 (1 INT)
- QB Geovari McCollister, Jr., 6-2, 200 (58-of-83, 856 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT; 51 carries, 108 yards, 2 TD)
- RB Reggie Gipson, Sr., 5-10, 175 (33 carries, 87 yards, 4 TD; 13 catches, 274 yards, 3 TD)
- WR Nick Cain, Jr., 5-10, 165 (15 catches, 248 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Duntavion Gross, Soph., 5-10, 175 (18 catches, 189 yards)
- DL Darius Amie, Sr., 6-1, 205 (11 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery vs. Tyler Lee)
- DL Braylon Jones, Soph., 6-3, 250 (18 tackles, 4 for loss)
- ATH Jeremy Wilson, Jr., 5-8, 160 (4 carries, 144 yards, 2 TD; 8 catches 100 yards, 1 TD)
Just the facts
- Mesquite Horn has made the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, compiling a 31-28 record from 2008-12.
- Horn and John Tyler have met six times with the Lions holding a 4-2 lead in the series. The two teams shared the same district from 2004-09.
- Jaguars junior offensive lineman Conner Dyer has FBS offers from Arizona State, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, according to 247sports.com.
- Horn is averaging 410 yards and 45 points per game on the season.
- John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister has thrown for 856 yards through three games. Last season's QB Greg Ward had 653 in his first three games of 2012.
- The Lions are averaging less than three yards per carry as a team. Their top two rushers -- Jeremy Wilson and McCollister -- are non-running backs.
- John Tyler kicker Jose Perez has made seven field goals on the year. The Lions made eight field goals all of 2012.
- The Lions have committed just one turnover on the season -- a McCollister interception in the first half of JT's season-opening loss at Lufkin.
Key matchup: Mesquite Horn passing game vs. John Tyler secondary. It's strength vs. strength when Jaguars quarterback Destri White and his fleet of receivers match up with John Tyler's athletic and physical secondary. White, who passed for almost 2,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2012, is off to a strong start this season. His 348-yard performance in the season opener vs. McKinney Boyd and 291-yard effort last week against Duncanville were both more than any single-game yardage total he had in 2012. His eight touchdown passes have gone to four different receivers, but his two main targets are Jarrison Stewart and Del'Michael High, who have combined on 29 catches for 490 yards and six touchdowns. Horn has balanced its explosive passing attack with a solid running game that's averaging right at five yards per carry, but the it's the Jaguars' ability to spread teams out in the passing game that's become a defining feature of an offense that's averaging 45 points per game in 2013 after going for 39.5 a season ago.
John Tyler counters with a physical group of defensive backs led by cornerback Isaac Warren and safeties Terry Ausborne and Greg Johnson. Lions opponents have had very little success through the air in three games. Lufkin, Lancaster and Tyler Lee have combined to complete just 24 of 55 attempts (43.6 percent) for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Ausborne leads JT in tackles, while Warren and Johnson are responsible for the Lions' two interceptions. John Tyler is also allowing just 100 rushing yards per game, so if Horn struggles to get it going through the air, it seems unlikely the Jaguars would fare any better on the ground.
Don't be surprised if: This game unveils an awful lot about both teams as they prepare to begin district play. A John Tyler win could send a strong message to teams in 16-4A that the Lions are not interested in taking a step back after massive losses to graduation. Back-to-back wins over 12-5A playoff contenders would do wonders for a young John Tyler team getting better with each passing week. If Horn is able to come out on top, it would send a similar message to the rest of its district. JT dominated a Lee team that began the year with an impressive two victories, and if Horn were able to defeat the Lions, the Jaguars will be brimming with confidence the following week in their 12-5A opener vs. Tyler Lee.