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Rejuvenated Tyler Lee Faces Crosstown Rival John Tyler, Seeking First 3-0 Start Since 2003

John Tyler quarterback Geovari McCollister prepares for impact against Lancaster during their game last Saturday in Tyler. (© Christopher R. Vinn/www.etsn.fm)

Tyler Lee Red Raiders (2-0)

vs.

John Tyler Lions (1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Coaches
  • Tyler Lee: Darrell Piske
  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

 

Last week
  • Tyler Lee: defeated Lufkin, 42-30
  • John Tyler: defeated Lancaster, 31-28

 

Next week
  • Tyler Lee: at Texas High
  • John Tyler: vs. Mesquite Horn

 

Playmakers

Tyler Lee

  • QB Zach Hall, Soph., 5-10, 155 (21-of-30, 448 yards, 5 TD, INT; 33 carries, 298 yards, 3 TD)
  • RB Tavon Wesley, Soph., 6-1, 185 (26 carries, 187 yards, 3 TD)
  • WR Bryce Wilkerson, Sr., 5-8, 158 (7 catches, 189 yards, 3 TD)
  • RB Marquian Jones, Jr., 5-7, 158 (12 carries, 143 yards, 2 TD)
  • WR Marquiston Williams, Sr., 6-0, 175 (8 catches, 149 yards, TD)
  • OL Amier Wilson, Sr., 6-3, 245
  • DL Triston Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 255
  • DB Isjuwan Barker, Soph., 6-3, 182
  • LB Brandon Durman, Jr., 6-2, 215
  • WR Diondre Allen, Sr., 5-9, 165

 

John Tyler

  • QB Geovari McCollister, Jr., 6-2, 200 (42-of-61, 627 yards, 3 TD, INT)
  • RB Reggie Gipson, Sr., 5-10, 175 (22 carries, 81 yards, 4 TD; 9 catches, 220 yards, TD)
  • WR Nick Cain, Jr., 5-10, 165 (12 catches, 157 yards, TD)
  • WR Duntavion Gross, Soph., 5-10, 175 (12 catches, 132 yards)
  • DB Terry Ausborne, Sr., 5-11, 170 (19 tackles)
  • DL Braylon Jones, Soph., 6-3, 250 (12 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass break-up)
  • DB Isaac Warren, Jr., 6-1, 180 (2 tackles, INT)
  • DL Travaughn Moore, Sr., 6-3, 280 (3 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 QB pressures)
  • WR Jeremy Wilson, Jr., 5-8, 160 (5 catches, 73 yards; 2 carries, 87 yards, TD)
  • K Jose Perez, Jr., 5-9, 165 (4-of-4 on FGs, long of 41; 5-of-7 on PATs)

 

Just the facts
  • Tyler Lee is 2-0 for the first time since 2005 and is seeking its first 3-0 start to the season since 2003.
  • The Red Raiders have scored 97 points through two games after scoring 137 all of last season.
  • Eight of Lee’s 14 touchdowns this season have covered at least 30 yards.
  • Lee quarterback Zach Hall is currently leading District 12-5A in passing and ranks third in rushing.
  • John Tyler and Lee are meeting for the 58th time since the series began in 1958. JT leads the all-time series 30-26-1, but since 1987, Lee holds a 16-11-1 edge.
  • The Lions haven’t won back-to-back games against Lee since 1997-98.
  • JT has beaten a Lee team that’s gone on to make the playoffs only once since 1998, and that was in 2010 when the Red Raiders went 2-9.
  • John Tyler first-year starting quarterback Geovari McCollister is on pace to pass for 3,135 yards during the regular season. Last season’s quarterback Greg Ward passed for 2,468 yards through 10 games.
  • The Lions have gone five games without a running back rushing for more than 100 yards.

 

Tyler Lee’s Zach Hall tries to avoid Lufkin’s Jamarion Houston during Lee’s 42-30 home win Sept. 6. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Tyler Lee passing game vs. John Tyler secondary. Red Raiders sophomore quarterback Zach Hall has flourished in the first year of Lee’s spread offense, throwing for five touchdowns while averaging more than 21 yards per completion. Lee’s top receivers — Marquiston Williams and Bryce Wilkerson — are averaging 18.6 and 27 yards per catch, respectively. While Lee has averaged 337 rushing yards through two games, big plays in the passing game have truly transformed an offense that was one of the area’s least productive in 2012. The Red Raiders’ air attack, which leads District 12-5A in yards, will be key if Lee is to knock off its crosstown rival.

John Tyler CB Isaac Warren. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Thus far, John Tyler’s secondary has held up strong. In the Lions’ first two games, opponents have completed just 19-of-42 attempts for 284 yards. The combination of corner Isaac Warren and safeties Terry Ausborne and Greg Johnson have gotten the job done against some of the best receivers in the state. JT limited Lufkin’s trio of FBS-caliber receivers KeKe Coutee (Texas commit), Jamal Jeffery (Texas A&M commit) and Terry Mark (Houston offer) to six catches and held Lancaster’s Nick Alexander (Arizona State pledge) to one catch for minus-5 yards. While this might suggest JT has a edge in the matchup with Lee’s receivers, the Lions have yet to face a challenge like Lee’s dual-threat quarterback presents. It will be interesting to see how the Lions’ defensive backs play in coverage, knowing Hall is just as capable of pulling it down and making plays with his feet.

Tyler Lee receiver Bryce Wilkerson looks for room to run during the Red Raiders’ win over Lufkin on Sept. 6 in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don’t be surprised if: The game is competitive throughout. Even though Lee defeated Lufkin by two touchdowns a week after the Panthers delivered a 24-point loss to John Tyler, rivalry games are often unpredictable. In 2011, JT entered as heavy favorites but suffered a 39-30 loss to a Lee team that finished the season 1-9. The Lions are well aware are what people around town are saying about Lee’s resurgence and may come into Friday’s matchup with a chip on their shoulders. JT also showed major signs of improvement last week. After the Lions allowed 16 sacks to Lufkin, JT quarterback Geovari McCollister was sacked only twice by Lancaster. Whatever happens, both teams are young and should only get better as the season progresses.

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