Class 4A Division I Region II
Semifinal

John Tyler Lions (11-1)
vs.
Frisco Raccoons (9-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Eagle Stadium, Allen

Coaches
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
Frisco: Vance Gibson

Road to Regionals

John Tyler

  • Bi-district: def. Waxahachie, 77-20
  • Area: def. Wylie, 38-10

 

Frisco

  • Bi-district: def. Highland Park, 21-20
  • Area: def. Dallas Samuell, 42-7

 

Next week: Winner plays Frisco Centennial (11-1) or Red Oak (9-3) in the 4A Division I Region II final.

 

Playmakers

John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-11, 165 (186 of 277, 3,053 yards, 35 TDs, 0 INTs; 136 carries, 606 yards, 9 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (59 catches, 1,235 yards, 17 TDs; 25 carries, 147 yards, 3 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 220 (77 tackles, 22 sacks, 14 QB pressures, 5 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • ATH DeQuante Woods, Sr., 5-11, 185 (79 carries, 534 yards, 11 TDs; 20 catches, 184 yards, 1 TD; 47 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
  • LB Richard Gipson, Sr., 6-2, 220 (101 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 1 INT)
  • WR/DB Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 180 (46 catches, 812 yards, 7 TDs; 29 tackles, 1 INT, 3 pass break-ups, 1 forced fumble)
  • DT Chris Mobley, Sr., 6-1, 235 (75 tackles, 5 sacks, 10 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery)

 

Frisco

  • QB Jake Battaglia, Jr. (102 of 172, 1,833 yards, 11 TDs, 7 INTs; 63 carries, 130 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR Drake Hardy, Sr. (47 catches, 879 yards, 3 TDs)
  • FB Matt Nollman, Jr. (198 carries, 939 yards, 9 TDs; 9 catches, 162 yards, 3 TDs)
  • RB Ben Cole, Sr. (113 carries, 755 yards, 10 TDs; 11 catches, 220 yards, 2 TDs)
  • RB Max Steitle, Jr. (59 carries, 336 yards, 3 TDs; 7 catches, 93 yards, 2 TDs)

 

Just the facts

  • John Tyler has reached the third round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Lions are 46-9 since the beginning of the 2009 season.
  • In the Lions' last three third-round playoff games, John Tyler has outscored its opponents (Klein Collins, Carrollton Newman Smith, Highland Park) by a combined score of 124-97.
  • Since beginning district play on Oct. 12, John Tyler's offense has turned up the heat. The Lions are averaging 508.7 yards and 52.4 points per game over its last seven games.
  • Eagle Stadium in Allen is in its first year, constructed at a cost of $60 million. It seats right at 18,000 fans.
  • Frisco began the season 1-2, but the Raccoons have won their last four, including wins over perennial powers Prosper (21-7) and Highland Park (21-20).
  • For the season, Frisco averages 33.3 points and 409.1 yards per game. The defense yields 20.8 points and 276.9 yards per outing.

 

John Tyler QB Greg Ward. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: John Tyler passing game vs. Frisco secondary. Whichever side plays the best should decide this one, and more often than not, John Tyler has had a clear advantage over opposing secondaries this season. Senior quarterback Greg Ward has still yet to thrown an interception in 12 games and 277 passing attempts. Until a team can prove it can neutralize Ward as a passer, the Lions will continue to rely on their star quarterback and his fleet of athletic receivers. Last week against Wylie, Ward had his worst completion percentage of the season, completing just 12 of 30 attempts. However, he was still able to remain error-free while throwing a pair of long touchdown passes covering 69 and 33 yards. The way the JT offense is clicking on all cylinders, especially in the passing game, it seems unlikely the Lions will beat themselves with careless mistakes. That leaves things up to the Frisco defense, which will need to apply enough pressure to make things happen themselves. If the Raccoons can force the issue, Frisco's defense stands a better chance to solve Ward and Co.

 

John Tyler DE Tyus Bowser. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: Frisco is relentless in its pursuit of controlling the clock with its Wing-T, ball-control offense. The longer the Raccoons can remain on the field by moving the chains, the less JT's offense can hurt them. With that being said, it's been hard for JT opponents to find success on the ground of late. In last week's victory over Wylie, the Pirates managed just 35 yards on 33 attempts. The only way Frisco can pull the upset is if it can dictate tempo with its grind-it-out rushing attack, so expect the Raccoons to give the ground game a real shot early on.