Both Jaivon Williams and Tyus Grayson remember the 2016 bi-district game that pitted their John Tyler Lions against rival Lufkin, the first postseason meeting of the two since the series began in 1914.

It was one of those unforgettable wild games.

Javontavius Mosley intercepted a two-point conversion pass, securing John Tyler's 50-49 victory in the first round of the playoffs.

Since that win is still fresh on their minds, Williams and Grayson know the Panthers have not forgotten that game.

"I know they are trying to get revenge from last year's playoff game," Williams said.

Grayson concurred, "(Panthers) want redemption."

Williams, a 6-4, 180-pound senior wide receiver, and Grayson, a 5-10, 170-pound senior safety, know they must do their jobs if the Lions want to complete non-district play at 3-0 and defeat the Panthers for the fourth straight time.

Both were key players in the Lions' previous wins over Ennis (27-23) and Plano West (49-13).

Williams has three catches this season and all three have gone for touchdowns. He has scored on catches of 14, 16 and 13 yards.

His effort against Ennis earned Williams a portion of the Lion Heart Award.

Against Ennis he had two TDs, both from junior quarterback Devlen "Cadillac" Woods. The first TD came from 16 yards out when the Lions moved down the field some 58 yards in just two plays.

"We saw a mismatch and Cadillac hurried up and snapped the ball," Williams recalled. "I was wide open and he got the ball to me."

On the second TD, "I just told Cadillac to throw it up and I would get it. That's what we like about him at quarterback, he gives us a chance."

While Williams was scoring TDs, Grayson was helping prevent them.

Grayson, who plays both free safety and strong safety, was the Lions Defensive Player of the Week.

Grayson had 10 solo tackles, along with four assists and a tackle for loss. He also broke up a pass.

"I was really making an effort, really all of the defense, of getting to the ball," Grayson said. "That is a key on defense, doing our job and getting to the ball.

"If we keep showing up, showing effort and doing our job, we can go a long way."

LIONS TALES: JT leads the all-time series with Lufkin 39-30-3. The Lions have won the last three, albeit all three games were tight - 2014: 26-24; 2015: 41-38; and 2016: 50-49. … Lufkin's last win was 52-28 in 2013.

The John Tyler Lions (2-0) meet the Lufkin Panthers (1-1) on Friday in Lufkin. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium. Manny Almanza and Kenny Smith will have the call on KTBB 97.5-FM and 600-AM.






Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 34 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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