A week after facing the pass-happy offense of Patrick Mahomes and Whitehouse, John Tyler is gearing up this week for the run-oriented Broncos of Mansfield Legacy.
The Lions allowed a season-high 371 passing yards on Friday in a 55-54 loss to the third-ranked Wildcats. Now they face a team averaging 354.6 yards per game on the ground.
"It's total different ends of the spectrum but it's kind of built up for us," JT coach Ricklan Holmes said. "We've been very successful at stopping the run all year."
John Tyler (7-3) and Legacy (8-2) face off in the Class 4A Division I bi-district playoffs at 2 p.m. Saturday at City Bank Stadium in Forney.
The Lions have allowed 180.0 rushing yards per game, about half what the Broncos average. Legacy has run for 3,546 yards while throwing for 987.
The senior duo of Kijana Amous and Terrance Ivery account for 78 percent of their team's rushing offense.
Amous, a 5-11, 205-pound running back, has run for 1,670 yards and 25 touchdowns in nine games. He averages 7.4 yards per carry and has run for at least 112 yards every game, scoring two touchdowns in every game but one.
Amous saved some of his best performances for his team's toughest two games. In losses to 10-0 Ennis and 8-2 Mansfield Summit, he rushed for 260 (season high) and 205 yards, respectively.
"(Amous is) a big kid, he runs downhill and he's pretty fast," Holmes said. "They also use their quarterback to run a lot also."
Under center, Ivery (5-8, 180) has put up 1,080 yards and six TDs on the ground, averaging 9.2 yards per carry. He also has 902 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions passing, completing 60 percent of his passes (62-104).
Defensively the Broncos are led by senior linebackers Michael Sanders (91 tackles) and Everett Williams (56 tackles, seven sacks).
The Broncos went 5-2 in District 15-4A, including a 44-30 home victory over Lancaster, which JT beat 31-28 on a last-second field goal at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Sept. 7.
Legacy High School opened in 2007 as Mansfield ISD's fourth high school on the site of the historic Kow Bell Rodeo, according to the school's website. The Broncos are in the playoffs for the second time in school history.
The Broncos' only other playoff appearance came in 2009, when they finished 8-4. Legacy beat Fort Worth Eastern Hills 42-21 before losing to Denton Guyer by the same 42-21 scoreline. That year was also the only other time the Broncos finished with a winning record before this season.
John Tyler has never faced any of the Mansfield schools but can boast a better playoff record than the four combined. The Lions are 45-25-3 all time in postseason play compared to a 17-22 aggregate record for Mansfield, Legacy, Summit and Timberview.
The winner of Saturday's game advances to play either Texas High (9-1) or McKinney North (6-4), who play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lobo Stadium in Longview.
LIONS TALES: Tickets for the John Tyler-Legacy game at City Bank Stadium in Forney will be sold on campus to students and faculty Thursday. Additional ticket sales will be at the TISD athletic office (807 W. Glenwood) Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; at T&T Lewis (903 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) during regular business hours Thursday and until 1 p.m. Friday; and Tyler Athletics (5201 S. Broadway) during regular business hours Thursday and until 1 p.m. Friday. Presale tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students. General admission tickets at the gate cost $7.