Longview’s Powerful Rushing Attack Takes on Stout John Tyler Defense
John Tyler Lions (6-1, 3-1)
Longview Lobos (6-1, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Longview: John King
- John Tyler: vs. Mesquite Horn, Oct. 28
- Longview: at Rockwall-Heath, Oct. 28
- QB Bryson Smith, Sr., 6-0, 175 (99 of 170, 1,615 yards, 19 TDs, 6 INTs; 88 carries, 824 yards, 9 TDs; committed to Houston)
- WR Damion Miller, Sr., 6-2, 195 (17 catches, 466 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Texas)
- CB Javonta Mosley, Sr., 6-2, 175 (34 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 11 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery; committed to UTSA)
- DE DeKalen Goodson, Jr., 6-3, 215 (43 tackles, 13 for loss, 8 sacks, 4 QB pressures, 2 PBUs, 1 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- LB Tre Allison, Jr., 6-2, 200 (69 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery)
- WR Michael Givens-Washington, Jr., 5-8, 160 (26 catches, 440 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR Devlen Woods, Soph., 5-8, 175 (29 catches, 366 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Cameron Grant, Soph., 5-9, 170 (60 carries, 400 yards, 3 TDs; 5 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD)
- DE Howard Hawkins, Sr., 6-0, 265 (51 tackles, 17 for loss, 6 sacks, 15 QB pressures, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Shaundrick Williams, Sr., 5-11, 220 (52 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PBU)
- RB Kendrevian White, Sr., 5-9, 215 (134 carries, 848 yards, 11 TDs)
- RB D'Crayvan Polk, Sr., 5-9, 180 (86 carries, 670 yards, 7 TDs; 5 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD)
- OL Kendall Starling, Sr., 6-3, 310
- QB Gaylon Wiley, Sr., 6-4, 185 (46 of 87, 895 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs; 32 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs)
- TE Jaylin Brown, Jr., 6-4, 225 (8 catches, 199 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Eric Timberlake, Jr., 5-10, 175 (12 catches, 297 yards, 4 TDs)
- S Traveion Webster, Sr., 6-0, 202 (45 tackles, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 blocked kick)
- LB Ja'Quavion Faggans, Sr., 5-9, 185 (50 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles)
- DL Jadarrion Blakemore, Jr., 6-0, 220 (39 tackles, 10 for loss, 2 sacks)
- LB Kobe Davis, Sr., 5-10, 200 (51 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT, 1 defensive TD)
Just the facts
- This is the 90th meeting between John Tyler and Longview in a series that dates back to 1912. Longview leads the all-time series, 46-36-7.
- Friday's game marks the first district meeting between the Lions and Lobos since 2007.
- John Tyler is averaging 40.6 points and 480.3 yards per game -- 248 rushing and 232.3 passing.
- The Lions defense is allowing 17.3 points per game, and has made 42 tackles for loss with 23 sacks.
- John Tyler is in its first season in Class 6A. The last time the Lions were in the state's highest classification was in 2009, when JT finished 12-2.
- Longview is averaging 47.1 points and 465.1 yards per game -- 335.5 rushing and 129.6 passing.
- The Lobos' defense is allowing 27.4 points and 379 yards per game -- 203.6 rushing and 175.4 passing.
- Longview is 70-4 in district games under head coach John King.
Key matchup: Longview rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. Stopping the Lobos on the ground has been much easier said that done in 2016. Despite losing talented backs like Tylan Miller and Braylynn Anthony to graduation from last season's state quarterfinalist team, Longview's running game hasn't missed a beat this season; in fact, it might be even be more productive. The Lobos are averaging almost 20 more rushing yards per game this season, and just like a year ago, the contributors are many. Tailbacks Kendrevian White and D'Crayvan Polk see most of the action, and enter Friday's colossal District 11-6A showdown with rival John Tyler with a combined 1,518 yards and 18 touchdowns. But Longview isn't shy about using its quarterback Gaylon Wiley or fullback Trajan Bush. Wiley has only 32 rushing attempts on the year, but averages more than four yards per cary and has a couple of touchdowns on the ground. Bush, only a sophomore, has run for 253 yards (third on the team) and a couple of scores on only 28 attempts.
If John Tyler's defense didn't have an identity before last week, it does now. Up until last Friday, Rockwall-Heath's "old-school" single-wing rushing attack had confounded every defense it came across this season. The Hawks had averaged more than 350 rushing yards per game, despite attempting just 10 passes all season long. Well, the Heath ground attack finally met its match with John Tyler, which held the Hawks to only 56 yards on 40 carries. It might be unfair to compare Heath's offense to Longview's more traditional two-back, I-formation, but last week proved that John Tyler is capable of taking away the run. It did so in previous weeks. The Lions have allowed more than 200 rushing yards in a game only once this season -- a 30-14 Week 2 win over Ennis. And opponents are averaging right at just 3.5 yards per carry. The JT defensive front is full of game-changers, including ends DeKalen Goodson and Howard Hawkins, and linebackers Tre Allison and Shaundrick Williams. That foursome has combined to forced three fumbles, recover four fumbles, and make 32 tackles for loss.
Don't be surprised if: Longview attempts to soften the John Tyler defense with play-action. Following an inconsistent start to the season, Lobos quarterback Gaylon Wiley has begun to emerge as a weapon in the passing game. Wiley is closing in on 1,000 yards through the air, and has thrown 13 touchdown passes in only 87 attempts -- an average of a TD every 6.5 throws. Wiley has two main targets -- junior speedster Eric Timberlake and junior tight end Jaylin Brown. Timberlake is the big-play man over the top, averaging almost 25 yards per catch, while Brown will be a key for the John Tyler defense in short yardage situations and in the red zone. Brown's only made eight receptions, but six have gone for touchdowns. He had three scoring catches last week against North Mesquite. Longview will still attempt to establish the running game, but expect the Lobos to move John Tyler's defense out of eight- and nine-man fronts when needed.