SHREVEPORT, La. - John Tyler may have been playing out of state, but the Lions defense made the opposing backfield feel like home.
John Tyler amassed 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss to rout New Orleans Warren Easton 41-6 in the Battle on the Border series Saturday at the Independence Bowl.
Dekalen Goodson had 12 tackles, four sacks, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to power the Lions to a 3-0 start, heading into District 11-6A play next week.
On consecutive Easton offensive snaps, Goodson recovered a fumble then forced a fumble with a sack on the first play of the next series.
"We had to come to Louisiana and let them know how we play," Goodson said.
The Eagles (1-2) trailed 27-0 at halftime and averaged 2.9 yards per play. Two quarterbacks combined to complete 17 of 38 passes (45 percent) as they were under heavy pressure all day.
Martrevious Allison and Kieran Freeman both had interceptions. Freeman had four pass breakups and Javontavius Mosley three, including a diving effort in the end zone.
"I think they played outstanding," JT coach Ricklan Holmes said of his secondary. "I told them we're going to find out how good you really are.
"They found out today if they do what they need to do as a secondary, then we can be really dominant."
Howard Hawkins added three sacks and four tackles for loss for John Tyler, which allowed 50 yards on 44 rushes thanks to all the negative plays. Allison totaled 10 tackles while Shaundrick Williams added eight tackles, one tackle for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Allison caught an interception tipped at the line by teammate Shaundrick Williams on the first play of the game and returned it to the Easton 12 to set the tone of the Lions' oppressive defense.
Justin Samples scored the first of two touchdown runs a few plays later and John Tyler was on its way to another big win.
The Lions offense totaled 328 yards and made the most of short fields in the first half but never found consistency moving the chains, with the Eagles finishing with more first downs 17-15. Of JT's 14 possessions, half began in Easton territory.
Both of Samples' touchdowns came after interceptions while Cameron Grant scored on an 8-yard run immediately following Williams' fumble recovery to make it 41-6 with 3:13 to play.
Bryson Smith completed 11 of 25 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns, though he had two touchdown passes of more than 90 yards called back for penalties.
Texas commit Damion Miller hauled in a 76-yard touchdown, one of JT's few big gains. Michael Givens-Washington and Devlen Woods both had touchdown receptions, the latter grabbing a game-high six passes for 58 yards.
"We're a ways off (offensively) because I know how dangerous they can be," Holmes said. "We showed sparks of it today in the first half.
"Moving forward we've got to be more consistent so we don't kill our drives and keep that explosive offense on the field and put points on the board."
Easton quarterback Joseph Edwards led the Eagles offense with 149 yards through the air on 11 of 24 passing, most in the second half after replacing starter Lance Legendre, who threw two interceptions.
Larry Barabino ran 18 times for 63 yards to power the Easton ground game, scoring on a 3-yard run with 9:16 left in the game to put the Eagles on the board.
"It was frustrating," Goodson said of the score. "We wanted the shutout."
Playing under Louisiana rules instead of the NCAA rules UIL utilizes, JT was flagged 16 times for 120 yards, which Holmes said contributed to the offensive inconsistency.
During JT one series early in a third quarter infested by yellow hankies for both teams, Smith found Miller for a 92-yard touchdown only for a holding call to bring it back. On the next play, Woods raced 98 yards for a touchdown haul, only for most of it to be wiped out for a block in the back.
"That threw us off a whole bunch," Holmes said of the different rule set. "It's a lot of stuff that we do offensively that we couldn't do today because of the federation rules.
"That's just something you've got to adjust to knowing how it is now so when we come back next year we'll do better."
Despite the rule differences, John Tyler improved to 6-2 in out-of-state games all time, 2-2 against Louisiana teams.
"Coach Holmes told us just act like this is our house, act like we're in Texas," Freeman said. "So that's what we did. We came out with the victory."
The Lions next return home for the first time since Week 1 for their District 11-6A opener against Rockwall. It will be JT's first district game back in the state's highest classification since 2009, the last time the Lions started a season 3-0.
"11-6A is strong," Holmes said. "I'm glad that we're going in there undefeated."
Battle on the Border
John Tyler 41, Warren Easton 6
At Independence Bowl
John Tyler 13 14 0 14 - 41
Warren Easton 0 0 0 6 - 6
JT-Justin Samples 1 run (kick fail), 11:13.
JT-Damion Miller 76 pass from Bryson Smith (Frankie Sanchez kick), 0:42.
JT-Devlen Woods 8 pass from Smith (Sanchez kick), 9:07.
JT-Samples 4 run (Sanchez kick), 3:52.
JT-Michael Givens-Washington 18 pass from Smith (Sanchez kick), 11:43.
WE-Larry Barabino 3 run (pass fail), 9:16.
JT-Cameron Grant 8 run (Sanchez kick), 3:13.
First Downs 15 17
Rushes-Yards 32-139 44-50
Passing Yards 189 186
Comp.-Att.-Int. 11-27-0 17-38-2
Punts-Avg. 5-37.8 5-35.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 5-2
Penalties-Yards 16-120 9-89
RUSHING-John Tyler, Bryson Smith 10-74, Cameron Grant 7-30, Justin Samples 8-30, Kiante Stoker 6-8, Michael Givens-Washington 1-(-3). Easton, Larry Barabino 18-63, Ashaad Clayton 3-7, Dewitt Johnson 3-6, Team 1-(-1), Lance Legendre 11-(-1), Rasaan Dennis 1-(-2), Joseph Edwards 7-(-22).
PASSING-John Tyler, Smith 11-25-0-189, Jaivon Williams 0-2-0-0. Easton, Edwards 11-24-0-149, Legendre 6-14-2-37.
RECEIVING-John Tyler, Devlen Woods 6-58, Givens-Washington 2-22, Damion Miller 1-76, Ke'Andre Street 1-30, Williams 1-3. Easton, Yo'heinz Tyler 4-56, Sheldon Jones 4-48, Kiaeem Green 4-36, Legendre 2-31, Kenntrel Boyd 1-10, Barabino 1-4, Clayton 1-1.