John Tyler Routs Plano West 45-14 in First Game as Class 6A Program
TYLER -- If Saturday afternoon's season opener was any indication, John Tyler will take to Class 6A quite nicely.
The Lions dominated both sides of the ball, and roared to a 45-14 rout of Plano West at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
John Tyler, one of the smallest schools in 6A after its move up from 5A, took out Plano West, a school with the state's second-largest enrollment -- almost 3,400 more students than JT.
“We just wanted to come out with a bang and let them know we’re here," said John Tyler junior defensive end DeKalen Goodson. "Just because we’re in 6A, that doesn’t mean anything’s changed.”
Lions senior quarterback Bryson Smith, a Houston commit, passed for four touchdowns and ran for another. Damion Miller, who is pledged to Texas, had four catches for 133 yards and two scores.
“When you’ve got guys like that, it takes away some of the pain when it comes time to score," said John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes. "But you’ve got guys like Justin Samples and Michael Givens-Washington that stepped up today, and showed that they can be big playmakers, too.”
Givens-Washington had a team-high five receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown, while Samples ran for 44 yards and a score on nine attempts.
John Tyler's defense put the clamps down on Plano West, limiting the Wolves to 278 total yards, 93 of which came on their final drive of the day against backup JT defenders.
The Lions forced two turnovers, and were the beneficiaries of a pair of special gaffes that both led to John Tyler touchdowns.
“They came out with a passion to dominate and do things the way they’ve been coached to do," Holmes said of his defense. "As coaches, that’s what you want to see your players do.”
Tabias Marshall and Howard Hawkins had fumble recoveries for John Tyler, while Da'Qualyon Kennedy blocked a punt.
Leading 17-7 to begin the second half, John Tyler scored on three of its four third-quarter possessions to put the game out of reach.
Smith sprinted into the end zone from 25 yards out to cap JT's first drive of the half, and that was followed by touchdowns passes of 18 and 11 yards to Miller and Givens-Washington, respectively.
JT scored once more through the air in the opening stages of the fourth when Smith connected with Miller for a 70-yard touchdown catch and run.
“That had to do with the challenge I gave them at halftime," Holmes said. "I told them, ‘if y’all want to be the great team that you say that you can be, you’ve got to go out here and you have to prove it.’”
John Tyler scored on its opening possession of the afternoon following Marshall's fumble recovery at the Plano West 47. A 40-yard pass play to Givens-Washington on first down preceded Smith's 17-yard scoring strike to running back Cameron Grant for the early 7-0 lead.
Plano West turned it over two possessions later as Hawkins pounced on a loose ball at the JT 28, but the Lions' drive stalled and they eventually had to settle for Devan Salazar's 45-yard field goal attempt, which fell short.
Kennedy blocked the Wolves' punt on the ensuing series, and JT recovered at the Wolves' 15. On first down, Samples sprung free up the middle for the touchdown, pushing the Lions' lead to 14-0 late in the opening quarter.
Plano West found the end zone for the first time on its next series, marching 58 yards in 10 plays and scoring on quarterback Tanner Gillean's 1-yard run.
With seven seconds remaining in the half, John Tyler took a shot to the end zone, and Plano West was penalized for pass interference, which gave Salazar a shot at a field goal from 38 yards out. Salazar was true this time, and the Lions went into halftime with a 17-7 lead.
John Tyler returns to action next Friday night when the Lions travel to Ennis. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
John Tyler 45, Plano West 14
At CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
Plano West 0 7 0 7 -- 14
John Tyler 14 3 21 7 -- 45
JT--Cameron Grant 13 pass from Bryson Smith (Devan Salazar kick), 8:41.
JT--Justin Samples 15 run (Salazar kick), :37.
PW--Tanner Gillean 1 run (Sacha Loudon), 9:02.
JT--FG Salazar 38, :00.
JT--Smith 25 run (Salazar kick), 11:18.
JT--Damion Miller 18 pass from Smith (Salazar kick), 9:14.
JT--Michael Givens-Washington 11 pass from Smith (Salazar kick), 1:13.
JT--Miller 70 pass from Smith (Frankie Sanchez kick), 9:21.
PW--Joe Griffin 31 pass from Jake Sweeney (Loudon kick), :25.
First Downs 14 18
Total Yards 278 410
Rushes-Yards 53-146 24-132
Passing Yards 132 278
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-22-0 14-26-1
Punts-Avg. 8-35.3 3-37.0
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 7-55 13-85
RUSHING--Plano West, Da'Vonte Carline 23-83, Tanner Gillean 17-58, DeShown Luckey 8-22, Reed Johnston 1-4, Cameron Strauss 1-0, Jake Sweeney 1-(-10), Team 2-(-11). John Tyler, Bryson Smith 7-73, Justin Samples 9-44, Victor Campbell 2-13, Jaivon Williams 3-2, Cameron Grant 3-0.
PASSING--Plano West, Sweeney 3-4-0--83, Gillean 7-18-0--49. John Tyler, Smith 14-24-1--278, Williams 0-1-0--0, Devlen Woods 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING--Plano West, Strauss 4-30, Andrew Pietsch 2-54, Johnston 2-13, Joe Griffin 1-31, Erik Daniels 1-4. John Tyler, Michael Givens-Washington 5-103, Damion Miller 4-133, KeEric Franklin 1-13, Grant 1-13, Woods 1-11, Williams 1-3, Samples 1-2.