No. 3 Whitehouse Hosts Defending District Champion John Tyler to Decide 16-4A Title
John Tyler Lions (7-2, 4-0)
No. 3 Whitehouse Wildcats (9-0, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wildcat Stadium, Whitehouse
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- John Tyler: won 37-14 vs. Nacogdoches
- Whitehouse: won 45-14 at Corsicana
- QB Geovari McCollister, Jr., 6-2, 200 (144 of 214, 2,229 yards, 18 TDs, 5 INTs; 145 carries, 746 yards, 6 TDs)
- DT Braylon Jones, Soph., 6-3, 275 (52 tackles, 8 for loss, 1 fumble recovery)
- S Terry Ausborne, Sr., 5-11, 165 (76 tackles, 4 INTs)
- CB Isaac Warren, Jr., 6-1, 165 (23 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
- WR Duntavion Gross, Soph. (42 catches, 500 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Nick Cain, Jr. (40 catches, 717 yards, 5 TDs; 17 catches, 183 yards, 3 TDs)
- ATH Jeremy Wilson, Jr. (26 carries, 291 yards, 6 TDs; 18 catches, 332 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Reggie Gipson, Sr. (86 carries, 384 yards, 12 TDs; 24 catches, 405 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR Rodney Bendy, Jr., 6-4, 180 (18 catches, 238 yards, 3 TDs)
- S Greg Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 155 (1 INT)
- DE Darius Amie, Sr., 6-1, 215 (41 tackles, 2 sacks)
- DE Jassavia Reese, Jr., 6-5, 215 (37 tackles, 1 forced fumble)
- LB Andrew Clark, Sr., 6-0, 205 (30 tackles)
- QB Patrick Mahomes, Sr., 6-3, 203 (committed to Texas Tech; 203 of 330, 3,206 yards, 36 TDs, 3 INTs; 87 carries, 513 yards, 8 TDs)
- WR Jake Parker, Sr., 6-0, 160 (50 catches, 1,000 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Jaylon Dews, Sr., 6-0, 160 (38 catches, 491 yards, 9 TDs)
- WR Ryan Cheatham, Sr., 6-1, 185 (37 catches, 418 yards, 6 TDs)
- LB Reggie Long, Sr., 6-0, 220 (90 tackles, 13 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries)
- CB Nate Brooks, Jr., 6-0, 150 (44 tackles, 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- RB/LB Dominique Hollie, Jr., 6-0, 210 (54 carries, 407 yards, 6 TDs; 4 catches, 58 yards, 2 TDs; 26 tackles)
- RB Shemar Smith, Soph. (42 carries, 314 yards, 3 TDs; 14 catches, 244 yards, 2 TDs)
- LB Joseph Klein, Sr. (57 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 5 PBUs)
- DT Kostin Wallace, Sr., 5-11, 340 (31 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks)
- LB/DB Savian Lacy, Sr. (57 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Chris Reese, Sr., 6-0, 165 (52 tackles, 6 for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 punt block)
- CB Isaiah Burton, Sr. (36 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery)
Just the facts
- John Tyler is 3-0 all-time against Whitehouse. All three meetings came in the last three seasons.
- John Tyler beat Whitehouse 45-38 at TMF Rose Stadium in 2012. The Lions beat Whitehouse 21-14 in 2010 and 42-14 in 2011.
- Whitehouse led last year’s game 24-0 in the second quarter before John Tyler stormed back for the 45-38 victory. That was Whitehouse’s first loss of the season.
- Whitehouse and John Tyler combined to finish 23-4 last season.
- John Tyler averages 39.0 points per game and allows 24.9.
- After a 2-2 start to the season, John Tyler has won five consecutive games by a cumulative score of 231-97.
- Whitehouse averages 56.0 points per game and allows 21.0.
- Whitehouse has scored 58 or more points six times in nine games.
