John Tyler Faces Yet Another Test in 11-6A vs. Mesquite Horn
Mesquite Horn Jaguars (5-3, 3-2)
John Tyler Lions (7-1, 4-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Mesquite Horn: Mike Overton
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Mesquite Horn: def. North Mesquite, 63-49
- John Tyler: def. Longview, 38-24
- Mesquite Horn: vs. Rockwall-Heath, Nov. 4
- John Tyler: vs. Tyler Lee, Nov. 4
- QB Chris Robison, Sr., 6-2, 190 (95 of 129, 1,488 yards, 18 TDs, 2 INTs; 35 carries, 156 yards, 1 TD; committed to Oklahoma)
- WR Reggie Roberson, Sr., 6-0, 180 (42 catches, 797 yards, 10 TDs)
- RB Cornell Caldwell, Jr., 5-8, 160 (91 carries, 520 yards, 2 TDs; 14 catches, 185 yards, 4 TDs)
- LB Roman Pargas, Sr., 5-9, 175 (73 tackles, 8 for loss, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- S Bee Jay Williamson, Jr., 6-1, 180 (35 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- LB Ronald Reffell, Sr., 6-0, 215 (78 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 INTs, 3 PBUs)
- LB Chika Nwabuko, Sr., 6-0, 245 (62 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- WR Breon Emerson, Sr., 5-8, 150 (30 catches, 374 yards, 4 TDs)
- QB Bryson Smith, Sr., 6-0, 175 (116 of 197, 1,849 yards, 21 TDs, 6 INTs; 101 carries, 919 yards, 9 TDs; committed to Houston)
- WR Damion Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195 (24 catches, 556 yards, 6 TDs; committed to Texas)
- DE DeKalen Goodson, Jr., 6-3, 215 (48 tackles, 13 for loss, 8 sacks, 4 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 PBUs)
- LB Tre Allison, Jr., 6-2, 200 (78 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 INT, 3 PBUs)
- LB Shaundrick Williams, Sr., 5-11, 220 (56 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 PBU)
- RB Cameron Grant, Soph., 5-9, 170 (82 carries, 602 yards, 5 TDs; 5 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD)
- CB Javonta Mosley, Sr., 6-2, 175 (38 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 1 INT, 11 PBUs; committed to UTSA)
- DE Howard Hawkins, Sr., 6-0, 265 (56 tackles, 17 for loss, 6 sacks, 16 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries)
Just the facts
- Mesquite Horn is averaging 45.1 points and 447.6 yards per game -- 182.6 rushing and 265 passing.
- The Jaguars' defense has allowed 37 points per game and forced 16 turnovers -- seven fumbles and nine interceptions.
- Horn's two district losses to Longview and Rockwall have come by a combined 17 points.
- Jaguars quarterback Chris Robison has passed for 10 touchdowns total the last two weeks.
- John Tyler is averaging 40.3 points and 490.5 yards per game -- 258 rushing and 232.5 passing.
- The Lions' defense has allowed 18.1 points per game and forced 13 turnovers -- eight fumbles and five interceptions.
- John Tyler's only district loss came to Rockwall (59-58), a game it led 44-27 in the third quarter.
- Lions running back Cameron Grant is averaging 7.9 yards per carry over the last three games.
Key matchup: Mesquite Horn passing attack vs. John Tyler secondary. The Lions' defense will be facing the best quarterback it's faced all season in Jaguars senior Chris Robison, who has committed to Oklahoma. Robison, who missed a couple of games early in the season because of an injury, has been on fire in district. The Horn signal-caller comes into Friday's game against John Tyler with a completion percentage of almost 74 percent, and has thrown for five touchdowns in each of his last two games -- both 300-yard passing efforts. Last week was Robison's best performance of the season, completing 25 of 29 attempts for 371 yards with the five scores and no interceptions. That ignited a 63-point offensive onslaught in a 14-point win over North Mesquite. Reggie Roberson has been Robison's primary target on the year, and the senior needs just 203 yards over the final two games to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
John Tyler's defense has specialized in stopping the run this season, and has not faced an offense that passes with more regularity than Mesquite Horn. The Lions have allowed a modest average of 172 passing yards per game, and only 10 touchdowns through the air. However, seven of those scoring strikes have covered at least 30 yards. The big play is something the Jaguars' offense has fed off of in 2016, and if John Tyler wants to extend its four-game winning streak in district, it must find a way to prevent Horn from putting together multiple big plays in the passing game. The Lions feature of one East Texas' top defensive backs in senior Javonta Mosley, a UTSA commit, but at times, head coach Ricklan Holmes has called upon the services of star receiver Damion Miller (Texas commit) to help out at safety. John Tyler has done an outstanding job of applying pressure to quarterbacks this season with 26 sacks in only eight games, and a solid pass rush would go a long way in defending Horn's aerial assault.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler sophomore running back Cameron Grant continues to be featured heavily in the Lions' offensive attack. Since taking over for the injured starting back Justin Samples in Week 5, Grant has blossomed by rushing for 566 yards and four touchdowns in three-plus games. In last week's pivotal road win at Longview, Grant enjoyed the best performance of his young career with 202 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. With Grant, and senior quarterback Bryson Smith (Houston pledge), John Tyler can make a case for District 11-6A's most explosive rushing attack. The duo has combined to rush for 1,235 yards and 11 touchdowns in the Lions' five district games. The rushing attack has made John Tyler's passing game more explosive as well, as the Lions enter Friday's matchup averaging almost 16 yards per completion.