Turnabout proved fair play in the rematch between Cujo and Ahmo.

With a packed home crowd providing the energy, John Tyler’s defense guarded the gate, and the offense ate up Wylie with key big plays to help the Lions continue their playoff run with a one-sided 38-10 win in a Class 4A area playoff Friday night. 

The JT defense set up shop with nine sacks, and the Lions enjoyed their own Black Friday by pulling the curtain on Wylie’s offense throughout the contest. 

Tyus Bowser bagged seven of JT’s nine sacks on the night. JT’s defense also scored once as the Lions avenged a bitter road loss two years ago in the state quarterfinals at Wylie while more than 7,000 fans observed at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

JT (11-1) advances to the Division I regional round to face Frisco at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Allen’s  brand-new, $60 million Eagle Stadium. 

The JT offense overcame an up-and-down evening with two touchdowns of 60 yards or more. The JT defense scored on an interception return, and the Lions played solid on special teams with a field goal, a long punt return and a fumble recovery by their kickoff units. 

JT took control early with a 4-yard run by DeQuante Woods barely two minutes into the matchup, and the Lions never looked back. 

“This is (the kind of) victory you want,” JT head coach Ricklan Holmes said. “You come out strong and end strong.”

Woods aided JT on both sides of the ball, stepping off a team-high 103 yards and two TDs and adding six tackles (two for loss) and two pass breakups on the defensive end. 

Fred Ross caught five passes for 131 yards and one TD.

The Lions, who led 17-3 at the midway point, sealed the game with three big second-half plays, a 79-yard run through the heart of the defense by Woods, a 25-yard interception return by Traven Johnson, and a 33-yard scoring toss from Greg Ward to Justice Liggins.

The Lions limited the Pirates to 183 total yards, only 34 rushing on 33 carries. JT senior defensive lineman DeAndre Miller notched seven tackles and two sacks. Bowser ended another career night with nine stops and two quarterback pressures, and also caused a fumble for the Lions.

Wylie’s lone TD came near the end of the game with the majority of JT’s starters watching from the sideline. Wylie finished the season 5-7 after entering the affair with five wins in its previous six contests.

“Going against a good team like Wylie, who we lost to our sophomore year, we didn’t want to lose to them again,” said Bowser, who upped his season sack total to 17. “Most teams don’t get the chance to come on their field and play a playoff game. We believed in each other.”

JT used all three phases to take a 17-3 lead at the midway point.

The Lions forced a three-and-out on defense, and started their first possession from the Pirates 20 following an 8-yard punt. JT needed only three plays to strike first, with Woods doing the scoring honors after running right, extending a stiff-arm and finishing off a 4-yard run for an early 7-0 lead. 

The JT offense stalled until Ross returned a punt 47 yards to the Wylie 23 near the end of the first quarter. The Lions opened the second quarter with a 31-yard field goal by Porfirio Benitez for a 10-0 advantage. 

The Lions offense showed their big-play potential late. Ward rolled out and threaded a pass to Ross in a tight spot in the heart of the Wylie defense. After hauling in the pass, Ross raced past all of Wylie’s defenders for a 68-yard score, and a two-TD cushion (17-3).

The JT defense surrendered only 129 yards and six first downs in the first half. JT recovered a fumble and notched two sacks to go into the locker room on the winning end.

“The defensive effort, since week one, they’re continuing to get better and stronger,” Holmes said. “Offensively we didn’t play well, but we played well enough to put 38 points on the board. Now we’re going on to round three. Here we come Frisco.”


John Tyler 38, Wylie 10

Class 4A Division I Area Playoff

At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium

Wylie          0    3    0 7— 10

John Tyler   7 10 14 7— 38

First Quarter

JT—DeQuante Woods 4 run (Porfirio Benitez kick), 9:44

Second Quarter

JT—FG 31: Benitez, 11:55

WYL—FG 35: Christian Salas, 8:17

JT—Fred Ross 68 pass from Greg Ward (Benitez kick), 3:59

Third Quarter

JT—Woods 79 run (Benitez kick), 9:17

JT—Traven Johnson 30 interception return (Benitez kick), 7:33

Fourth Quarter

JT—Justice Liggins 33 pass from Ward (Benitez kick), 6:52

WYL—Freddy Gibbs 21 pass from Carsen Cook (Salas kick), 1:17

EST. ATT. —7000.

WYL     JT

First Downs 15  13

Rushes-Yards 33-34  32-141

Passing Yards 149  217

Comp.-Att.-Int. 18-41-1 12-30-0

Punts-Avg. 8-26.5  6-35.3

Fumbles-Lost 5-2 2-1

Penalties-Yards 4-22 10-111


RUSHING—Wylie, Dontae Slay 6-40, Alex Wesley 3-7, Kalen Winkler 1-7, Charles Okpoko 4-6, Zach Collins 3-5 Carsen Cook 16-(-31). John Tyler, DeQuante Woods 12-103, Nick Cain 1-29, Jeremy Wilson 4-13, Reggie Gipson 1-12, Rod Smith 2-4, Greg Ward 9-(-1), Fred Ross 2-(-4), Devonte Humber 1-(-15).

PASSING—Wylie, Cook 18-40-1—149, Winkler 0-1-0—0. John Tyler, Ward  12-30-0—217.

RECEIVING—Wylie, Wesley 9-58, Dotson 5-50, Freddy Gibbs 2-29, Alex Pina-Rhoden 1-10, Winkler 1-2 . John Tyler, Ross 5-131, Justice Liggins 3-55, Darion Flowers 2-22, Woods 2-9. 

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