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No. 2 John Tyler Begins What It Hopes Is Journey to State Championship Against Waxahachie

John Tyler’s Greg Ward is brought down by Whitehouse defender Christopher Reese during their game Nov. 9 in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Class 4A Division I Region II
Bi-District Playoff

No. 2 John Tyler Lions (9-1)
vs.
Waxahachie Indians (6-4)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Homer B. Johnson Stadium, Garland

Coaches
John Tyler: Chris Taber
Waxahachie: David Ream

Next week: Winner plays Mount Pleasant or Wylie in a 4A Division I Region II area playoff.

Playmakers

John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-11, 165 (156 of 222, 2,468 yards, 29 TDs, 0 INTs; 117 carries, 534 yards, 7 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (48 catches, 923 yards, 14 TDs; 23 carries, 151 yards, 3 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 230 (47 tackles, 15 sacks, 12 QB pressures, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • WR Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 180 (39 catches, 696 yards, 6 TDs)
  • ATH DeQuante Woods, Sr., 5-11, 185 (61 carries, 273 yards, 8 TDs; 17 catches, 149 yards, 1 TD; 37 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)

 

Waxahachie

  • RB Treyvon Hughes, Sr., 5-11, 190 (185 carries, 1,266 yards, 16 TDs; 11 catches, 101 yards)
  • QB Jake Villareal, Sr., 5-9, 185 (78 of 160, 1,088 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs)
  • WR Quinn Sargent, Jr., 5-10, 230 (24 catches, 596 yards, 9 TDs)
  • RB Ledarron Crawford, Jr., 5-8, 145 (72 carries, 488 yards, 6 TDs)
  • K Dylan McClain, Sr.

 

Just the facts

  • John Tyler extended its district winning streak to 20 games with last Friday’s come-from-behind win over Whitehouse. The Lions’ last district loss occurred in the second-to-last game of the 2009 regular season.
  • Lions quarterback Greg Ward has yet to thrown an interception in 2012. Since taking over as the starting quarterback at the beginning of last season, Ward has thrown just five picks 580 attempts.
  • JT averaged just 26.4 points per game in five non-district games. But over the last five weeks, the Lions are scoring 50.4 a game.
  • Lions defensive end Tyus Bowser has been a tremendous force of late, racking up 10 sacks in his last three games, including five last week.
  • Waxahachie averages 33.4 points per game, while its defense surrenders 25.6. The Indians have been outscored 165-73 in their four losses this season.
  • Waxahachie and JT share two common opponents — Corsicana and Lancaster. The Indians defeated Corsicana, 36-12, while JT defeated the Tigers, 63-14. Lancaster defeated both — 26-21 over JT and 45-14 over Waxahachie.

 

 

John Tyler DE Tyus Bowser. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

 

John Tyler WR Fred Ross. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: John Tyler passing game vs. Waxahachie secondary. Greg Ward and the Lions’ passing game has been on fire all season, especially over the last five games. Since district play started, Ward has completed 97 of 124 attempts (78 percent) for 1,468 yards and 17 touchdowns. Waxahachie has held its own against the competition’s passing game, holding opponents to 127.7 yards per game and a completion percentage of just 45 percent. However, the Indians haven’t faced an aerial attack the caliber of what they’ll see Friday night. Only one team (Mansfield Summit) went over 300 yards passing in a game against Waxahachie, while JT eclipses that mark with regularity. If Waxahachie lets Ward sit back and pick its secondary apart, he willl. So the Indians need to put together an aggressive pass rush to throw of the timing between Ward and his fleet of athletic receivers.

Don’t be surprised if: Ward and the JT offense scores early and often in this one. The Lions fell behind 24-0 last week before rallying for the comeback. Starting Friday night’s playoff opener the same way they finished last week will be a point of emphasis for head coach Ricklan Holmes. The Indians are not a come-from-behind type of team, so if the Lions can open up a big first-half lead, it might be smooth sailing for JT to begin the postseason.

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