No. 2 John Tyler Looks To Build On Impressive Start, While Longview Seeks Bounce-Back Performance
No. 8 John Tyler Lions (1-0)
Longview Lobos (0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Longview: John King
- John Tyler: vs. Tyler Lee, Sept. 12
- Longview: vs. Monroe Neville (at Shreveport), Sept. 13
- CB Isaac Warren, Sr., 6-0, 190 (committed to Purdue)
- DT Braylon Jones, Jr., 6-4, 295
- QB Geovari McCollister, Sr., 6-3, 205 (22 of 32, 228 yards, 1 TD; committed to Central Arkansas)
- WR Nick Cain, Sr., 5-11, 175 (6 catches, 37 yards)
- WR Rodney Bendy, Sr., 6-5, 200 (5 catches, 59 yards, committed to North Texas)
- RB Jeremy Wilson, Sr., 5-9, 170 (16 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 17 yards)
- SS Bryston Gipson, Jr., 6-0, 180 (1 INT, 1 fumble recovery, 2 defensive TDs)
- DE Jassavia Reese, Sr., 6-4, 230
- LB Jaylon Reese, Sr., 6-1, 225
- DE Pierre Leonard, Jr., 5-10, 235
- OL Broderick Washington, Sr., 6-2, 290
- RB Tylan Miller, Jr., 5-7, 190
- FB Marquies Hunter, Sr., 5-11, 240
- QB Dezmond Chumley, Sr., 6-1, 190
- DE Omar French, Sr., 6-0, 202
- WR Antonio Carter, Sr., 6-2, 181
- LB Jaylon Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 210
- FS Shaun Lloyd, Sr., 5-9, 170
- WR Jon Sorey, Jr., 5-11, 170
- SS Keenan Madden, Jr., 6-1, 196
Just the facts
- This is the 55th meeting between John Tyler and Longview. The Lobos lead the all-time series, 33-18-3, and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings.
- Friday's game will be only the third in which John Tyler and Longview have met outside of district play.
- John Tyler forced four turnovers -- scoring on two of them -- and limited Plano to just 212 yards in the Lions' win last week.
- After being held to just 90 yards and no points in the first half, JT erupted for 221 yards and 30 points in the second half of its win over Plano.
- Since 2009, John Tyler has posted an overall record of 56-14.
- John Tyler is 15-7 in non-district games since 2009.
- Longview's 30-point loss to Lufkin last week was the Lobos' second-worst in the series, which dates back to 1932.
- The Lobos have only suffered two 30-point losses since John King took over the program in 2004 -- last week, and a season-opening 41-8 loss to Coppell in 2012.
- Since 2009, Longview has posted an overall record of 55-16.
- Longview is 15-8 in non-district games since 2009.
Key matchup: Longview running game vs. John Tyler defensive front. For years, the Longview Lobos have prided themselves on developing one of the area's most potent rushing attacks, while John Tyler vowed to improve its run defense during the offseason. Despite the lopsided loss to Lufkin last week, Longview still managed to rush for 223 yards. The passing game has been a different the story the last couple of weeks. Longview senior quarterback Dezmond Chumley, after a 2,200-yard and 33 TD campaign in 2013, has yet to get on track in the early going. Longview didn't accomplish very much through the air in its scrimmage at Ennis two weeks ago, and the struggles continued last week, as Chumley and backup quarterback Cameron Castleberry combined to complete just 7 of 17 attempts for 108 yards and an interception. The graduation of last season's top three receivers, including Texas signee Dorian Leonard, may be taking its toll. And until new playmakers in the passing game emerge, Longview may be committed to the run now more than ever -- even without the services of starting running back and Baylor commit JaMycal Hasty, who is out indefinitely with a back injury.
John Tyler's rush defense was tested right off the bat last week, lining up against a run-heavy Plano offense that rarely featured more than one receiver in any of its formations. Not only did the Lions' 'D' pass its first test of the year, it did so with flying colors. With the exception of a 75-yard run in the third quarter, John Tyler held Plano junior running back Brandon Stephens -- owner of offers from Ohio State and Wisconsin -- in check. Stephens managed only 19 yards on his other nine carries. For the game, John Tyler limited Plano to just 3.1 yards per carry. In the first half, the Lions held Plano to minus-17 rushing yards. Third-year coach Ricklan Holmes said after the win that one of the coaching staff's biggest goals in the offseason was to drastically improve John Tyler's defense against the run. So far, so good.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler attempts more passes deep down the field against Longview. Plano's pass rush disrupted the timing of JT quarterback Geovari McCollister and his receivers, especially in the first half. Things began to open up downfield in the second half, and the Lions were finally able to generate productive drives down the stretch. Senior wide receiver Rodney Bendy, who led JT in receiving yards last week with 59, is 6-foot-5 and creates an obvious mismatch with much smaller defensive backs in single-coverage situations. Even though the North Texas commit may command extra attention from opposing defenses, John Tyler also possesses three other quality receivers -- Nick Cain, Duntayviun Gross and Bryson Smith -- that are capable of doing damage to secondaries. So while double teams on Bendy may effectively take him out of the play, that leaves McCollister plenty of other options to deliver the ball to in space. Running back Jeremy Wilson is undersized, and his greatest asset is his 4.4 speed, which could make him dangerous late in games against tired defenses. Getting the passing game on track early, and then letting the rushing attack finish the job may end up being John Tyler's best strategy Friday night.