Lions maul Tigers

Texas High drops district opener

K’Lon Warren scores a touchdown for John Tyler in the second quarter of the first district game of the 2018 football season. The Lions beat the Tigers 51-13 on September 28, 2018 at Tiger Stadium.

Story by Joseph Rodgers, John Morgan, TJ Wall, Paisley Allen and Molly Kyles

In the seventieth meeting between John Tyler and Texas High, the Lions pummeled the Tigers 51-13 in both teams’ district opener. The Lions ran the ball straight down the throat of the Tiger defense allowing for their overwhelming victory.

The Tigers opened up the first quarter by trading possessions with the Lions, and midway through the quarter, senior quarterback Coltin Clack made several passes resulting in three Tiger first downs in a row. Clack then made a 12-yard pass to junior wide receiver Kobe Webster for the Tigers’ first touchdown placing the Tigers on the board 7-0.

After the Lions received the kick, they fumbled at the 46 yard line which was recovered by senior wide receiver Mason Jones. The Lions kept the Tigers from scoring a touchdown on the next offensive drive, but kicker Diego Chavez made a 21-yard field goal with 3:30 left in the first quarter, making the score 10-0.

On the Lions’ next offensive drive, running back Roderick Hawkins scored from 54 yards out, but the kicker failed to score the extra point, making the score 10-6 with 2:39 left in the quarter.

The Tigers traded possessions with the Lions again as the Lions made a 46-yard return on the Tigers’ kick. On the next play, Lions running back Cameron Grant ran up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown, making the score 13-10 with 1:16 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers failed to get a first down on their next drive after Clack was sacked on third down, forcing the Tigers to punt at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started with the Lions on offense as quarterback Devlen Woods handed the ball to Grant as he broke free of the Tiger defense and ran up the middle just two yards shy of the end zone. The Lions scored a few plays later as Woods made a 10-yard pass to wide receiver K’Lon Warren, solidifying the Lions’ lead 20-10 with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.

The Lions again received possession of the ball after Clack was sacked on third down. Woods then handed the ball off to Grant for a 16-yard run. Woods followed up by handing the ball off to Hawkins for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 27-10.

The Tigers then made a huge play after Clack passed to senior wide receiver Myles Washington down the sideline for 71 yards all the way to the Lions’ 9-yard line. After Clack was sacked and the Lions’ defense pushed the Tigers to fourth down, Chavez made a 30-yard field goal with 4:36 left in the half to cut the lead to 27-13.

At the start of the second half, the Lions received the kickoff before Woods passed to Warren for a 61-yard touchdown. Only a minute and a half into the third quarter, the Lions widened their lead to 41-13.

The Tigers failed to make a third down conversion on the successive offensive drive. The Lions increased their lead again on a 32-yard field goal which was successfully made by kicker Frankie Sanchez, putting the score at 44-13.

The Tigers again failed to get a first down. The Lions found even more success as Woods passed to wide receiver Ke’Andre Street for a 19-yard touchdown, putting the Lions ahead 51-13 with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers’ failures took up the remainder of the third quarter as they punted leading into the fourth quarter.

While the Tigers had the ball during the fourth quarter, Clack was intercepted by Warren on the Lions’ 41-yard line with 8:45 left in the game. The Lions then marched down the field as kicker Miguel Munoz attempted a field goal but was unsuccessful with 4:49 left in the game.

The Lions and the Tigers then made offensive runs cut short by failed third down conversions which ran out the clock to a final score of 51-13.

“We came out ahead early, and I thought it was going to be easy, but then they came out of the first quarter with 35 points,” sophomore wide receiver Rian Cellers said. “The rest of the season is mostly [against] Dallas schools, and they’ve all been to playoffs, so we really need to step up what we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks and do better than what we’ve been doing.”

This marks the first win for the Lions as they start their quest for a district crown. They have been listed as the favorites to win District 7-5A Division 1 by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

“Our coach told us this game depended on us, and this was probably the best team we’d play in our district, so we knew if we took [the Tigers] it’d be an easy breeze,” Street said. “We started out a little reckless, but we just stayed focused, cut our bullcrap and just got to it. The rest of our season is going to be like a movie, a story to tell.”

The Tiger defense struggled against the high-powered rushing attack of the Lions as they allowed 357 yards on the ground with each carry averaging nearly ten yards. This comes after they let up 314 yards rushing to Kilgore in their previous game.

“We, as a whole, just need to learn how to come together,” Webster said. “We just need to work harder and learn how to put more effort on and off the field. We just can’t let [this loss] get to us, and we need to come out Monday and work harder than we did this week to try to get that win next week.”

Clack completed 12 of 27 passes for 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Sutton had 12 carries for 32 yards. Webster had six catches for 50 yards and a score.

Woods completed five of 12 passes for 142 yards with three touchdowns. Grant had eight carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns while Hawkins had nine carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Warren had three catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tigers’ next game is at McKinney North next Friday at 7 p.m.