On the night when offense ruled, it was free safety Travion Ates who came up with the biggest play.
John Tyler's Ates intercepted West Mesquite quarterback Kevin Jennings in the end zone with 14 seconds remaining to help the Lions stave off the Wranglers 39-36 on a cool Friday night at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
With the 1994 John Tyler state football championship football team being honored on Earl Campbell Field, the two District 7-5A Division I squads put on an offensive shootout, combining for 960 yards (487 for JT, 473 for West Mesquite).
JT improves to 3-4 on the season and 3-0 in district play, while West Mesquite falls to 1-5 and 1-1.
Kitan Crawford, the Texas commit, had to sit out the first quarter because he was late to a meeting earlier this week. But once he got playing time he put on a show both offensively and at cornerback. He rushed for 174 yards and and scored on two runs (32, 21) where he appeared to glide and then bulldoze through the Wranglers. Crawford had 15 carries. He also caught a pass for 19 yards.
JT quarterback Cameron Ford, who led the Lions to victory last week against Wylie East with his passing, used his legs this week, rushing for 155 yards with TD runs of 41 and 21 yards on 18 attempts.
The Lions took a 27-14 halftime by scoring 17 points in the second quarter, highlighted by Ken'Yontae Pinkard's bulling run the final 10 yards of a 24-yard dash to the end zone, the Crawford 32-yard run and Ford's 41-yard run untouched to paydirt with 26 seconds before halftime. Ford's TD was set up when JT punter Miguel Munoz ran nine yards for a first down on fourth-and-6 at the 50.
Victor Leon added his second field goal, a 25-yarder to go with his first-quarter 24-yard FG.
The Wranglers' quarterback, Kevin Jennings, and running back and Longhorn commit Ty Jordan also shined.
Jennings hit on 18 of 29 passing attempts for 304 yards and two TD passes (66 to Nicolas Walton on a screen pass and 27 yards to Tajyrian Turner). He had two interceptions. He also scored on a 1-yard run.
Jordan, who rushed for 192 yards and three TDs against JT last year, rushed for 99 yards, which included a 56-yard TD dash. He had 12 carries. Jordan also tossed a 24-yard TD pass to Trevion Mitchell in the first quarter and a two-point conversion pass to Turner in the fourth quarter that brought West Mesquite within 39-36 with 5:13 on the clock. Jordan also had four catches for 52 yards.
In the final period, JT drove to the WM 12 but failed to score when holder Eli Sanchez was engulfed by the Wranglers before Leon could attempt a 30-yard field goal with 2:39 on the clock.
Jennings moved the Wranglers down the field, reaching the JT 33. Then he went for the end zone where Ates made the diving interception. Isaiah Johnson also had an interception for the Lions. Kameron Mayfield recovered a fumble.
The Lions have a bye next week before playing at McKinney North on Thursday , Oct. 24. West Mesquite meets McKinney North on Friday, Oct. 18 at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Attending from the 1994 team, that captured the famous 48-44 win over Plano East, were head coach Allen Wilson, assistant coaches David Clapp, Randy Pool and Harold Wright; and players Chris Reyes, Jesse Taylor, Miguel Morales, Taafe Hines, Morris Anderson, Macus Cain, Andre Williams, Jerrid Beal, Kendrick Jackson, Keith Buckner, Kendrick Austin, Raylon Horn, Nigel Love, Darwin Brown, Michael Price, Karanja Lewis, David Warren, Brandon Dillard, Nico Hernandez, Clint Neely, Marc Broyles, Steve Guzman and Nissan Nash.
Also on hand was the Class of 1979, whose football team was 10-0-1 the fall of 1978.\
John Tyler 39, West Mesquite 36
West Mesquite 14 0 14 8 — 36
John Tyler 10 17 6 6 — 39
WM — Trevion Mitchell 24 pass from Ty Jordan (Austin Stout kick), 10:41
JT — FG Victor Leon 24, 3:32
WM — Kevin Jennings 1 run (Stout kick), 1:56
JT — Ken'Yontae Pinkard 24 run (Leon kick), 1:30
JT — FG Leon 25, 7:20
JT — Kitan Crawford 32 run (Leon kick), 5:34
JT — Cameron Ford 41 run (Leon kick), :26
WM — Jordan 56 run (Stout kick), 10:27
WM — Nicolas Walton 66 pass from Jennings (Stout kick), 6:11
JT — Crawford 21 run (pass failed), :59
JT — Ford 21 run (kick failed), 9:39
WM — Tajyrian Turner 27 pass from Jennings (Jordan pass to Turner), 5:13
First downs 18 25
Rushes-yards 31-145 48-447
Passing Yards 328 40
Passing Stats 19-30-2 4-12-0
Punts-Ave 4-37.7 3-33.7
Fumbles-Lost 5-2 2-1
Penalties-Yards 13-115 2-10
Rushing — West Mesquite, Ty Jordan 12-99, Kevin Jennings 16-36, D'Erian Mitchel 2-5, Nicolas Walter 1-5. John Tyler, Kitan Crawford 15-174, Cameron Ford 18-155, Ken'Yontad Pinkard 2-56, Kameron Medlock 9-39, Jakyron Lacy 2-15, Miguel Munoz 1-9, Team 1-(-1).
Passing — West Mesquite, Kevin Jennings 18-29-2-304, Ty Jordan 1-1-0-24. John Tyler, Cameron Ford 4-12-0-40.
Receiving — West Mesquite, D'Erian Mitchell 4-60, Cornelious Piper 4-50, Ty Jordan 4-52, Nicolas Walton 2-78, Tajyrian Turner 2-40, Elijah Kovar 2-24, Trevion Mitchell 1-24. John Tyler, Austin Campbell 2-8, Kitan Crawford 1-19, Kameron Medlock 1-13.