John Tyler Lions (3-1, 0-1)


North Mesquite Stallions (2-2, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday
E.H. Hanby Stadium, Mesquite



  • John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
  • North Mesquite: Mike Robinson


Last week


Next week

  • John Tyler: vs. Mesquite, Sept. 30
  • North Mesquite: at Rockwall-Heath, Sept. 30



John Tyler

  • QB Bryson Smith, Sr., 6-0, 170 (61 of 107, 1,111 yards, 13 TDs, 2 INTs; 53 carries, 481 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Houston)
  • WR Damion Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195 (11 catches, 354 yards, 4 TDs; committed to Texas)
  • DE Dekalen Goodson, Jr., 6-3, 205 (29 tackles, 11 for loss, 7 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 PBU)
  • CB Javonta Mosley, Sr., Sr., 6-2, 170 (17 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 5 PBUs; committed to UTSA)
  • DE Howard Hawkins, Sr., 6-0, 266 (32 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, 7 QB pressures)
  • RB Justin Samples, Jr., 6-2, 205 (68 carries, 308 yards, 5 TDs)
  • LB Tre Allison, Jr., 6-2, 205 (36 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)
  • WR Michael Givens-Washington, Jr., 5-7, 165 (18 catches, 332 yards, 4 TDs)


North Mesquite

  • QB Ja'Quez Gooch, Sr., 5-8, 185 (31 of 44, 386 yards, 7 TDs, 0 INTs; 30 carries, 185 yards, 1 TD)
  • RB Dreshawn Minnieweather, Sr., 6-0, 205 (51 carries, 483 yards, 3 TDs)
  • LB Dillon Owens, Sr., 6-0, 195
  • DL Stephen Turner, Sr., 6-2, 230
  • QB Alex Vigil, Jr. (12 of 29, 184 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs; 19 carries, 86 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Ja'marzayea Arvie, Jr., 5-8, 155 (13 catches, 219 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Donte Howell, Sr., 6-3, 192 (9 catches, 128 yards, 2 TDs)
  • WR Zavyar Swain, Sr., 5-8, 150 (13 catches, 119 yards, 1 TD)


Just the facts

  • This is the 10th all-time meeting between North Mesquite and John Tyler. North Mesquite leads the series, 5-4.
  • The last meeting between JT and North Mesquite came in 2009, a 34-6 John Tyler win.
  • In last week's narrow loss to Rockwall, John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith accounted for 614 of his team's 725 total yards of offense.
  • After allowing only 34 points through three games, the Lions gave up 59 points and a season-high 487 yards to Rockwall.
  • John Tyler is averaging 43.5 points and 489 yards per game -- 211.3 rushing and 277.7 passing.
  • North Mesquite's last three games have been decided by seven points or less.
  • Stallions senior quarterback Ja'Quez Gooch did not play last week after suffering an injury in Week 3.
  • North Mesquite is averaging 30 points and 368.3 yards per game -- 226.5 rushing and 114.8 passing.


John Tyler QB Bryson Smith. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith vs. North Mesquite defense. It is extremely difficult to game plan against the Lions' signal-caller and University of Houston commit. In last week's game against Rockwall, Smith demonstrated that perfectly by totaling 614 yards of offense (389 passing, 225 rushing) and accounting for six touchdowns. What makes Smith especially challenging to prepare for is his ability to improvise. When opposing defenses apply pressure, Smith uses his superior athletic skills to either elude the rush and buy enough time to make big throws downfield, or simply breaks free and does damage with his legs. Defenses are presented with the terrifying options of either bringing extra pass rushers, or playing back in coverage. Smith has proven in the early going that each decision can adversely affect the defense.

John Tyler WR Damion Miller. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Fortunately for North Mesquite, the Stallions have already gone up against a dual-threat quarterback with a similar skill-set as Smith. In a Week 2 encounter, North Mesquite faced talented Garland Lakeview Centennial senior QB Kamron Fields, who currently holds Division I offers from 10 schools, including Iowa, Minnesota, SMU, and Utah. However, North Mesquite's defense did not have an answer that night for Fields, who totaled 415 yards of offense and generated five touchdowns in the Stallions' 34-27 loss. Fields did most of the damage with his arm, completing 22 of 32 passes for 302 yards and four scores, while rolling up 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Smith is certainly capable of duplicating those type of numbers Friday, but it will be interesting see how North Mesquite learns from its past experience this week.

Don't be surprised if: John Tyler makes a concerted effort to establish running back Justin Samples into the offensive game plan. Smith has carried a heavy load thus far, accounting for more than 80 percent of his team's yardage output and 18 of the Lions' 24 offensive touchdowns. Head coach Ricklan Holmes expects his team to qualify for the playoffs this season, and do some damage once it gets there. And the only way that can happen is with a healthy Smith directing the offense. It makes sense, especially during the regular season, to limit the exposure Smith (6-0, 170) has to injury by getting other playmakers involved. And that includes Samples, who is second on the team in rushing with 308 yards and five touchdowns. So far the Lions' back has averaged 17 carries per game, but it would not be surprising to see his attempts increase as the season progresses.