PREVIEW: John Tyler Finishes Non-District With 6A Power Euless Trinity
John Tyler Lions (1-2)
Euless Trinity Trojans (3-0)
7 p.m. Friday
Pennington Field, Bedford
- John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes
- Trinity: Chris Jensen
- John Tyler: lost to Longview, 41-13
- Trinity: def. Colleyville Heritage, 35-28
- John Tyler: at Texas High, Sept. 28
- Trinity: vs. Hurst L.D. Bell, Sept. 27
Players to watch
- WR Ke'Andre Street, Sr. (12 catches, 277 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Houston)
- OL Chance Billington, Sr. (committed to Louisiana-Monroe)
- RB/DB Cam Grant, Sr. (20 carries, 251 yards, 3 TDs; 6 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- RB Rod Hawkins, Sr. (31 carries, 255 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 50 yards)
- RB/DB Kitan Crawford, Jr. (5 carries, 28 yards; 4 tackles, 1 INT)
- QB Devlen Woods, Sr. (20 of 38, 449 yards, 2 TDs; 11 carries, 13 yards)
- LB Tyrell Jones, Sr. (24 tackles, 1 for loss)
- DL Ja'Bralen Yarber, Sr. (19 tackles, 3 QB pressures; committed to Northwestern State)
- RB Brandon Theus, Sr., 6-0, 205 (26 carries, 198 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Keanu Hill, Sr., 6-3, 190 (13 catches, 140 yards, TD)
- LB Max Sagako, Sr., 5-11, 210 (18 tackles, 2 for loss)
- DT William Latu, Sr., 6-0, 255 (8 tackles, 1 sack)
- RB Malcom Washington, Jr., 5-8, 160 (28 carries, 140 yards, 5 TDs)
- QB Laki Ellis, Sr., 6-2, 200 (25 of 41, 351 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; 11 carries, 20 yards, TD)
- S Soti Leota, Sr., 6-0, 185 (18 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble)
- RB AJ Barnett, Jr., 5-10, 195 (27 carries, 104 yards, 2 TDs)
Just the facts
- This is the first-ever meeting between John Tyler and Euless Trinity.
- Euless Trinity and John Tyler have each won three state championships. Trinity last won in 2009, while JT's last title occurred in 1994.
- John Tyler is averaging 28.3 points and 423.7 yards per game -- 212.7 rushing and 211 passing.
- Lions senior receiver Ke'Andre Street is averaging 23.1 yards per catch.
- In its two losses, John Tyler scored a total of just 20 points and averaged 281.5 yards.
- Euless Trinity is averaging 30.7 points and 310.7 yards per game -- 193.7 rushing and 117 passing.
- Trinity is averaging just 50 offensive plays per game.
- The Trojans are allowing 16.3 points per game and has forced seven turnovers -- four interceptions and three fumbles.
Key matchup: Trinity rushing attack vs. John Tyler defensive front. The identity of the Trinity Trojans football program has seemingly always been big offensive linemen and a powerful rushing attack. And that's no different in 2018, although the numbers have been surprisingly slow to come though the first three games of the season. Trinity enters Friday's game averaging less than 200 rushing yards per game. Some of that has to do with the difficult schedule the Trojans have assembled, which has featured perennial 6A playoff contenders Hewitt Midway, Sachse, and Colleyville Heritage. While Trinity has been less explosive on offense than previous years, the methodical, time-consuming elements remain. Staying on schedule on first and second down will be critical for the Trojans' offense this week.
John Tyler's defense has been shaky at best so far this year. In the Lions' two losses to Cedar Hill and Longview, the defense was powerless to combat both teams' ability to control the tempo offensively. It was a different story in their win over crosstown rival Tyler Lee two weeks ago, as it contained Lee's running game with the exception of a few big plays here and there. The strength of the JT defense is up front with lineman Ja'Bralen Yarber, and linebackers Tyrell Jones, Kameron Mayfield, and Isaiah Johnson leading the way. The Lions will need another strong performance from their front seven in order to contain Trinity's powerful rushing attack.
Don't be surprised if: John Tyler turns to senior running back Cam Grant more often this week. In the Week 1 loss to Cedar Hill, Grant got only two carries, and the result was a 50-point defeat. The following week, Grant sparked a JT offense that put up 65 points and more than 700 yards with 199 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries. Last week against Longview, Grant's carries went down again. He had eight attempts, but still managed to average more than six yards per carry. Grant gives JT's offense the element of explosiveness that it lacks otherwise. The Lions will likely need their fair share of big plays on offense to hand Trinity its first loss of the season.