CLASS 6A DIVISION II
Region II Semifinal

John Tyler Lions (11-1)

vs.

Klein Collins Tigers (11-1)

2 p.m. Saturday
Baylor's McLane Stadium, Waco

Coaches

  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
  • Klein Collins: Drew Svoboda

Last week

Next week

  • Winner faces either Beaumont West Brook or Houston Westfield, 6A Division II, Region II championship game

Playmakers

John Tyler

  • QB Bryson Smith, Sr., 6-0, 175 (185 of 300, 2,990 yards, 31 TDs, 8 INTs, 159 carries, 1,598 yards, 22 rushing TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR/S Damion Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195 (39 catches, 904 yards, 8 TDs; 38 tackles, 2 INTs, 6 PBUs, 1 blocked kick; committed to Texas)
  • DE DeKalen Goodson, Jr., 6-3, 215 (70 tackles, 20 for loss, 11 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 PBUs)
  • DE Howard Hawkins, Sr., 6-0, 265 (82 tackles, 20 for loss, 8 sacks, 23 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
  • LB Tre Allison, Jr., 6-2, 200 (117 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 3 INTs, 4 PBUs)
  • RB Cameron Grant, Soph., 5-9, 170 (141 carries, 850 yards, 12 TDs, 9 catches, 117 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR/CB Javontavius Mosley, Sr., 6-2, 175 (54 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 INTs, 18 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; 4 catches, 125 yards, 2 TDs; committed to UTSA)

Klein Collins

  • RB D'Anthony Doyle, Sr., 5-5, 150 (205 carries, 1,554 yards, 18 TDs)
  • QB Bryson Powers, Sr., 6-1, 195 (120 carries, 709 yards, 17 TDs, 51 of 92 passing, 763 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INT)
  • QB Brett Bridges, Sr., 6-0, 170 (49 of 70, 843 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT)
  • RB Josh Powell, Jr., 5-10, 175 (46 carries, 546 yards, 10 TDs)
  • WR Quinton Newton, Sr., 5-11, 185 (34 catches, 509 yards, 4 TDs)
  • DL Jwaun Adams, Sr., 6-2, 225 (35 tackles, 16 for loss, 6 sacks, 1 PBU)
  • DB Tate Thomlinson, Sr., 6-0, 170 (45 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 INTs, 3 PBUs)
  • LB Donavan Mutin, Jr., 6-1, 220 (64 tackles, 10 for loss, 5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 PBU)

Just the facts

  • Saturday's game will be John Tyler's second trip to Baylor's 45,140-seat McLane Stadium. The 2014 team defeated Rockwall-Heath at the venue in the third round of the Class 5A Division I state playoffs.
  • John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith needs 10 passing yards to hit the 3,000-yard mark this season.
  • Like the Lions, Klein Collins has one loss and it came by one point. Collins' loss was in overtime to defending Class 6A Division II state champion Katy.
  • Collins has held nine of its 12 opponents this season to nine points or less.
  • John Tyler has advanced beyond the third round of the playoffs the four times it has reached this level in the past six years. Collins most recently reached the third round in 2014 and lost.
  • The Lions bounced Collins from the third round of the postseason in 2009 en route to a regional championship game appearance.
  • John Tyler will travel 126 miles to Baylor's McLane Stadium. Collins, just north of Houston, has a 171-mile drive to make.
John Tyler sophomore running back Cameron Grant is 150 yards shy of 1,000 yards for the season. He won the starting job midway through the regular season.

Key matchup: John Tyler's offense versus Klein Collins' defense.

The biggest disparity between the Lions and Collins is defensive liability. Collins averages about 11.5 points against whereas the East Texas team surrenders about 22.1 points per game.

That's not great considering John Tyler's offense averages 43 points per game and Collins generally hits around 42 points per game.

Of course, there could be a difference in caliber of competition. Collins finished first with a two-game lead in an eight-team district where the four teams with winning overall records reached the playoffs and the four teams with losing record -- all with three or less wins over 10-game seasons -- missed postseason action.

Katy, the only program on the same level as John Tyler as far as being a name brand, put up 50 points on the Collins defense with the aid of overtime and won by one point.

Cedar Ridge is an emerging program in the exploding Round Rock area north of Austin. It scored 34 points on Collins and lost in overtime.

But let's just take John Tyler and Collins' head-to-head statistics at face value. A defense that absolutely shuts down weaker competition should be able to at least hold its own against a high-caliber opponent, and Collins' unit has done that when required.

The Lions are going to have to smash Collins' defensive average of 11.5 points given up before they can realistically believe they're going to get out of the third round alive. Competing against an offense scoring 42 points per game, John Tyler needs to probably break Collins' defensive average five times over to comfortably advance.

John Tyler receiver Michael Givens-Washington, a junior, is the team's second-leading receiver with 643 yards and seven scores on 42 catches,

Guys like Houston quarterback commitment Bryson Smith and Texas receiver pledge Damion Miller give some life to the idea breaking Collins' defensive average by a considerable margin can be done. Then, you throw in guys starting to get traction in the recruiting world such as sophomore running back Cameron Grant, sophomore receiver Devlen Woods and junior receiver Michael Givens-Washington.

Smith probably will be the lynchpin in whether or not the Lions overcome a strong Collins defense. In addition to 2,990 passing yards, he has 1,598 rushing yards on 159 carries. He has been capable of bailing the offense out of third-and-long consistently in past games in both the running and passing facets.

 

Don't be surprised if: You see a lot more of Damion Miller.

Teams do everything they can in the playoffs to gain leverage on their opponents. John Tyler is utilizing Miller, a Texas receiver commitment, as a safety when it feels like a defensive stop will cause its opponent to lose some grip on the game.

Collins probably will be the best team the Lions have faced all season. Expect Miller to have a more pronounced role on defense.

Quarterback Bryson Smith also have the capability to come in as a safety in a worst-case scenario.

John Tyler's Damion Miller (8) hauls in an 86-yard touchdown reception during the Lions' 50-49 bi-district playoff win over Lufkin on Nov. 11.