John Tyler Shoots For First Win of 2015 in District 16-5A Opener With Rival Whitehouse
Whitehouse Wildcats (2-1)
John Tyler Lions (0-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
- Whitehouse: Adam Cook
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Whitehouse: idle
- John Tyler: idle
- Whitehouse: vs. Lufkin, Oct. 2
- John Tyler: at Lindale, Oct. 2
- LB Khyree Key, Jr., 6-2, 220 (16 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure)
- QB Collin Bullard, Sr., 6-1, 180 (37 of 60, 661 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs; 16 carries, 119 yards, 1 TD)
- RB/WR Shemar Smith, Sr., 5-9, 170 (18 carries, 137 yards, 1 TD; 11 catches, 253 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Tanner Roach, Jr., 6-0, 170 (1 catch, 13 yards; 9 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Trent Williams, Sr., 6-2, 185 (8 catches, 156 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Anthony Brown, Sr., 5-10, 230
- WR Zach Parker, Jr., 6-1, 185 (14 catches, 170 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Ashton Melton, Jr., 5-11, 165 (10 catches, 149 yards, 2 TDs)
- DL Braylon Jones, Sr., 6-3, 290 (14 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 QB pressures; committed to Houston)
- DL Pierre Leonard, Sr., 5-9, 245 (15 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 forced fumbles)
- DB Bryston Gipson, Sr., 5-10, 170 (22 tackles, 2 PBUs, 1 blocked kick)
- WR Damion Miller, Jr., 6-1, 200 (7 catches, 101 yards, 1 TD; committed to Texas)
- QB Bryson Smith, Jr., 6-0, 170 (35 of 68, 485 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; 39 carries, 313 yards, 4 TDs)
- OL Adrian Harris, Sr., 6-3, 290
- WR Duntayviun Gross, Sr., 5-8, 150 (15 catches, 251 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Shaundrick Williams, Jr., 6-0, 210 (30 tackles)
Just the facts
- This is the sixth all-time meeting between John Tyler and Whitehouse. John Tyler has gone 4-1 against Whitehouse since 2010.
- Since 2010, Whitehouse is 4-1 in district openers, while John Tyler is 5-0.
- Whitehouse is averaging 45.7 points and 480.3 yards per game -- 325.3 passing and 155 rushing.
- The Wildcats have outscored the opposition, 103-21, in their last six quarters. Whitehouse was outscored, 69-34, in its first six quarters of the season.
- Eleven different Whitehouse players have caught at least one pass on the year.
- John Tyler is averaging 23 points and 315.3 yards per game -- 161.7 passing and 153.6 rushing.
- The Lions' last district-opening loss came in 2007.
- John Tyler's last 0-4 start to a season occurred in 2006.
Key matchup: Whitehouse passing attack vs. John Tyler secondary. After beginning the season with uncertainty at the quarterback spot, it appears Whitehouse finally has its man at that position as district play commences. Senior Collin Bullard and junior Tanner Roach split snaps through the first two weeks of the season, but after a strong performance by Bullard in a Week 2 win over Chapel Hill, Whitehouse coach Adam Cook opted to go with Bullard two weeks ago against Sulphur Springs. He wasn't asked to throw much as Whitehouse erupted for 31 first-quarter points and 59 before halftime, but Bullard managed to pass for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only eight completions. In his last two outings, Bullard has thrown for 616 yards with five TD's and no interceptions. He's also proven to be viable threat in the running game with more than 100 yards and a score on the ground.
Like always, Whitehouse will spread the ball around to several receivers. In only three games, 11 different Wildcats players have at least one reception and eight have caught touchdowns. Senior Shemar Smith and junior Ashton Melton are speedy options, each capable of doing big damage after the catch, while senior Trent Williams and junior Zach Parker are bigger targets prone to making difficult receptions against physical defensive backs.
While many will point to John Tyler's offensive struggles as the reason behind the Lions' 0-3 start to the season, the defense hasn't exactly done the team any favors. In JT's loss to Tyler Lee two weeks ago, the Lions allowed 69 points, the most John Tyler has allowed in a game in the history of the program. However, most of Lee's offense that night came on the ground -- 554 rushing yards -- and JT has yet to face an opponent that passes the ball with as much regularity as Whitehouse. As always, a key for the Lions will be to get a heavy pass rush with their defensive line, which includes heavy hitters like Braylon Jones and Pierre Leonard. But perhaps most importantly, will be how John Tyler matches up against Whitehouse's receivers.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is more low-scoring than the average Whitehouse-John Tyler game has been in recent years. Since 2010, the average final score between these two Smith County rivals is 43-28 in favor of John Tyler. However, the Lions' offense has struggled mightily through the first three weeks of the season, averaging right at 23 points and a little more than 300 yards per game. JT has really only been able to count on one player for consistent production, and that's junior quarterback Bryson Smith, who's accounted for all of the passing offense and 68 percent of the rushing attack. After allowing 48 points in a season-opening loss to Texas High and yielding 21 first-half points to Chapel Hill in Week 2, Whitehouse's defense has turned it up a notch. In the Wildcats' last six quarters, they've surrendered a total of 21 points.