Success Hinges On John Tyler’s Defensive Front In Area Round Game Versus Mansfield Summit
Class 5A Division I Playoffs
Mansfield Summit Jaguars (7-4)
John Tyler Lions (9-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, Rockwall
- Summit: Travis Pride
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Summit: defeated Dallas Spruce, 56-15
- John Tyler: defeated Texas High, 58-23
- Winner plays Rockwall Heath-Wylie winner in Region II quarterfinal round
- RB Derek Johnson, Soph. (207 carries, 1,472 yards, 16 TDs)
- QB Lance Schwab (32 of 60, 525 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INT in five games in injury relief work for quarterback Braden Nolan)
- WR Burrell Taylor, Sr., 6-0, 178 (34 catches, 638 yards, 7 TDs)
- LB Parker Herrington, Sr., 6-0, 211 (team-high 57 tackles)
- CB Isaac Warren, Sr., 6-1, 190 (42 tackles, INT, fumble recovery, defensive TD; committed to Purdue)
- DT Braylon Jones, Jr., 6-4, 295 (65 tackles, 4 for loss, 4 sacks, 2 QB pressures)
- WR Rodney Bendy, Sr., 6-5, 200 (22 catches, 365 yards, 5 TDs; committed to North Texas)
- WR Nick Cain, Sr., 5-11, 175 (41 catches, 536 yards, 4 TDs; 4 carries, 16 yards, 2 TDs; committed to ULM)
- QB Geovari McCollister, Sr., 6-3, 205 (161 of 245, 2,388 yards, 19 TDs, 3 INTs; 104 carries, 339 yards, 3 TDs; committed to Central Arkansas)
- RB Jeremy Wilson, Sr., 5-9, 170 (158 carries, 1,274 yards, 20 TDs; 26 catches, 261 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Duntayviun Gross, Jr., 5-8, 160 (38 catches, 542 yards, 4 TDs)
- S Bryston Gipson, Jr., 6-0, 180 (49 tackles, INT, PBU, 6 fumbles recoveries, blocked kick, 3 defensive TDs)
- S Jordan Owens, Sr., 5-11, 175 (47 tackles, 6 INTs, 1 fumble recovery, 1 defensive TD)
Just the facts
- John Tyler has left the East Texas region and, barring a regional championship meeting against Longview, will play exclusively teams from the Metroplex if it gets past Summit through at least the fourth round.
- Lions safety Jordan Owens was the Week 10 ETSN.fm/Dairy Queen Defensive Player of the Week with two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the 58-23 bi-district playoff win against Texas High.
- Lots of talent on the John Tyler roster. Five players have at least one FBS college offer.
- The Lions and Summit share no common opponents.
- John Tyler has surpassed last year's finish, a trip to the bi-district round and loss to Mansfield Legacy. But the two Lions teams prior to last year's reached the month of December.
- The Lions and Summit have never met before in football. Summit opened in 2002, 94 years after John Tyler played its first game.
- Summit knocked out Nacogdoches last season to punch its ticket into the area round.
- The Jaguars' best playoff finish ever came in 2004 when it reached a regional championship game. Since then, it has not reached moved past the area round.
- Summit has lost four straight times in area round games.
- The winner of Friday's game will take on either Rockwall Heath (9-2) or Wylie (8-3).
Key matchup: John Tyler's defense against Mansfield's balanced offense. The Jaguars' offense might remind the East Texas squad of Nacogdoches with a good running back in sophomore Derek Johnson.
Summit is at its best when it can establish the run as was Nacogdoches, a team the Lions really stifled in a 44-14 win two weeks ago in their District 16-5A finale. Running nearly exclusively out of the pistol formation, Summit doesn't really give the opposing defense many signals about what it's trying to get accomplished on the play.
If you're not familiar with the pistol, it's a variant of the spread offense. The quarterback splits the middle between being under center and all the way back in a shotgun set. The running back stands directly behind him and gets a good first step with forward momentum before taking the ball or the quarterback can drop back for a pass before the defense can reach his initial standing point.
John Tyler won't really have a good feel for what Summit wants to do unless the down and distance situation is obvious. The entire Lions defense will have to be alert at all times.
Good news though. John Tyler has at least one playmaker in every position group, and it's stacked at defensive line and in the secondary. If the proven defensive front can hassle Summit's good offensive line, the Lions will cut down the opposition's strong point and the Jaguars will have to lean on their backup quarterback and a receiving unit that is pretty par for the course among area round teams.
John Tyler probably has the pass defense skill set among all East Texas teams still in contention.
Don't be surprised if: The Lions' front seven plays aggressively. Summit wants to run at them, but that's not going to be an easy task. Nose guard Pierre Leonard has really stepped up to the challenge this season, junior tackle Braylon Jones is a college-caliber player and senior end Jassavia Reese is a big body to deal with along the edge of the box.
Senior Jaylon Reese has a team-best 85 tackles for John Tyler and should be able to help clean up runs that break through the defensive line. The secondary should be able to put a stop to Summit's bigger runs of the night.
If Summit can't yield as much as it needs to with its running backs, getting pressure on the quarterback and relying on the secondary to make plays could knock the Jaguars into bad down and distances and force punts to an explosive John Tyler offense.