The John Tyler Lions clinched a playoff berth with a 37-20 victory over district foe Sherman (TX) at Tyler Rose Stadium Friday night. With the victory, the Lions move into second place in district.
Coach Ricklan Holmes was happy to go to 4-1 in district play. "Going into the last game of the season, getting ready for the playoffs, I'm proud of our young men and how they prepared this week."
The Lions were without starting Quarterback Eli Holt, who the lost to a hip injury last week, but Sophomore Athlete Derrick McFall stepped in and let the Lions offense to a win. "We already knew Derrick could play quarterback coming into the season. Derrick stepped up up to the plate." Holmes
McFall, accounted for 196 total yards with 130 yards coming on the ground and 66 yards through the air. The win meant a lot to McFall, "Tonight was my first time playing quarterback, so I had to do what I had to do. It built my confidence even more going into the playoffs."
McFall, scored the Lions first touchdown with a 55-yard touchdown run on a zone read play. Jakyron Lacy scored the other offensive touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second quarter. 4 star Athlete Montrell Wade led Tyler in receiving with 3 catches for 24 yards.
The story of the game was the Tyler defense, who had 4 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, caused 3 turnovers, and scored twice on pick 6s. Defensive backs Xavier Tatum intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 60-yards for the first defensive touchdown. Cornerback Ta'Corey Gilliam intercepted a Bearcat pass with Sherman deep in their territory and took it 90-yards for the second defensive score. Linebackers Dunaireon Cantley and Jordan Dews led the Lions in tackles with 6 each.
Sherman had it's chances early and late, but couldn't capitalize on at key points in the game. The Bearcats actually outgained the Lions offense 394 to 268. Quarterback Phoenix Grant led Sherman with 342 total yard. He threw for 213 yards two scores and ran for 129 yards. Wide Receiver Aries Jones caught both of Grant's touchdowns and led the Bearcats in receiving with 8 catches and 96 yards. Freshman Running Back Kane Bowen was the second leading rusher with 42 yards on 6 carries. Kicker Dane Casselberry made field goals from 43 and 33 yards. Linebacker Joseph Gionfriddo led the Bearcats in tackles with 7.
Tyler travels to Longview in a battle for second place in district. While Sherman will end their season at home against West Mesquite (TX).