- John Tyler and Whitehouse’s four common opponents are the teams that share District 16-4A: Corsicana, Jacksonville, Lindale, and Nacogdoches.
- John Tyler beat those teams by a cumulative score of 180-83.
- Whitehouse beat those teams by a cumulative score of 221-63.
- Both teams have already clinched playoff berths.
- John Tyler has already secured the district’s No. 1 Division I playoff seed.
- Whitehouse has already clinched the district’s No. 1 Division II playoff seed.
Key matchup: The battle of the quarterbacks. This game featured one of the best quarterback duels of the 2012 season when John Tyler’s Greg Ward faced off against Whitehouse’s Patrick Mahomes. Ward threw for 323 yards, ran for 162 yards, and totaled five touchdowns to rally JT from a 24-point deficit, while Mahomes threw for 441 yards and accounted for five touchdowns of his own.
Ward now plays for the Houston Cougars, but junior Geovari McCollister has emerged as one of East Texas’ best quarterbacks for second-year head coach Ricklan Holmes. McCollister, who is related to Tenaha Tiger legend Chavis McCollister of 1998 state championship fame, gets his chance to match talents with Mahomes, an athletic 6-foot-3 gunslinger and multi-sport standout who enters the game leading the region in passing yards.
Both teams have deep receiving corps. John Tyler’s Duntavion Gross, Nick Cain, Jeremy Wilson, and Rodney Bendy have joined returning veteran Reggie Gipson to step in and replace the big names from last year: Fred Ross (Mississippi State), Justice Liggins (SFA), Darion Flowers (Sam Houston State), and DeQuante Woods (Texas A&M-Commerce). Whitehouse’s Jake Parker is 1 of 4 receivers in East Texas with at least 1,000 receiving yards, while Jaylon Dews and Ryan Cheatham have combined for 75 receptions.
The unfortunate thing for Whitehouse is the absence of senior receiver Coleman Patterson, who is out with a collarbone injury. He’s 1 of 3 key Whitehouse playmakers out, joining senior running back Vincent Dunning and junior safety Justin Dunning, who are both out for the season with knee injuries. There’s no doubt John Tyler is aware of those injuries and may try to exploit the Wildcats in perceived areas of weakness, although Whitehouse hasn’t missed a beat thanks to quality depth at the skill positions and in the secondary.
That’s something to keep in mind regarding both teams: they are deep on the perimeter on both sides of the ball, which should make for intriguing matchups. Parker, Dews, and Cheatham face Isaac Warren, Terry Ausborne, and the JT secondary when Whitehouse has the ball. Gross, Bendy, Wilson, Cain, and JT’s slew of playmakers match up with Whitehouse’s Nate Brooks, Isaiah Burton, Jamal Kennedy, and a veteran linebacking corps when the Lions have possession.
Don’t be surprised if: We have another shootout that comes down to the fourth quarter. Last year’s wild game at Rose Stadium was No. 5 on ETSN.fm’s postseason list of the best East Texas football games of the 2012 season. The potential is there for a similar contest Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The difference this year is the reversal of roles.
Whitehouse was undefeated last season, but unranked, and not many people gave the Wildcats a chance to stay on the field with John Tyler, which was ranked No. 2 and had won seven consecutive games after a close loss to eventual state runner-up Lancaster. This time around, Whitehouse is the favored team and ranked No. 3, while JT has flown under the statewide radar after non-district losses to Class 5A schools Lufkin and Mesquite Horn.
The tempo will be fast. The ball will get thrown dozens of times. Conditioning will be key.
Can either team pressure the opposing quarterback to break the passing game’s rhythm? If one team does get pressure, will it be able to contain the opponent’s dual-threat quarterback? Remember, Mahomes and McCollister have combined for 1,259 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, so they’re downright deadly tucking and running.
If you’re going to the game, get there early. The District 16-4A championship will no doubt pack Wildcat Stadium and should be a treat for fans of both teams.