Final score: John Tyler 45, Plano West 14
Quotable: “I think we came out and we played John Tyler football. No matter what the classification is, whether it’s 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A or 6A, football’s gotta be played. I think a lot of people get caught up in classification and forget about the game itself. It’s only 11 guys that get to play at any given time.”
- JT coach Ricklan Holmes.
Turning point: Leading 17-7 at halftime, the Lions scored two touchdowns in the opening three minutes of the second half for a 31-7 lead to take control.
The game was over when: Michael Givens-Washington surpassed 100 yards receiving with an 11-yard touchdown reception with 1:13 left in the third to put John Tyler up 38-7.
Key stats: Plano West averaged 2.9 yards per rush, unable to move the ball against the John Tyler defensive line. The Lions outgained the Wolves 407-282.
Warning signs: John Tyler was flagged 14 times (10 in the first half) for 85 yards, causing the offense to sputter at times.
Positive signs: The Lions defense was on the field for 74 plays and only five went for more than 10 yards, two of those against the second-string defense. JT stopped Plano West for zero or negative yards 18 times (not including 12 incompletions).
What this win means: John Tyler proved it can compete with the biggest schools in the state (Plano West is the second largest behind Allen) and won in the program’s first game at the state’s highest classification in six years.
Fast forward: The Lions return to facing 5A competition, traveling to play Ennis, a district rival the last two years. Ennis won the first meeting in 2014 on the way to the district title while JT won last year on the way to the district title.
- Travis Yoesting