COLLEGE STATION — John Tyler discovered some jubilation in College Station after all, winning a consolation state championship.
JT returned two interceptions for touchdowns over the final 10 minutes, and Greg Ward passed for five scores to lead John Tyler to a 49-28 triumph over San Antonio O'Connor in the Fox Sports Southwest Division I 7-on-7 consolation championship game Saturday at Kyle Field.
Robert E. Lee and Whitehouse both exited the competition in the first round of the championship bracket. LaPorte defeated Whitehouse 26-20 and Rosenberg Terry topped Lee 32-14.
After dropping two of three pool games to fall into the consolation bracket, JT bounced back to take five games by an average margin of 22 points, even counting in two barnburners.
JT opened bracket play with a win over Del Rio (54-12), and rolled on to the finals with victories over Lufkin (34-27), Round Rock Westwood (44-38, OT) and Port Arthur Memorial (51-14).
JT added the title to a national championship won last week at the Red Bull Game Breakers in Dallas, an event featuring 130 teams throughout the nation over a summer circuit. JT also captured a $5,000 invitational title during the summer league football season.
“We had a bad taste,” JT coach Reginald Coleman said of the team's mood following pool play. "Coming off a national championship, expectations were high. We didn't play up to our potential until the second game. They told me: ‘we can't take the championship home, but we can take the consolation.’ ...We'll take it.”
The Lions finished the summer with a 29-4 record. With all but five starters back from a state semifinalist edition, JT expects to be in the Class 4A Division I title hunt a few months from now.
“Everything they play for they want," Coleman said. “They want to bring home a championship. If they play to their potential, no doubt they will bring home the trophy in the fall. The bar is high for them right now and that's good.”
LaQuintas Wallace and Bryce Wilkerson accounted for Lee’s two TDs in the loss to Rosenberg Terry.
“They played great yesterday and we just came up a bit short today,” said Lee coach Randy Womble. “They made a lot of progress over the summer and are looking forward to two-a-days starting up and fall football.”
John Tyler 49, San Antonio O'Connor 28: Ward completed 28 of 35 passes with five TDs going to Reggie Gipson, Tyus Bowser, Justice Liggins and the final two to Dequante Woods.
JT never trailed after Gipson's 35-yard TD on the game's second play.
O'Connor rallied to tie the score at 28 and looked to even it again before Darion Flowers returned an interception in the red zone 43 yards for a TD, and Isaac Warren followed with a pick-six for the clincher.
Richard Gipson added an interception for JT, coming inches from scoring.
"It feels good but (we) wanted to win the whole state," Gipson said. "We stayed with our regular defense, that way when we get to the fall we can still be successful."
John Tyler 51, Port Arthur Memorial 14: Ward showed off his throwing and catching skills, accounting for six total TDs — five passing and one receiving. Jeremy Wilson paced JT with three TD receptions, followed by Flowers with two, while Bowser threw for TDs.
John Tyler 44, Round Rock Westwood 38 (OT): Fred Ross snatched a lob ball to put the finishing touches on a thriller, JT's second OT game of the event. Ross caught two TDs, matched by Liggins, and joined Ward at the cornerback position during the homestretch.
Consolation Second Round
John Tyler 34, Lufkin 27: Five different receivers reached the end zone in a tense game between East Texas rivals. Flowers proved clutch with a 5-yard TD reception in traffic for the go-ahead score late.
John Tyler 54, Del Rio 12 (Consolation): Chomping at the bits after the first day, JT received three TDs from Liggins and two from both Bowser and Woods in the rout. Ward switched to receiver and added a point-after score after tossing six TDs, and Ross logged an interception.
LaPorte 26, Whitehouse 20 (Championship): LaPorte benefited from a tie-breaking TD on the final play of the first half, that after three penalties, including two pass-interference calls on the defense. Whitehouse, which went 3-0 in pool play, used TD catches from Jared Raabe and Jordan Cantrell to stay close.
Rosenberg Terry 32, Robert E. Lee 14 (Championship): LaPorte jumped out to an 18-0 lead after three TD throws from Warrick Lathon. LaQuintas Wallace and Bryce Wilkerson accounted for Lee's two TDs.
Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 Division I State Championships
At Texas A&M University, College Station
First Round - Rosenberg Terry 32, Robert E. Lee 14; The Woodlands 38, Odessa Permian 34; Katy Cinco Ranch 32, Stratford 27; Plano 33, Katy 26; Arlington Bowie 39, Centennial 20; El Paso Montwood 27, Duncanville 14; DeSoto 39, Mesquite 25; Longview 45, Wichita Falls Rider 18; Plano West 41, Colleyville 13; LaPorte 26, Whitehouse 20; Wylie East 37, Southlake Carroll 15; Abilene 48, Cypress Creek 33; Manvel 41, Sherman 13; Houston Lamar 51, Hebron 41; Lake Travis 31, Cy Fair 12; Edcouch 40, A&M Consolidated 33.
Second Round - Terry 40, The Woodlands 26; Plano 39, Cinco Ranch 19; Arlington Bowie 28, Montwood 14; DeSoto 40, Longview 20; LaPorte 36, Plano West 33; Abilene 32, Wylie East 27; Manvel 27, Houston Lamar 12; Lake Travis 47, Edcouch 46.
Quarterfinals - Plano 34, Terry 20; Bowie 39, DeSoto 32 (OT); Abilene 40, LaPorte 28; Manvel 59, Lake Travis 41.
Semifinals - Plano 32, Bowie 28; Manvel 51, Abilene 31 .
Championship - Plano 45, Manvel 28.
First Round - Port Arthur Memorial 25, Weslaco 20; Fort Bend Elkins 43, Mesquite Horn 35; Klein Collins 27, Round Rock Stony Point 6; Arlington 46, Georgetown 40; Lufkin 40, El Paso Coronado 26; John Tyler 54, Del Rio 12; Round Rock 33, Clear Creek 27; Fort Ben Dulles 34, Jersey Village 33; Waco 41, Azle 34; Coppell 21, Flour Bluff 13; Wolfforth Frenship 41, Corpus Christi Calallen 32; Belton 31, Harlingen 28; San Antonio O'Connor 41, Cypress Woods 33; Temple 25, Taylor 16; Abilene Cooper 32, San Antonio Alamo Heights 22; Wylie 44, Arlington Lamar 24.
Second Round - Memorial 28, Elkins 27; Arlington 27, Collins 26; John Tyler 34, Lufkin 27; Westwood 27, Dulles 0; Coppell 42, Waco 21; Belton 45, Frenship 25; O'Connor 33, Temple 19; Cooper 27, Wylie 12.
Quarterfinals - Memorial 39, Arlington 30; John Tyler 44, Westwood 38 (OT); Belton 33, Coppell 26; O'Connor 47, Cooper 34.
Semifinals - John Tyler 51, Memorial 14; O'Connor 27, Belton 25.
Championship - John Tyler 49, San Antonio O'Connor 28.
Division I All-Tournament Team
Tyus Bowser, John Tyler
Tre Johnson, O'Connor
Victor Davis, Rosenberg Terry
Marcel Ateman, Wylie East
*Richard Lagow, Plano
Shane McCarley, Manvel
Christian Hutzler, Plano
Carlos Thompson, Manvel
*Denotes Tournament MVP