John Tyler Rewind: Lions even 11-6A mark with win

John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith is shoved out of bounds by a North Mesquite player after a big run during Friday's game at E.H. Hanby Stadium in Mesquite. (Kelsey Kruzich/STAR LOCAL MEDIA)

Final score: John Tyler 42, North Mesquite 14

Quotable: "It's a process. It's just like anything. As long as I continue to see them get better in areas and not continue to make mistakes that's when we're going to be continue to be successful." – John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes.

Turning point: After going into halftime tied, John Tyler scored on the first drive of the second half and held North Mesquite to 39 yards in the third quarter to take a 28-14 lead heading to the fourth.

The game was over when: With the Stallions driving into the red zone down 28-14 in the fourth quarter, Kieran Freeman caught an interception and returned it 70 yards to the North Mesquite 25. The Lions scored two plays later and were never threatened again.

Key stats: John Tyler's defense stopped North Mesquite four times on fourth downs in the second half. Meanwhile the Lions were 3 for 3 on fourth downs for the day.

Warning signs: The Lions struggled for consistency in the first half and allowed the Stallions back in the game with a touchdown in the final seconds of the second quarter. JT was shut out in the first quarter for the first time this season.

Positive signs: John Tyler dominated the second half on both sides of the ball, winning 28-0 after the intermission. The offense looked more like it did against Rockwall and finished drives while the defense looked more like it did in the first three games of the season.

What this win means: With Rockwall's loss to Rockwall-Heath, John Tyler (4-1, 1-1) now has some control over its destiny in the District 11-6A race. The Lions will still need to beat Rockwall-Heath and Longview, but four of their final five games are on Earl Campbell Field.

Fast forward: Mesquite trades the Texas State Fair for the East Texas State Fair as the Skeeters visit Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday. Mesquite (2-3, 0-2) opened 11-6A with losses to the two Mesquite schools. The entire district has a bye the following week.

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