No. 1 John Tyler Faces Crosstown Rival Tyler Lee In Final Tuneup Before District
No. 1 John Tyler Lions (2-0)
Tyler Lee Red Raiders (0-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
- John Tyler: idle
- Tyler Lee: vs. Garland Sachse
- CB Isaac Warren, Sr., 6-1, 190 (9 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 defensive touchdown; committed to Purdue)
- DT Braylon Jones, Jr., 6-4, 295 (10 tackles, 1 sack)
- WR Rodney Bendy, Sr., 6-4, 190 (7 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD; committed to North Texas)
- QB Geovari McCollister, Sr., 6-3, 205 (32 of 45, 444 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; 23 carries, 77 yards; committed to Central Arkansas)
- S Bryston Gipson, Jr., 6-0, 180 (9 tackles, 1 INT, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns)
- LB Jaylon Reese, Sr., 6-1, 225 (15 tackles)
- DE Jassavia Reese, Sr., 6-4, 230 (4 tackles, 2 sacks)
- DE Pierre Leonard, Jr., 5-10, 235 (10 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks)
- WR Nick Cain, Sr., 5-11, 175 (8 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD; 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Jeremy Wilson, Sr., 5-8, 165 (24 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Brandon Durman, Sr., 6-2, 230 (22 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 PBU; committed to Louisiana Tech)
- QB Zach Hall, Jr., 5-11, 175 (23 of 36, 334 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs; 35 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Tavon Wesley, Jr., 6-1, 190 (13 carries, 62 yards)
- WR Isjuwan Barker, Jr., 6-3, 185 (6 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Jordan Devers, Jr. (4 catches, 73 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Justin Willoughby, Sr., 6-3, 285
- OL Matthew Weeks, Sr., 6-5, 275
- DB Patrick Udofia, Sr. (11 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
- WR/SB Juwan Banks, Sr., 6-0, 175 (4 catches, 67 yards; 5 carries, 38 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Campbell Miller, Soph., 6-1, 230 (13 tackles)
Just the facts
- This is the 59th meeting all-time between John Tyler and Tyler Lee. John Tyler leads the series, 31-26-1, and has won three of the last four matchups.
- Tyler Lee owns the longest winning streak in series history, claiming eight consecutive meetings from 1999-2004.
- The last game between John Tyler and Tyler Lee to be decided by a touchdown or less was in 2001. The average margin of victory since has been 21.6 points.
- The 1994 John Tyler and 2004 Tyler Lee state championship teams will be honored during the game Friday night.
- Tyler Lee is 0-2 to begin a season for the sixth time in the last seven years.
- Through two games, Tyler Lee is averaging 22.5 points and 350.5 yards per game -- 177.5 rushing and 173 passing.
- Tyler Lee is 8-35 since the beginning of the 2010 season, the worst four-year stretch in the 57-year history of the program.
- John Tyler is ranked No. 1 in this week's Associated Press Class 5A poll. The Lions were last ranked at the top of the AP poll during the second week of the 2012 season.
- Through two games, John Tyler is averaging 35.5 points and 345 yards per game -- 123 rushing and 222 passing.
- John Tyler is 57-14 since the beginning of the 2009 season, the best five-year stretch since the Lions were 58-11 from 1994-98.
Key matchup: Tyler Lee offensive line vs. John Tyler defensive front. What's been most impressive about John Tyler's 2-0 start to the season has been its play on defense, and in particular, the men up front. The Lions have already picked up 11 sacks on the year, in addition to seven forced turnovers and four defensive touchdowns. John Tyler's D-line, led by juniors Braylon Jones and Pierre Leonard and senior Jassavia Reese, has effectively put pressure on opposing backfields early this season. They've wreaked havoc on the passing games of both Plano and Longview, holding those two to a combined 14 of 31 passing for 233 yards and two interceptions. Opposing running games have been affected as well. Plano and Longview combined to rush 87 times for 348 yards, which equates into a respectable four yards per carry. Teams figure to struggle all season passing against a JT secondary that features standout cornerback Isaac Warren -- a Purdue commit -- and safety Bryston Gipson, who has been a turnover machine so far with an interception, three fumble recoveries and three defensive touchdowns. If the Lions' rush defense continues to impress, John Tyler could end up enjoying a special season.
Tyler Lee's offense has the potential to be among the area's most productive, but inconsistency has hurt the Red Raiders through the season's first two weeks. Junior quarterback Zach Hall's been great when he's had the time throw, completing more than 60 percent of his passes, but breakdowns in pass protection have resulted in several negative plays, which have killed drives. Hall, who led the team in rushing a season ago, has been limited to less than 100 yards, in large measure because of sacks. However, Hall is the best dual-threat quarterback John Tyler has faced up to this point in the season, and it will be interested to see what type of challenge that might prevent to the Lions' defense. Tyler Lee would also benefit from more production from its running backs. Starting running back Tavon Wesley has just 62 yards on 13 carries this season -- an average of 4.8 yards per carry. If the Red Raiders can get Wesley going, that will take some of the pressure off Hall, who has accounted for 61 percent of the team's total yardage thus far.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler's offense breaks out of its early-season "slump." Some might see the Lions' scoring average of 36 points per game, and wonder how that would be considered struggling, but four of the Lions' 10 touchdowns on the year have been defensive scores. JT is averaging 345 yards per game, which is surprisingly low considering the amount of key offensive components returning from last season's group that averaged 424.4 yards a week. Penalties, turnovers and a rushing attack averaging only 3.8 yards per carry have been to blame. Lee's defense has struggled in the early going, allowing opponents 45.5 points and 375.5 yards per game -- 251.5 on the ground. While improved from last season, Lee's secondary is young and vulnerable to big passing plays over the top of the defense. A solid rush defense may be the Lee defensive backfield's best friend Friday night.