The heart and soul of the John Tyler defense last year was undoubtedly the defensive line duo of Braylon Jones and Pierre Leonard.

Jones the valedictorian and Leonard the talker dominated the line of scrimmage for the Lions, combining for 149 tackles at a position not usually called upon to make stops.

But with Jones now playing for the Houston Cougars and Leonard lining up at Texas A&M-Commerce, one of the big question marks for John Tyler heading into this season was who would step up at the defensive line position.

Through two games, the position appears to be in good hands.

The trio of Howard Hawkins, Kaylon Douglas and Shaundrick Williams have helped the Lions defense start the season 2-0 through their work in the trenches.

"The ability to control the line of scrimmage has been their biggest deal coming into this season, especially in the first two games," JT coach Ricklan Holmes said.

None of the three defensive linemen came into the year with a ton of experience on the line.

Williams is a third-year starter but played linebacker the last two seasons. As a senior this year he's playing a bit of both depending on whether JT uses a front three or front four.

"In our defensive scheme, we want a quick lineman like we had with Pierre down there on the front to make some things happen and he's doing a great job with it," Holmes said of Williams.

Hawkins, a senior, has the most experience playing on the line but missed a lot of last season with an ACL injury. Douglas played plenty last year, but on junior varsity.

Hawkins played some defensive end last year but after coming back from his injury focused more on defensive line to spell Jones and Leonard. He currently leads the Lions with three tackles for loss to go with a sack and 13 total tackles.

"I came back stronger and I'm going extra hard now," Hawkins said.

Williams, the defensive team captain, is currently tied for the team lead with 17 tackles.

Before becoming a linebacker, Williams was a defensive lineman, so the position wasn't completely new to him. He played mostly linebacker in the opening win over Plano West but played about half the game with his hand on the line against run-oriented Ennis.

Size and quickness are the strengths for Douglas, Holmes said. The junior said he learned a lot from Leonard and has been in contact with him throughout the season.

"Pierre, he's good; he's big-headed but he's good," Douglas said. "I learned a lot from him. He's a real good person."

Douglas will be in for a homecoming of sorts on Saturday when John Tyler travels to Shreveport, Louisiana, to take on New Orleans Warren Easton.

Douglas is a New Orleans native who moved to Tyler after Hurricane Katrina.

The Lions linemen will again be called upon to control the line of scrimmage against the spread offense of the Eagles (1-1).

"What makes us so special is we've been playing with each other since we were young," Williams said. "A lot is expected out of us. We know each other, we know when each other is tired. We've been playing with each other for so long it just clicks."

Added Douglas: "We haven't been playing near our peak. The sky is the limit for us."

LIONS TALES: Tickets for the John Tyler-Warren Easton game at noon Saturday from Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana, will be sold on campus to students and faculty Wednesday-Friday. Additional ticket sales will be at the TISD athletic office (807 W. Glenwood) Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday as well as at T&T Lewis (903 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) during regular business hours Wednesday (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), Thursday (10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Friday (10 a.m.-1 p.m.). All tickets are $10 for general admission and are good for all six Battle on the Border games.

TWITTER: @TYoestingETFS

 

John Tyler Season Statistics

Scores
Non-District
John Tyler 45, Plano West 14
John Tyler 30, Ennis 14

Score By Quarters

    1st    2nd    3rd    4th       OT        Tot. 

Opponents    0    13    8    7    0    —    28

JOHN TYLER    17    10    28    20    0    —    75

———

Team Statistics

Scoring

    JT    Opp.

Rushing    18    12

Passing    42    12

PAT    9    2

FG    6    0

Defense/Special Teams    0    0

2 Pt Conversion    0    2

Total    75    28

———

First Downs

    JT     Opp.

Passing    18    9

Rushing    22    17

Penalty    1    2

Total    41    28

——— 

Third Down Conversions

JOHN TYLER    9-22 (41%)

Opponents    11-35 (31%)

Fourth Down Conversions

JOHN TYLER    0-2 (0%)

Opponents    3-8 (38%)

Field Goals Made/Attempted

JOHN TYLER    2-3 (67%) 

Opponents    0-0 (0%) 

———

PATs Made/Attempted

JOHN TYLER    9-10 (90%)

Opponents    2-3 (67%) 

Team Yardage

Rushing

JOHN TYLER    370 (185.0)

Opponents    365 (182.5)

Passing 

JOHN TYLER    533 (266.5)

Opponents    308 (154.0)

Total Yards

JOHN TYLER     903 (451.5)

Opponents    673 (336.5)

Punts-Avg.

