There are a lot of teams out there that would view getting promoted by the University Interscholastic League to a higher classification as a death sentence. They were something at a lower level but know they don't have the numbers to compete with bigger schools.

John Tyler, contrarily, is looking forward to its new home in District 11-6A. It has five NCAA Division I FBS recruits identified on its 2016 team and 14 starters from last season's Class 5A Division I area round team are back in total.

The district scheduler did no favors for the Lions though. They're going to host Rockwall right off the bat in league competition Sept. 16 in the sixth-best game of's top 25 games of 2016 countdown.

Rockwall, which was in a district with Tyler Lee last season, cruised to a 7-0 run within the league and then went four rounds deep in the Class 6A Division II playoff bracket. Ten starters are back from that team -- six on offense and four on defense.

We think this game might be viewed as the district championship game in retrospect.

Sam Crawford, currently a mid-level Division I FBS receiver recruit, headlines Rockwall. He caught 77 balls last season for 1,436 yards and 18 touchdowns.

John Tyler has a solid receiver of its own. It's Texas commitment Damion Miller. And he'll be on the receiving end of passes from Houston commitment Bryson Smith.

And maybe UTSA cornerback commitment Javontavius Mosley can limit Crawford.

The Lions actually have more name recognition than Rockwall at this point in time.

The question is, do they have a more complete team from top to bottom?

Rockwall was a 5A team itself just four years ago and has turned into a 6A team with staying power. Each season has been better than the last despite turnover at key positions.

John Tyler will face Plano West from 6A, local 5A power Ennis and national power New Orleans Warren Easton in non-district competition before getting in the ring with Rockwall.

Will you watch what perhaps will be remembered as the District 11-6A championship game?’s Top 25 Games of 2016






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