JACKSONVILLE — On Halloween at the Tomato Bowl, No. 10 John Tyler scooped up some treats.
Tony Johnson and Bryston Gipson both had scoop-and-scores, returning Jacksonville fumbles for touchdowns as JT cruised to a 62-7 victory on Friday night in District 16-5A action.
The Indians scored on the game's opening drive before the Lions reeled off 62 straight points over the next three quarters. A generous clock in the final frame allowed JT to run out the fourth and rest up for the regular season-finale next week against Nacogdoches.
Jacksonville (4-5, 1-5) came in averaging 39.1 points per game but was limited to 198 yards, the second straight week John Tyler (7-2, 5-1) allowed less than 200 yards.
"I think we played pretty well; I think we played solid," JT coach Ricklan Holmes said. "We missed out on a couple opportunities to get off the field early but overall we stopped them when we needed to stop them to keep them out of the end zone."
Lions senior Geovari McCollister threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns before taking a seat after playing one series in the second half. Rodney Bendy put up 95 yards and two touchdowns on four catches, all in the first half.
Jeremy Wilson continued his torrent form for JT by rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns while backup quarterback Bryson Smith had a nifty 37-yard touchdown run.
But for the second straight week it was JT's defense that stole the headlines, namely Tony Johnson.
The senior linebacker had two interceptions and returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter to send the Lions into the break up 34-7.
"(He's) making some plays back there for us," Holmes said. "He's a senior that has worked his way through the ranks and he's making a name for himself now."
Johnson's first interception set up Wilson to score twice in 62 seconds.
Wilson bounced outside and bowled over the last defender on a 24-yard run. After Johnson nabbed an interception and returned it 10 yards to the Indians 19. Wilson simply outran the opposition on his way to a 7-yard score untouched, putting the Lions ahead 21-7 after one quarter.
Aside from their score, the Indians' best chance came late in the first half. Jacksonville drove down to the 6 before Johnson came up with his second pick just on the edge of the end zone.
Gipson's touchdown return capped a 28-point third quarter for JT. It was the junior safety's fourth defensive touchdown of the year.
"(It's from) playing from snap to snap, not worrying about what happened, making sure they take care of the things they need to take care of to get off the field," Holmes said. "They know the more we get off the field as a defense the more we're going to put up as an offense. Anytime you cause turnovers and score on turnovers on defense that just makes us a little bit better."
Jacksonville's Jacolby Robinson started under center in place of the injured Carter McCown and completed 6 of 11 passes for 98 yards. He hit Ezell Woods for a 17-yard strike less than 3 minutes into the game to open the scoring after Datavian Thacker took the opening kickoff 63 yards to the 30.
Ja'Modrick Taylor finished with a team-high 65 yards on the ground for the Indians.
John Tyler's third-quarter barrage started with McCollister's lone pass attempt of the second half going 47 yards to Damion Miller, with Nick Cain throwing a good block to ensure Miller reached pay dirt less than a minute into the half.
When Smith came in on the next drive, he kept it on third-and-2 for his long touchdown run, his first of the year. After Gipson recovered a fumble, Wilson scored from 35 yards out one play after Quaylan Brown had a sparkling touchdown run wiped out by holding.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Gipson scooped up a fumble and took it 35 yards to make it 62-7.
Bendy was the star for JT in the first half, tying the game at 7 by leaping over a defender and getting two feet in on a fade pass. Early in the second quarter Bendy hauled in a 51-yard pass to set up his 20-yard TD reception in the back of the end zone.
"Offensively and defensively I think we've done some good things out here," Holmes said. "We caused some turnovers, capitalized on some turnovers offensively."
No. 10 John Tyler 62, Jacksonville 7
At Tomato Bowl
John Tyler 21 13 28 0 — 62
Jacksonville 7 0 0 0 — 7
JAC—Ezell Woods 17 pass from Jacolby Robinson (Jorge Rios kick), 9:32.
JT—Rodney Bendy 11 pass from Geovari McCollister (Luis Duran kick), 7:18.
JT—Jeremy Wilson 24 (Duran kick), 4:02.
JT—Wilson 7 run (Duran kick), 3:00.
JT—Bendy 20 pass from McCollister (Duran kick), 9:05.
JT—Tony Johnson 52 fumble return (kick fail), 2:58.
JT—Damion Miller 47 pass from McCollister (Luis Lizalde kick), 11:11.
JT—Bryson Smith 37 run (Lizalde kick), 7:27.
JT—Wilson 35 run (Lizalde kick), 1:52.
JT—Bryston Gipson 35 fumble return (Lizalde kick), 0:45.
First Downs 22 11
Rushes-Yards 33-245 35-100
Passing Yards 232 98
Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-19-0 6-11-2
Punts-Avg. 1-41 4-23.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 8-3
Penalties-Yards 6-55 11-77
RUSHING—John Tyler, Jeremy Wilson 15-131, Bryson Smith 3-44, Geovari McCollister 4-20, Dejuan Beal 4-19, Damion Miller 1-15, Martrevious Allison 5-13, Quaylan Brown 1-3. Jacksonville, Ja'Modrick Taylor 9-65, Vadall Johnson 7-17, Datavion Thacker 5-12, Jacolby Robinson 12-4, Keyshawn Anderson 2-2.
PASSING—John Tyler, McCollister 11-17-0—214, Smith 2-2-0—18. Jacksonville, Robinson 6-11-2—98.
RECEIVING—John Tyler, Rodney Bendy 4-95, Duntayviun Gross 3-32, Nick Cain 2-20, Miller 1-47, Wilson 1-16, Cordarion Johnson 1-14. Jacksonville, Ezell Woods 2-23, Cameron High 1-28, Thacker 1-23, Christian Edwards 1-23, Johnson 1-1.