JOHN TYLER    7-221 (31.6)

Opponents    14-509 (26.4)

Fumbles-Lost

JOHN TYLER    4-0

Opponents    6-2

Interceptions Thrown

JOHN TYLER    2

Opponents    0

Turnover Ratio

JOHN TYLER    0

Penalties-Yards

JOHN TYLER    21-155

Opponents    20-155

———

Individual Statistics

Rushing

Player    No.    Yds.    Avg.    TD    Lg.

Bryson Smith    23    182    7.9    2    25t

Justin Samples    33    178    5.4    1    15t

Victor Campbell    2    13    6.5    0    10

Jaivon Williams    2    3    1.5    0    4

Cameron Grant    3    0    0.0    0    2

Team    2    -6    -3.0    0    -3

Total    65    370    5.7    3    25t

Opponents    87    365    4.2    2    79t

———

Passing

Player    Co.    Att.    Yds.    TD    INT    Lg.

Bryson Smith    30    54    533    7    2    93t

Jaivon Williams    0    1    0    0    0    0

Devlen Woods    0    1    0    0    0    0

Total    30    56    533    7    2    93t

Opponents    21    44    308    2    0    62

———

Receiving

Player    No.    Yds.    Avg.    TD    Lg.

Michael Givens    10    125    12.5    1    40

Damion Miller    6    231    38.5    3    93t

Ke'Andre Street    6    99    16.5    2    26

Devlen Woods    3    43    14.3    0    17

KeEric Franklin    3    19    6.3    0    13

Cameron Grant    1    13    13.0    1    13t

Jaivon Williams    1    3    3.0    0    3

Total    30    533    17.8    7    93t

Opponents    21    308    14.7    2    62

———

Punting

Player    No.    Yds.    Avg.    N20    BK    Lg.

Devan Salazar    6    190    31.7    1    0    42

Frankie Sanchez    1    31    31.0    1    0    31

Total    7    221    31.6    2    0    42

Opponents    14    509    36.4    3    1    50

———

Kicking

Player    XPM/A    FGM/A    TB    Lg.

Devan Salazar    8-9    2-3    1    70

Frankie Sanchez    1-1    0-0    0    64

Totals    9-10    2-3    1    70

Opponents    2-3    0-0    0    53

———

Kickoff Returns

Player    No.    Yds.    Avg.    TD    Lg.

Kieran Freeman    2    50    25.0    0    28

Devlen Woods    1    38    38.0    0    38

M. Givens-Washington    1    29    29.0    0    29

Damion Miller    1    25    25.0    0    25

Total    5    142    28.4    0    38

———

Punt Returns

Player    No.    Yds.    Avg.    TD    Lg.

M. Givens-Washington    4    95    23.8    0    55

Total    4    95    23.8    0    55

———

Scoring

Player    TD    FG    PAT    2PT    Tot.

Damion Miller    3                18

Bryson Smith    2                12

Devan Salazar        2    8        14

Ke'Andre Street    2                12

M. Givens-Washington    1                6

Cameron Grant    1                6

Justin Samples    1                6

Frankie Sanchez        0    1        1

Total    10    2    9    0    75

Opponents    4    0    2    1    28

———

Defensive Stats

Fumble Recoveries

Player    No.    TD    

Tabias Marshall    1    0

Howard Hawkins    1    0

Team    2    0

———

Interceptions

Player    No.    TD

Total    0    0

———

Sacks

Player    No.

Dekalen Goodson    2.0

Howard Hawkins    1.0

Dewayne Jones    1.0

Total    4.0

———

Individual Stats

Player    QBP    PBU    FF    TFL    SOL    TOT

Martrevious Allison    0    1    0    0    6    17

Shaundrick Williams    0    0    0    0    2    17

Clark Edwards    0    0    0    0    4    15

Dekalen Goodson    2    0    0    0    7    14

Da'Qualyon Kennedy    0    1    0    0    6    13

Dewayne Jones    0    0    0    0    5    13

Howard Hawkins    0    0    0    3    6    13

Tyus Grayson    0    1    0    0    5    13

Kieran Freeman    0    1    0    0    7    12

Tabias Marshall    1    0    0    0    5    8

Kelton McGee    0    0    1    1    2    8

Javontavius Mosley    0    2    0    0    5    7

Gregorio Guerrero    0    0    0    0    4    5

Nicholas Thompson    0    1    0    0    2    4

Keyon Washington    0    0    0    0    0    2

Kaylon Douglas    1    0    0    0    1    2

Justin Samples    0    0    0    0    1    1

M. Givens-Washington    0    0    0    0    1    1

Jarod Buffin    0    0    0    0    1    1

JaTayviun Asbell    0    0    0    0    0    1

James Chevis    0    0    0    0    0    1

Cameron Grant    0    0    0    0    1    1

KeEric Franklin    0    0    0    0    1    1

Jerry Young    0    0    0    0    0    1

Totals    4    7    1    4    72    17

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