[By Josh Richert, Special to ETSN.fm]

LONGVIEW -- Trailing for nearly the entire first half, John Tyler got back on track and avoided an upset against Texas High in their Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff game Friday night at Lobo Stadium.

The ninth-ranked Lions (9-2) scored 34 points in the third quarter to pull away from the Tigers (7-4) and cruised to a 58-23 win. John Tyler moved on to the area round to play Mansfield Summit (7-4), which eliminated Dallas Spruce, 56-15, Thursday.

Texas High's J'Kardi Witcher tries to evade the pursuit of John Tyler's Bryston Gipson during their Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in Longview. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)

Geovari McCollister threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lions, and Jeremy Wilson had a long scoring run and a long TD reception. Wilson finished with 189 yards rushing on 20 carries and his 57-yard TD catch.

McCollister started the second half with a 2-yard touchdown run, and Wilson broke off a 77-yard jaunt on the next possession in the third quarter. Duntayviun Gross got in on the scoring with a 51-yard grab from McCollister with 5:27 left in the third, and Isaac Warren blocked a punt and returned the ball 45 yards for a TD. The final Lion score of the period came when Jordan Owens, who had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, picked off a pass and brought it back 41 yards.

After Cade Pearson and Javon Thomas hooked up for a Tiger touchdown to end the onslaught, John Tyler scored twice more in the fourth quarter. Pearson and Thomas had scoring connections of 27 and 53 yards.

J'Kardi Witcher rushed for 116 yards on eight carries for Texas High and a 62-yard score. Thomas ran for 53 yards and caught five balls for 87 yards, and Pearson finished 14 of 30 passing for 180 yards.

Gross had a fourth-quarter TD catch from McCollister, and Pierre Leonard capped the scoring with his 12-yard run with 4:43 left.

Texas High's Javon Thomas is grabbed by John Tyler's DeAndre Benson during their Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in Longview. (Evan Lewis, ETSN.fm)

No. 9 John Tyler 58, Texas High 23

Class 5A Division I
Region II Bi-District Playoff
At Lobo Stadium, Longview

Texas High          17     0     6     0    —    23
John Tyler             7     3    34   14    —   58

First Quarter
TH-J'Kardi WItcher 62 run (Ethan Montez kick), 10:53.
JT-Jeremy Wilson 57 pass from Geovari McCollister (Luis Duran kick), 8:27.
TH-Javon Thomas 53 pass from Cade Pearson (Montez kick), 7:44.
TH-Montez 31 FG, 6:19.
Second Quarter
JT-Duran 40 FG, 0:30.
Third Quarter
JT-McCollister 2 run (Duran kick), 9:54.
JT-Wilson 77 run (kick failed), 7:39.
JT-Duntayviun Gross 51 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 5:27.
JT-Isaac Warren 45 blocked punt return (Duran kick), 3:26.
JT-Jordan Owens 41 interception return (Duran kick), 2:39.
TH-Thomas 27 pass from Pearson (kick failed), 0:36.
Fourth Quarter
JT-Gross 20 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 10:36.
JT-Pierre Leonard 12 run (Duran kick), 4:43.

                                            TH                 JT
First Downs                           16                20
Total Yards                          367              551
Rushes-Yards                 26-187        37-234
Passing Yards                      180             317
Comp.-Att.-Int.              14-30-2      13-20-0
Punts-Avg.                       3-38.0        3-37.7
Fumbles-Lost                        2-2             1-1
Penalties-Yards                    8-52      11-100

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING—Texas High, Witcher 8-116, Thomas 9-54, Cornelius Zachery 7-16, Pearson 1-3, team 1-(minus 2). John Tyler, Wilson 20-189, McCollister 8-16, Leonard 2-24, Bryson Smith 3-11, Marty Allison 1-2, Dejuan Beal 1-(minus 1), Quaylon Brown 1-(minus 3), team (minus 4).
PASSING—Texas High, Pearson 14-30-2-180. John Tyler, McCollister 13-20-317.
RECEIVING—Texas High, Thomas 5-87, Jacoby Block 3-64, Witcher 2-11, Jaylen Rhone 1-12, Jarion Anderson 1-11, Jacorien Walker 2-(minus 5). John Tyler, Cain 4-76, Gross 3-70, Damion Miller 2-63, Wilson 1-57, Smith 2-48, Brown 1-3.