UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas – Tyler John Tyler has been notorious for being a second-half team in the Class 4A playoffs. That proved to be true at the most opportune time Friday at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
John Tyler used a monster second half to defeat Sherman 45-21 and advance to the 4A Division I state semifinals. The Lions (11-3) quickly turned a close game into a comfortable lead with a dominant fourth-quarter showing. John Tyler held Sherman (10-4) scoreless in the second half after allowing the Bearcats three scores in four possessions.
Defensively, John Tyler was paced by the elevated play of junior linebacker Richard Gipson, senior linebacker Devonte Black and senior defensive lineman Eric Davis, an Oklahoma State commit. Gipson arguably was the top defensive playmaker, recording three of the Lions’ six sacks for the game – five of those sacks coming in the second half.
Sherman finished the game with 323 total yards, but only 77 came in the third and fourth quarters. As for John Tyler, it finished with 487 total yards and saw five different players score touchdowns.
Two juniors led the offensive charge for the Lions. Quarterback Greg Ward was near-perfect, completing his first 20 passes – the first incompletion came at the 10:20 mark of the fourth quarter – and finishing with 292 yards and two touchdowns on an incredible 26-of-27 passing.
Receiver Fred Ross had a solid game against Sherman and lined up well against Baylor-bound defensive back Ryan Reid. Ross finished with nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed three times for 26 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
John Tyler will face Waco Midway (12-2) in the 4A Division I state semifinals. Midway took care of Wichita Falls Rider 54-34 in the Region 1 final Friday.