DISTRICT 7-5A DIVISION I

John Tyler Lions (3-2, 2-0)

vs.

West Mesquite Wranglers (2-2, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday
E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite

Coaches

  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
  • West Mesquite: Jeff Neill

Last week

Next week

  • John Tyler: idle
  • West Mesquite: at McKinney North, Oct. 19

Players to watch

John Tyler

  • WR Ke'Andre Street, Sr., 6-4, 195 (15 catches, 410 yards, 4 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • RB Rod Hawkins, Sr., 5-8, 190 (48 carries, 429 yards, 4 TDs; 3 catches, 50 yards)
  • RB Cam Grant, Sr., 5-10, 185 (33 carries, 394 yards, 5 TDs; 12 tackles, 1 INT, 5 PBUs)
  • QB Devlen Woods, Sr., 5-8, 170 (34 of 62, 808 yards, 8 TDs, 0 INTs; 18 carries, 60 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR K'Lon Warren, Sr., 5-10, 175 (10 catches, 210 yards, 4 TDs)
  • DE Christian Hartsfield, Sr., 5-10, 221 (27 tackles, 10 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 blocked punt)
  • LB Tyrell Jones, Sr., 5-11, 220 (41 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 QB pressure)
  • RB/DB Kitan Crawford, Jr., 5-10, 170 (8 carries, 116 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD; 8 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)

West Mesquite

  • WR Dylan Wright, Sr., 6-4, 213 (19 catches, 348 yards, 4 TDs; 3 carries, 18 yards; committed to Texas A&M)
  • DB Aaron Lowe, Sr., 6-1, 180 (31 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 QB pressure; committed to Utah)
  • QB Neal Johnson, Sr., 6-4, 220 (42 of 83, 669 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs; 32 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Ty Jordan, Jr., 5-8, 180 (70 carries, 583 yards, 6 TDs; 11 catches, 119 yards, 1 TD)
  • DL Colby Williams, Jr., 5-11, 260 (12 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks)
  • LB Paul Christopher, Sr., 5-9, 190 (28 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 2 PBUs, 1 blocked punt)
  • DB Jamal Clemons, Sr., 5-11, 160 (24 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)
  • DL Jeremy Sapp, Sr., 6-1, 225 (18 tackles)

Just the facts

  • John Tyler Is 33-7 in district games under head coach Ricklan Holmes.
  • West Mesquite is 29-14 in district games since 2012.
  • John Tyler is averaging 37.4 points and 459.6 yards per game -- 262 rushing and 197.6 passing.
  • Lions senior receiver Ke'Andre Street is averaging 27.3 yards per catch.
  • John Tyler is allowing 27 points per game, has 19 sacks, and has forced five turnovers -- three interceptions and two fumbles.
  • West Mesquite is averaging 35.8 points and 399.3 yards per game -- 232 rushing and 167.3 passing.
  • Wranglers senior receiver Dylan Wright, a four-star recruit, committed to Texas A&M over other offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, USC, and Washington.
  • West Mesquite is allowing 42 points per game, has five sacks, and has forced five turnovers -- two interceptions and three fumbles.
John Tyler ATH Cam Grant. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: West Mesquite passing attack vs. John Tyler secondary. While the Wranglers come into Friday's district clash averaging more than 230 rushing yards per game, it's the threat of the big play that usually keeps opposing defensive coordinators up at night. Senior receiver Dylan Wright is one of the top recruits in the country. The Texas A&M commit chose the Aggies over some of the biggest programs in the nation, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and USC. Wright has four of his team's seven touchdown receptions in 2018, and averages more than 18 yards per catch. His 6-4, 213-pound frame makes it hard for opposing cornerbacks and safeties to match, and if West Mesquite gets into the red zone, Wright will be option No. 1.

John Tyler RB Rod Hawkins. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

The Lions' run defense has been very good this season, and that will be important this week against West Mesquite junior running back Ty Jordan, who is averaging 145 rushing yards per game and 8.3 yards per carry. John Tyler's defensive front should have an advantage against the West Mesquite offensive line, which should make the Lions' job of slowing down Jordan an easier one. The real key will be how well John Tyler fares against the big plays downfield, with Wright in particular. Long gainers in the passing game could be a big equalizer for the West Mesquite offense.

Don't be surprised if: John Tyler continues to feature its running game. The Lions have been strong up front on the offensive line and in the backfield so far in 2018. Running backs Rod Hawkins and Cam Grant have combined for 823 yards and nine touchdowns. And while those two get the majority of the team's carries, don't discount the big-play ability of Kitan Crawford, Kadarian Asbell, and quarterback Devlen Woods. John Tyler comes into this week with six players with at least 100 rushing yards and seven with touchdowns runs.