Ward shines in JT's 56-42 area round win

John Tyler quarterback Greg Ward, who threw for 494 yards and six touchdowns against Pflugerville Hendrickson, runs for a first down Friday night in Hewitt. (Herb Nygren Jr. | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Midway 51, John Tyler 20 (Final)

Midway advances to the title round for the first time in program history.

Midway 51, John Tyler 20 (2:05 in 4th)

Midway reached the 50-point mark when backup quarterback Deandre Ford scored on a 31-yard keeper.

Midway 44, John Tyler 20 (3:59 in 4th)

JT answered back when Ward hit Devonte Haggerty for a 29-yard score. The PAT was no good. 

 

Midway 44, John Tyler 14 (5:00 in 4th)

Midway strikes again.

This time, the Panthers displayed their explosive ground game. Greer scored his second TD of the night -- from 56 yards out -- to answer the Lions' touchdown.

The PAT was no good.

Greer found open space and raced to the end zone on the Lions' sideline. About 50 yards past the end zone, a line of cars are leaving the stadium from JT's side of the field.

Midway 38, John Tyler 14 (6:30 in 4th)

Ward finds receiver Darion Flowers for a score to pull the Lions within 24.

Midway 38, John Tyler 7 (9:55 in 4th)

The rout is on.

Midway extended the lead to 31 points when DeChaar Gree scored from 3 yards away. The TD was set up by a 34-yard passing play from Robertson to Orion Stewart.

Midway 31, John Tyler 7 (Entering 4th)

Midway, which has scored 31 unanswered points, is in total command -- and is 12 minutes removed from the program's first appearance in the state finals.

Kelly scored his third touchdown of the night -- from 2 yards away -- for a 24-point advantage late in the third. 

The drive should've ended differently, though.  

The Lions appeared to stop the drive and force a field goal, but were called for pass interference to give the Panthers a first down at the 2.  That came after Midway kept the drive going by moving the chains on fourth down, thanks to a heads up play when a Panthers' punt attempt resulted in a busted play and first down.  

Midway 24, John Tyler 7 (6:05 in 3rd)

The Panthers used two 28-yard gains to move the ball to the Lions 1, then Kelly punched the ball into the end zone from the Wildcat formation for the commanding lead.

The drive's biggest play -- and perhaps the game's biggest play -- came when Robertson found Jarmon for a 28-yard gain on third-and-13. The ensuing play was also a 28-yard gain (Kelly run to the 1).

Midway 17, John Tyler 7 (Entering 3rd)

The second half is about to get under way. The chants of "Cujo" are starting on the home side.

Midway 17, John Tyler 7 (Halftime)

After falling behind by seven, the Panthers dominated the first half. Ward spent much of the half running for his life, resulting in an erratic-looking Lions offense.

Midway outgained JT 174-68 in total yardage in the half. The Panthers hold a 7-2 advantage in first downs.

Midway will get the ball first in the second half after winning the opening toss, but deferring.  

Midway 17, John Tyler 7 (:51)

Midway's defensive front and coverage is simply beating JT right now.

Midway sacked Ward and then stopped him for a 1-yard gain when the quarterback was out of options through the air, which was basically a coverage sack.

On yet another third down, a third-and-20, Ward threw incomplete into a wall of coverage.  

Midway 17, John Tyler 7 (1:58 in 2nd)

Midway running back B.J. Kelly put the Panthers up by 10 with a 1-yard run. Midway got the ball after recovering a JT fumble deep inside Lions territory.

JT and Midway have both scored off turnovers.  

Midway 10, John Tyler 7 (2:28 in 2nd)

Once again, the Lions got to the Midway quarterback -- this time forcing a punt.

The Lions get the ball back at their own 22. JT is 1 for 6 on third-down conversions in the half.  

Midway 10, John Tyler 7 (4:14 in 2nd)

The Lions forced to punt away again. Ward got sacked on third-and-12 at JT's 44.

JT's punter and pass rush might be the Lions MVPs right now. Diaz has punts of 56 and 63 yards to shift the field position, while the Lions have been in Midway's backfield throughout.

Midway's defense has done a good job of swarming the backfield, too.    

Midway 10, John Tyler 7 (10:20 in 2nd)

Midway got JT into another third-down situation. Ward's pass to Darion Flowers got behind the receiver to force another punt. 

Though the Panthers were sure to get the ball with good field possession, Lions punter Noe Diaz flipped the field position with a 63-yard punt.  

Midway 10, John Tyler 7 (11:53 in 2nd)

Midway is in the lead for the first time.

The score followed John Tyler's Ward getting sacked on fourth down from the Lions' 22 to force a punt. The Panthers fielded the punt at their own 46-yard line.

Midway struck on the first play of the drive, thanks to Joseph Darling hitting Hunter Jarmon on a fly route from 54 yards away.   

John Tyler 7, Midway 3 (1:10 in 1st)

John Tyler takes 7-0 lead on Tyus Bowser's 3-yard run, which followed a Midway fumble deep inside Panthers territory.

The teams trade possessions and Midway misses a 49-yard field goal, before getting another attempt from 32 yards out. Kicker Drew Owen is good this time to get the Panthers on the board.

 

Game Preview

We're live from Tiger Stadium in Corsicana for John Tyler-Hewitt Midway in the Class 4A Division I state semifinals. Both teams are one win from reaching the pinnacle: the state championship game next Friday night at Cowboys Stadium. 

John Tyler (11-3), riding an 11-game winning streak, is coming off a 45-21 win over Sherman last week in the quarterfinals, a game in which the Lions dominated the second half en route to the big win. Quarterback Greg Ward went an eye-popping 25-of-26 passing in the win. 

Midway (12-2) beat Wichita Falls Rider, 54-34, last week. 

Both teams have notched premier wins in the playoffs -- JT beat No. 4 and unbeaten Highland Park, 42-39, in the regional round and Midway beat Denton Ryan, 19-7, in the same round. Ryan was the choice by many to win it all. 

 

You can read our in-depth preview on tonight's game here

Check back with us at kickoff and we'll be updating all night long!

 

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