DISTRICT 7-5A DIVISION I

John Tyler Lions (1-2)

vs.

Texas High Tigers (2-2)

7 p.m. Friday
Tiger Stadium at Grim Park, Texarkana

Coaches

  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
  • Texas High: Gerry Stanford

Last week

Next week

  • John Tyler: vs. Wylie East, Oct. 5
  • Texas High: at McKinney North, Oct. 5

Players to watch

John Tyler

  • WR Ke'Andre Street, Sr., 6-4, 195 (12 catches, 277 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • OL Chance Billington, Sr., 6-4, 275 (committed to Louisiana-Monroe)
  • RB/DB Cam Grant, Sr., 5-10, 185 (20 carries, 251 yards, 3 TDs; 6 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
  • RB Rod Hawkins, Sr., 5-8, 190 (31 carries, 255 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 50 yards)
  • RB/DB Kitan Crawford, Jr., 5-10, 170 (5 carries, 28 yards; 4 tackles, 1 INT)
  • QB Devlen Woods, Sr., 5-8, 170 (20 of 38, 449 yards, 2 TDs; 11 carries, 13 yards)
  • LB Tyrell Jones, Sr., 5-11, 220 (24 tackles, 1 for loss)
  • DL Ja'Bralen Yarber, Sr., 6-1, 280 (19 tackles, 3 QB pressures; committed to Northwestern State)

Texas High

  • QB Coltin Clack, Sr., 6-3, 220 (59 of 106, 847 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT; 36 carries, 87 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB Chris Sutton, Sr., 5-8, 180 (47 carries, 174 yards, 1 TD; 14 catches, 82 yards)
  • WR Myles Washington, Sr., 6-2, 175 (10 catches, 253 yards, 3 TDs)
  • DL Deandre Brown, Sr., 6-2, 220 (21 tackles, 6 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 1 fumble recovery)
  • DB Chris Lyles, Sr., 5-10, 185 (30 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 PBUs)
  • WR Mason Jones, Sr., 5-11, 155 (13 catches, 127 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Kendall Reid, Sr., 6-3, 205 (11 catches, 148 yards, 1 TD)
  • LB Darryl Maxwell, Sr., 5-11, 188 (16 tackles, 7 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 QB pressure, 2 forced fumbles)

Just the facts

  • This is the 43rd meeting between John Tyler and Texas High since 1958. John Tyler leads the series over that span, 23-18-1.
  • The last four meetings between the two schools have come in the playoffs (2010, 2011, 2014, 2015) with John Tyler winning all four.
  • John Tyler is averaging 28.3 points and 423.7 yards per game -- 212.7 rushing and 211 passing.
  • Lions senior receiver Ke'Andre Street is averaging 23.1 yards per catch.
  • In its two losses, John Tyler scored a total of just 20 points and averaged 281.5 yards.
  • Texas High is averaging 27.8 points and 323.8 yards per game -- 111.8 rushing and 212 passing.
  • Tigers senior receiver Myles Washington is averaging 25.3 yards per catch.
  • Texas High is averaging 3.6 yards per rushing attempt as a team.
Texas High RB Chris Sutton. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Texas High rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. Through four games, it's apparent where the Tigers' strengths on offense lie, and that's the passing game. Texas High has been hit or miss so far this season as it enters Friday's district opener with a 2-2 record. In its two wins, Texas High has scored 90 points, but in the losses a total of just 21. The running game has had a major impact on the fate of Texas High in all four games. In Week 1's 56-7 loss to Pflugerville Hendrickson, the Tigers averaged just 1.4 yards per rushing attempt. And in last week's 42-14 loss to Kilgore, Texas High was limited to 31 rushing yards on 19 carries. In the Tigers' wins over Arkansas High and Liberty-Eylau, they have combined for 386 yards on the ground. Judging by the first four weeks of 2018, success on the ground will be a must if Texas High hopes to open district with a win.

John Tyler DL Ja'Bralen Yarber. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

John Tyler's defense has been shaky at best so far this year. In the Lions' two losses to Cedar Hill and Longview, the defense was powerless to combat both teams' ability to control the tempo offensively. It was a different story in their win over crosstown rival Tyler Lee three weeks ago, as it contained Lee's running game with the exception of a few big plays here and there. The strength of the JT defense is up front with lineman Ja'Bralen Yarber, and linebackers Tyrell Jones, Kameron Mayfield, and Isaiah Johnson leading the way. The Lions will need another strong performance from their front seven in order to contain Texas High's rushing attack.

Don't be surprised if: John Tyler turns to senior running back Cam Grant more often this week. In the Week 1 loss to Cedar Hill, Grant got only two carries, and the result was a 50-point defeat. The following week, Grant sparked a JT offense that put up 65 points and more than 700 yards with 199 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries. Two weeks ago against Longview, Grant's carries went down again. He had eight attempts, but still managed to average more than six yards per carry. Grant gives JT's offense the element of explosiveness that it lacks otherwise. The Lions will likely need their fair share of big plays on offense to begin 7-5A Division I play with a victory.