John Tyler Eyes Consistency After Strong Start to 2017 Season
John Tyler football coach Ricklan Holmes has one message for his team in 2017: Trust The Process.
"You have to understand that everything you're doing is for the ultimate good of the team," Holmes said on Tuesday, four days after the Lions opened the season with a 49-13 win over Plano West. "There is a cause and purpose for everything that we do."
It may only be one game into the season, but the process is working so far.
The Lions made a statement to open their 2017 campaign last Friday, racking up 666 yards of offense and holding Plano West to 204 yards on the opposite side of the ball.
Offensively, JT had a 200-yard rusher, one with more than 100 and two more with at least 78 yards on the ground. As a team the Lions racked up 517 yards on the ground, led by Cameron Grant's 200 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Roderick Hawkins ran for 149 yards and an 80-yard touchdown as well.
"We're seeing some consistency with the running game, and we need to maintain that consistency," Holmes said. "Up front with the offensive line and the blocking scheme that we have, along with our three running backs, shows the consistency we can have throughout the year. Any time you can run the ball you're going to win football games because you can control the clock."
JT put on an offensive showcase despite five turnovers, a stat Holmes said has to be different from here on out.
"Not fumbling the ball is our priority on offense. We just have to make sure we stay with our consistency and move the ball. We have to make sure our offensive line can do what they do," Holmes said. "Turnovers help opponents win football games, and we can't do that."
Defensively, the Lions forced four turnovers, including three interceptions from Plano West quarterback Jake Sweeney. Holmes said JT's secondary has been a weak spot in the past, but Friday showed it's on its way to a strong improvement.
"Knowing our secondary was our weak point last season, (Friday) showed that we took care of the issues we had coming into the season," Holmes said. "We played solid on Friday."
Up next for John Tyler is Ennis, another team that relies on a strong rushing attack. Ennis, which posted 270 of its 357 total yards on the ground, lost to South Oak Cliff, 29-28, on the final play of the game last Friday night.
"They're a tough football team. They're going to run the ball and going to have trickery here and there, just the type of offense they have," Holmes said. "The clock is going to keep spinning, so we just have to do a better job on defense stopping them on offense than them stopping us on offense."
A win Friday night would be another building block to a 2017 season full of high expectations for John Tyler, which is gearing up for district opponents such as Tyler Lee, Rockwall and Mesquite on the horizon.
Success comes from one thing, Holmes said. Trust the process.
"We have to trust the process for our first goal, which is a district championship, and keep trusting the process to try to win a state championship," Holmes said. "We're going to be successful, but without focus, will and desire, and to do things the right way, we won't reach our goals. We have to make sure we're selfless. As a team it's the only way to win."