John Tyler Rewind
Final score: John Tyler 28, Nacogdoches 16
Quotable: “It’s about these kids and what they’re doing to keep the tradition of John Tyler alive. For the most part I do believe they understand that. I stay on them because I want them to be great; I don’t want them to be average, I don’t want them to just be good. I think some people are OK with that, but that’s not us, that’s not what I see in this team. I see greatness in this team and I want them to show it every week for all four quarters.”
JT head coach Ricklan Homes
Turning point: This game turned early, with JT converting three straight third downs on its second series, the third of which was a 46-yard pass to Michael Givens-Washington that set up a 9-yard scoring run by Bryson Smith for a 14-0 lead.
The game was over when: After being shut out for most of the second quarter, James Allen bowled in from 3-yards out to give the Lions a 28-0 lead 30 seconds before halftime.
Key stats: John Tyler converted 15 first downs in the first half compared to three for Nacogdoches. However the Dragons held a 15-2 advantage in first downs in the second half.
Warning signs: The Lions were shut out in the second half for the second time this year (Longview) after missing two field goals. The offense totaled 120 yards in the second half compared to 327 in the first.
Positive signs: JT shut down Nac early with big plays in the passing game (three plays of at least 42 yards in the first quarter) and dominating defense, holding the Dragons to 63 total yards in the first two quarters. Nac completed 2 of 10 passes for minus-2 yards in the first half.
What this win means: John Tyler claimed its first district title since 2012 and 26th overall and the Lions make their 35th playoff appearance while on a seven-game winning streak. This season thus far mirrors the 2011 squad that lost its first three games before winning 11 straight on the way to the state semifinals.
Fast forward: John Tyler and Texas High tussle at Longview’s Lobo Stadium in the bi-district playoffs for the second straight year after initially looking at playing the rematch in Shreveport, Louisiana. Kickoff is 2 p.m. Saturday. Last season the Tigers jumped to a 17-7 lead and were on the verge of going up 24-7 before a JT fumble recovery near the goal line turned the tide in a 58-23 Lions victory.