PREVIEW: Rejuvenated John Tyler Travels to No. 6 Longview
John Tyler Lions (1-1)
No. 6 Longview Lobos (2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Longview: John King
- John Tyler: at Euless Trinity, Sept. 21
- Longview: at Ruston (La.), Sept. 21
Players to watch
- WR/DL Ke'Andre Street, Sr., 6-4, 195 (8 catches, 176 yards, 2 TDs; 2 tackles, 2 for loss; committed to Houston)
- OL Chance Billington, Sr., 6-4, 275 (committed to Louisiana-Monroe)
- RB/DB Cam Grant, Sr., 5-10, 185 (12 carries, 200 yards, 3 TDs; 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- QB Devlen Woods, Sr., 5-8, 170 (10 of 13, 251 yards, 2 TDs; 9 carries, 21 yards)
- RB Rod Hawkins, Sr., 5-8, 190 (22 carries, 144 yards, TD; 1 catch, 6 yards)
- DL Ja'Bralen Yarber, Sr., 6-1, 280 (13 tackles, 3 QB pressures)
- DB Kitan Crawford, Jr., 5-10, 170 (3 tackles, 1 INT)
- LB Tyrell Jones, Sr., 5-11, 220 (17 tackles, 1 for loss)
- QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-3, 185 (26 of 43, 452 yards, 4 TDs; 7 carries, 127 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (14 carries, 90 yards, 2 TDs; 4 catches, 95 yards, TD)
- WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (14 catches, 197 yards, TD)
- OL Marcus Williams, Sr., 6-6, 290 (committed to TCU)
- RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (29 carries, 152 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 3 yards)
- DB Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (13 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Ja'Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (15 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Tyshawn Taylor, Jr., 5-9, 195 (22 tackles, 1 for loss)
Just the facts
- This is the 92nd meeting between Longview and John Tyler. Longview leads the all-time series, 47-37-7.
- Lobos head coach John King has lost just five home games in his career, and three of them have come against John Tyler.
- John Tyler put up 708 yards of offense in last week's win over Tyler Lee -- 495 rushing and 213 passing.
- Lions running back Cam Grant is averaging more than 16 yards per carry.
- John Tyler does not return home until Oct. 5 against Wylie East.
- Longview has 47.5 points and 460.5 yards in its first two games.
- Four different Lobos players have rushed for two touchdowns.
- Longview is 43-16 in non-district games under King.
Key matchup: Longview rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. The Lobos, despite having one of the best QB-WR duos in East Texas, still prides itself on running the ball with authority on offense. And Longview is once again deep at the running back spot in 2018. Speedster Keilyn Williams leads the team with 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns, followed by quarterback Haynes King and running back Jessie Anderson, who have a combined 217 and four TD's on the ground. Longview will base out of the I-formation a lot of the time, but the Lobos have become much more diverse with their offensive formations the last couple of seasons. Williams will often times line up at receiver and then motion into the backfield before the snap, and Anderson will get carries at both tailback and fullback. Longview will also call designed runs for King, who could be the team's fastest player.
John Tyler admittedly has a ways to go in getting its secondary where it needs to be, but head coach Ricklan Holmes is very complimentary of his front seven, which will need to perform especially well this week against a physical Longview offense. The Lions have given up their fair share of big plays against the run through the season's first two weeks, but John Tyler's run defense rounded into shape in the second half of their 65-21 rout of Tyler Lee last Saturday night. Senior defensive tackle Ja'Bralen Yarber will be key to John Tyler's chances of holding Longview's running game in check this week. Linebackers Tyrell Jones and Kameron Mayfield must do a solid job of plugging the holes at the first level as well.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler quarterback Devlen Woods plays a significant role in the outcome of Friday's game. The Lions' strength on offense is their running game, led by a deep stable of running backs that include Cam Grant, Rod Hawkins, and Ka'Darian Asbell among others. Longview will likely stack the box on defense in an effort to prevent from JT to establishing its ground game, which means Woods will be put in position to take shots downfield with one-on-one matchups. Lions senior receiver and Houston commit Ke'Andre Street is one of the top big-bodied pass-catchers in the area, and if he's in single coverage, expect John Tyler to try and take advantage of the size mismatch. If the Lions are able to make enough big plays in the passing game, they will stand a better chance of pulling the upset on the road.