Whitehouse Wildcats (9-0, 4-0)
No. 2 John Tyler Lions (8-1, 4-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Whitehouse: Randy McFarlin
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

Last week
Whitehouse: def. Corsicana, 54-28
John Tyler: def. Nacogdoches, 50-7



  • QB Patrick Mahomes, Jr., 6-3, 180 (165 of 284, 2,626 yards, 33 TDs, 7 INTs; 62 carries, 211 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR Dylan Cantrell, Sr., 6-2, 202 (49 catches, 1,003 yards, 11 TDs; committed to Texas Tech)
  • WR Jake Parker, Jr. (48 catches, 677 yards, 5 TDs)
  • WR Coleman Patterson, Jr. (36 catches, 578 yards, 8 TDs)
  • WR Jaylon Dews, Jr. (26 catches, 409 yards, 5 TDs)
  • FS Justin Dunning, Soph., 6-3, 185 (42 tackles, 5 INTs, 5 pass break-ups, 1 fumble recovery)
  • SS Colby Campbell, Sr. (55 tackles, 1 INT, 3 pass break-ups, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • CB Nate Brooks, Soph. (34 tackles, 4 INTs, 4 pass break-ups)


John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-11, 165 (135 of 198, 2,150 yards, 25 TDs, 0 INTs; 102 carries, 387 yards, 6 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (41 catches, 736 yards, 11 TDs; 19 carries, 126 yards, 3 TDs; committed to Oklahoma State)
  • WR/DB Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 180 (32 catches, 587 yards, 5 TDs; 21 tackles, 1 INT, 2 pass break-ups)
  • WR Justice Liggins, Sr., 6-1, 190 (27 catches, 324 yards, 4 TDs)
  • TE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 230 (40 tackles, 7 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 1 pass break-ups, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • ATH DeQuante Woods, Sr., 5-11, 185 (56 carries, 250 yards, 7 TDs; 15 catches, 151 yards, 1 TD; 33 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
  • LB Richard Gipson, Sr., 6-2, 220 (81 tackles, 2 forced fumbles)
  • RB Reggie Gipson, Jr., 5-9, 175 (33 carries, 215 yards, 1 TD; 11 catches, 238 yards, 2 TDs)


Just the facts

  • Friday's matchup between Whitehouse and John Tyler will be just the third all-time meeting, and all in the last three years. JT won both encounters, 21-14 in 2010 and 42-14 last season.
  • The Wildcats have had a remarkable turnaround on defense. Last season, Whitehouse allowed 43.5 points per game. But through nine games this year, the Wildcats surrender just 23.8 while forcing 25 turnovers (19 interceptions).
  • Whitehouse, always among the area's top offensive units, is putting up big numbers again in 2012. Led by a prolific passing game, Whitehouse scores 44.9 per game while averaging 454.8 yards.
  • John Tyler began the season with huge expecations, and thus far, the Lions have met them. The Lions have been ranked in the state's top 10 all season, including a brief stop as the No. 1 team in 4A.
  • The Lions have also made a significant improvement on the defensive end. A year after allowing more than 28 points per game, JT gives up just 12.8 to opponents this season.
  • JT's led offensively by quarterback Greg Ward, who has yet to throw an interception in 198 passing attempts in 2012. The Lions average 37.7 points and 400.5 yards per game.



Whitehouse strong safety Colby Campbell. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)


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

Key matchup:John Tyler passing game vs. Whitehouse secondary. Not only has JT been lighting up its District 16-4A counterparts with big plays through the air, it's been about as efficient as can be. In four district games, the Lions and quarterback Greg Ward have completed 78 of 105 attempts (74 percent) for 1,164 yards and 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. The running game hasn't been too shabby, either, with 818 yards and 16 touchdowns the last four weeks. JT's offense should get is stiffest test in district this Friday against Whitehouse, which has been making big plays all season on the defensive end. Through nine games, the Wildcats have forced 25 turnovers, including 19 interceptions. Something's got to give when the mistake-less Ward goes up against a secondary that's averaged two interceptions each week. Whichever units plays the best Friday may have a lot to say about which teams comes out on top and claims the 16-4A championship.

Don't be surprised if:This game becomes more defensive than most people anticipate. Usually in big games like this, the defenses rise to the occasion and dictate tempo. As the old saying goes, "defense wins championships." And whichever 'D' plays the best Friday should decide the league crown. John Tyler's defense has dominated in district, holding opponents to just 7 points per game. Whitehouse has given up more yards and points, but has produced 16 turnovers the last four weeks. These two offenses get most of the pub, but expect both defenses to come ready to play in front of a packed house Friday night.