PREVIEW: John Tyler Seeks to Square 11-6A Record
North Mesquite Stallions (3-1, 1-0)
John Tyler Lions (2-2, 0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
CHRISTUS TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
- North Mesquite: Mike Robinson
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- North Mesquite: def. Mesquite, 39-24
- John Tyler: lost to Rockwall, 48-7
- North Mesquite: vs. Rockwall-Heath, Oct. 6
- John Tyler: at Mesquite, Oct. 6
- WR Jamarzeyea Arvie, Sr., 5-6, 160 (14 catches, 296 yards, 3 TDs)
- DL/LB Byron Turner, Sr., 6-0, 190
- DB Keyvien Johnson, Sr., 5-8, 160
- LB Anthony Bolton, Sr., 5-11, 200
- RB LaTavion Larry, Sr., 5-6, 155 (56 carries, 439 yards, 6 TDs; 2 catches, 49 yards, 0 TDs)
- LB/DL Kevion Curry, Jr., 6-0, 190
- QB Alex Vigil, Sr., 5-11, 170 (50 of 82, 853 yards, 6 TDs 2 INTs; 24 carries, 40 yards, 0 TDs)
- RB Tre'shun Harrell, Soph., 6-0, 190 (40 carries, 278 yards, 7 TDs; 3 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD)
- DL/LB DeKalen Goodson, Sr., 6-3, 215 (19 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 QB pressures; committed to Houston)
- LB Tre Allison, Sr., 6-2, 220 (39 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 PBU; committed to SMU)
- OL Chance Billington, Jr., 6-3, 280 (committed to SMU)
- QB Devlen Woods, Jr., 5-8, 165 (46 of 89, 680 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 38 carries, 115 yards, 0 TDs)
- RB Cameron Grant, Jr., 5-9, 175 (41 carries, 341 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 25 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Ke'Andre Street, Jr., 6-4, 195 (12 catches, 276 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Roderick Hawkins, Jr., 5-8, 190 (31 carries, 290 yards, 4 TDs; 4 catches, 41 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Michael Givens-Washington, Sr., 5-8, 165 (12 catches, 122 yards, 1 TD)
Just the facts
- This is the 11th all-time meeting between North Mesquite and John Tyler. The series is tied, 5-5.
- John Tyler defeated North Mesquite in last season's meeting, 42-14.
- North Mesquite is averaging 39.8 points and 439.8 yards per game -- 226.5 rushing and 213.4 passing.
- The Stallions are on a three-game winning streak, defeating Garland Lakeview Centennial (49-14), Arlington Bowie (49-45), and Mesquite (39-24).
- North Mesquite's defense is allowing 26.8 points and 331.5 yards per game -- 167.8 rushing and 163.7 passing.
- John Tyler is averaging 29.3 points and 388 yards per game -- 214.5 rushing and 173.5 passing.
- The Lions have not lost two district games in a row since 2007.
- John Tyler's defense is allowing 32 points per game, and a total of 92 in the previous two weeks.
Key matchup: North Mesquite rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. The Stallions possess one of the most balanced offenses in District 11-6A, and the running game has been especially productive in the early going. Two North Mesquite backs -- LaTavion Larry and Tre'shun Harrell -- have each run for more than 278 yards and combined for 13 rushing touchdowns in four games. And the Stallions will need another big night from its one-two combo out of the backfield if they want to escape Tyler with a 2-0 district record Friday night.
As mentioned, North Mesquite does have balance. Quarterback Alex Vigil has thrown for almost 900 yards and six touchdowns so far, and he's spread the wealth to several different receivers. In order to prevent the Stallions from exposing the John Tyler secondary, the Lions must first stop the North Mesquite ground game.
John Tyler has not been very good on the defensive side of the ball so far this season, and in particular, against the run. The Lions surrendered more than 300 rushing yards to Lufkin in a 44-34 loss two weeks ago, and in last Friday's 48-7 blowout loss to Rockwall, John Tyler allowed 251 yards on the ground to the Yellowjackets. A much better effort is needed from the Lions up front this week if they hope to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler bounces back on the offensive side of the ball. Leading rusher Cameron Grant did not play in last week's loss, and if he is able to return Friday, that could be a big boost to the Lions' offense. One bright spot from last week was the play of junior running back Roderick Hawkins, who averaged more than 10 yards per carry and scored the team's only touchdown of the night.
The Lions need to have much better success with their passing game. Last week, junior quarterback Devlen Woods suffered through the worst game of his young career, as he completed only 7 of 26 attempts for 72 yards. An improved running attack should help, and Woods has proven weapons at receiver to turn to in senior Michael Givens-Washington and junior Ke'Andre Street.