Suffocating Defense Propels No. 7 John Tyler to 21-0 Shutout of Tyler Lee [VIDEO]
TYLER -- The John Tyler offense gets a lot of attention, but during Friday's annual showdown with crosstown-rival Tyler Lee, the night belonged to the Lions' defense.
John Tyler forced three three turnovers and held Lee to just 139 yards in a 21-0 victory in front of a capacity-crowd of 11,500 at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in the Dairy Queen Game of the Week. The win pushed JT's all-time lead in the series to 29-27-1.
It was the seventh-ranked Lions' (2-1) first shutout since their 17-0 win over Lee in 2010 and it comes on the heels of last week's stunning loss to Lancaster and one year after allowing more than 400 yards in a 39-30 loss to the Red Raiders (0-3) last season.
"That means a lot to me because last year (defense) was our weakness," John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes said. "Our offense took care of a lot of football games and our defense gave up a lot of football games. Now they're doing the things that we're teaching them do.
"The difference between this game and last game is that we didn't let the little mistakes kill us early. We had a lot of mistakes today, but not as many as we did last week."
John Tyler held Lee standout senior running back LaQuintas Wallace to just 32 yards on 13 attempts, while allowing just two completions in 16 attempts for 52 yards.
"They're fast and have good speed on defense and we didn't hit point of attack," Lee coach Darrell Piske said. "We tried to bounce everything, not understanding that four yards is a good play."
The Lions, who mustered only 255 yards themselves, led just 7-0 late in the third quarter before going up by two scores on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Greg Ward to Fred Ross. JT put the game out of reach when DeQuante Woods picked off Lee quarterback Raleigh Poster and raced 40 yards to the end zone as time expired in the third quarter.
"That's going to be in my head for a long, long time," Woods said of his defensive score. "I just read the receiver's route and just caught the ball. I saw my boy (Tyus Bowser) blocking for me, so I knew I had to score for my team."
In addition to Woods' pick-six, Elliot Hart had an interception and Traven Johnson recovered a fumble. Bowser posted a sack and several tackles for loss.
Ward, who limped off the field after being sacked late in the first half, finished the night 11-of-15 for 123 yards and added 25 yards on nine carries. Junior running back Reggie Gipson rushed for 65 yards and had two catches for 25 yards to spark the JT offense.
"It means a lot because we're playing for bragging rights, and we were playing with a chip on our shoulder tonight because we lost last week," Ward said.
Ross set up the game's first touchdown with a 34-yard punt return to the Lee 46. Six plays later, sophomore Jeremy Wilson found the end zone from 11 yards to put the Lions on top, 7-0, with 5:49 to go in the opening quarter.
JT had just one more scoring chance the rest of the half, but Ward fumbled at the Lee 24 midway through the second quarter.
The Lions had another opportunity to increase their lead late on their first possession of the half, but Ross fumbled after a 7-yard completion.
Lee, however, couldn't take advantage.
On JT's next drive, Gipson's 29-yard run, 22-yard reception and a Lee personal foul penalty paved the way for Ward's touchdown pass to Ross. Woods' interception followed soon after.
"I can't tell out here why we weren't moving the football," Piske said. "We'll look at the film, but we've got one more game before we get ready for district. The defense is fixed, now we've got to get the offense back to where it was."
No. 7 John Tyler 21, Tyler Lee 0
At TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
John Tyler 7 0 14 0 -- 21
Tyler Lee 0 0 0 0 -- 0
JT--Jeremy Wilson 11 run (Porfirio Benitez kick), 5:49.
JT--Fred Ross 21 pass from Greg Ward (Benitez kick), 2:12.
JT--DeQuante Woods 40 interception return (Benitez kick), :00.
First Downs 13 7
Rushes-Yards 34-132 33-87
Passing Yards 123 52
Comp.-Att.-Int. 11-15-0 2-16-2
Punts-Avg. 6-44.2 9-48.1
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-1
Penalties-Yards 9-70 5-40
RUSHING--John Tyler, Reggie Gipson 13-65, Greg Ward 9-25, Jeremy Wilson 3-16, Tyus Bowser 3-14, Fred Ross 4-14, Dyran McDuff 1-2, Duan Brooks 1-(-4). Tyler Lee, LaQuintas Wallace 13-32, Jordan Richardson 10-25, Bryce Wilkerson 3-22, Marquiston Williams 1-7, Michael Wallace 4-5, Demarcus Bailey 2-(-4).
PASSING--John Tyler, Ward 11-15-0--123. Tyler Lee, Raleigh Poster 2-12-1--52, Richardson 0-4-1--0.
RECEIVING--John Tyler, Ross 3-31, Justice Liggins 3-24, Gipson 2-25, Darion Flowers 2-24, Wilson 1-19. Tyler Lee, Williams 1-30, L. Wallace 1-22.