NO. 1 john tyler lions (1-0)
AT
Lancaster TIGERS (1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium, Lancaster

Coaches
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
Lancaster: Chris Gilbert

Last week
John Tyler: def. Lufkin 35-21
Lancaster: def. Fort Worth Nolan Catholic 35-21

Next week
John Tyler: vs. Tyler Lee
Lancaster: at Dallas Kimball

Playmakers
John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-10, 160 (committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (committed to Oklahoma State)
  • DB Traven Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 175
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 205
  • RB Reggie Gipson, Jr.
  • WR Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 165
  • DL Chris Mobley, Sr., 6-0, 240

Lancaster

  • QB Demarcus Ayers, Sr., 5-11, 180
  • DE Daeshon Hall, Sr., 6-6, 220 (committed to Texas)
  • ATH Nick Harvey, Sr., 6-0, 180
  • DE George Ramos, Sr., 6-3, 245
  • CB Dakota Austin, Sr., 6-0, 180
  • RB Joseph Paden
  • RB Roderick Needum

Just the facts

  • John Tyler takes the field as the state's No. 1 team for the first time since 1997, when new coach Ricklan Holmes was a senior member of the Lions.
  • The Lions' high-powered offense rolled up 500 yards in the win over Lufkin last week. Ward totaled 390 of that with all five touchdowns.
  • The average distance of the Lions' scores against Lufkin was 57 yards, including Ward's 80-yard TD pass to Ross on the game's first play.
  • Gipson emerged as a threat for the Lions out of the backfield against Lufkin. The junior rushed for 35 yards, but had two receptions for 95 yards, including an 81-yard TD reception.
  • Lancaster sports one of the fastest teams in the state, and quarterback Demarcus Ayers proved it last week against Fort Worth Nolan Catholic with 182 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries.
  • Ayers did a little bit of everything for the Tigers. In addition to his rushing exploits, Ayers completed 7 of 10 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and caught a 34-yard touchdown pass.

Key matchup: John Tyler offensive line vs. Lancaster defensive line. The Lions' front five held up well enough against Lufkin's pass rush, but will face an entirely different challenge in Lancaster's Daeshon Hall, who has been committed to Texas. Ward has proved elusive in the pocket in the past, but Hall this may be the best defensive lineman the Lions face all season. Lancaster has another good end on the other side in George Ramos. Keeping Ward off his back will be priority No. 1 for the Lions, who hope to keep their high-flying offense in gear.

Don't be surprised if: Ward improves on his 8-for-21 performance from the opener. The star quarterback still made plays with his arms legs, but the low completion percentage was a far cry from his 72-percent clip of 2011. The Lions may try to get the ball out of Ward's hands quicker against a good pass rush, meaning more high-percentage passes. Lancaster may see a heavy dose of screens to Gipson and JT's explosive fleet of receivers.