John Tyler’s Offense Has Strong Showing Against Jacksonville In 57-21 Win
TYLER -- John Tyler clinched at least a share of the District 16-5A crown Saturday as part of a 57-21 win against Jacksonville at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
More importantly, it secured the top Division I playoff berth from the league and will face the weaker of two Division I teams from the adjacent District 15-5A in two week's time.
The Lions (5-3, 5-0) broke through against the Indians (2-6, 1-4) for easily the team's most diverse scoresheet of the year. Eight different offensive players found the end zone in victory.
John Tyler's pass defense also came to play. The unit held Jacksonville to one completed pass for four yards while recording two interceptions as part of three total turnovers.
And, as a team, the Lions committed just three penalties through the game.
Jacksonville junior quarterback Cameron High still had a strong solo performance despite the loss and trouble throwing the ball. He ran 27 times for 164 yards, scoring all three of the Indians' touchdowns on the ground.
John Tyler held a commanding 27-7 lead at halftime and, after Jacksonville clawed back to within 13 points, put up 27 straight points in about a five-minute stretch from the final 40 seconds of the third quarter through the seven-minute mark of the fourth period.
In typical fashion, Lions quarterback Bryson Smith played a central role through the air and also on the ground. He threw two touchdown passes, one to junior Texas commitment Damion Miller and one to Joshua Parker, while also scoring on a short run.
But Smith was just one of many ball carriers in the game. Running back Dejuan Beal actually outgained the dual-threat signal caller by four yards for a team-best 51 rushing yards in addition to his own touchdown.
Pierre Leonard, primarily a defensive tackle, got two carries and punched one in for an early 7-0 lead after Devan Salazar's extra point kick.
James Allen, Michael Givens-Washington and receiver Duntayviun Gross also ran for one touchdown apiece. Gross' score came on a fumble recovery after a completed pass.
The victory allowed John Tyler to control its own fate in the district championship race into the final week of the regular season, ahead of a game against a Nacogdoches team that might be peaking at the right time.
The Lions will visit Nacagodches at 7:30 p.m. Friday. A win allows the team to cap its district season a perfect 7-0 after starting the year 0-3 in non-district play.
Nacogdoches, which has won its past three games, needs to defeat John Tyler and for Ennis to beat Corsicana to punch its own ticket into the playoffs.
If Nacogodches and Corsicana both lose their respective contests, it could open the door for Lindale to sneak into the postseason with a win against Whitehouse. It would just depend on point differential.
Jacksonville will finish its 2015 season Friday at home against Lufkin.