Doc Smith, Sports Correspondent
Jacksonville Daily Progress
The Jacksonville Indians returned to the Tomato Bowl and nearly pulled off an upset win over John Tyler's Lions Friday night.
Jacksonville led 7-6 after one quarter of play, but the Lions came back to take a 27-17 advantage into the locker room at the half.
John Tyler ruled out by a final score of 43-30, but the Indians battled to the wire and were inside the Lion 10-yard line inside of two minutes to play and were threatening to score before an interception sealed the deal for the Lions (6-2, 3-0 District 16-4A).
The Lions first score came on the ground as running back, Reggie Gipson scooted in from seven-yards out. The Lions however missed the first of two first half PAT kick attempts for a 6-0 lead.
The Tribe (0-8, 0-3) answered right back as wide receiver, Claude Franklin hauled in a Carter McCown strike for a 23-yard even-up. Indian’s kicker, Ryan Travis converted the PAT boot for a brief 7-6, Jacksonville lead.
Lions, junior quarterback, Geovari McCollister (6'2”, 200 lbs.), got into the flow with an 18-yard run to cap off a 70-yard drive.
Lions defensive back, Jordan Caldwell put an end to the next Tribe drive with an interception.
As the clock rolled down on the first quarter, Indians kicker, Ryan Travis was true on a 22-yard field goal and a 14-10, JT lead.
The last 1:01 of the second quarter got crazy with Jeremy Wilson scoring from one-yard away. Jose Perez kick was good for the 21-10, Lion cushion.
Tribe receiver Claude Franklin hauled in a 18-yards scoring strike from McCown to start the second half scoring. Travis made the kick cut into the 27-24, John Tyler lead.
The Lions however wasted little time, when Gipson scored again on a 10-yard run, and Wilson caught a PAT pass for a 35-24 count at the end of the third quarter.
Jacksonville made it exciting with 6:30 remaining in the game as McCown found Datavion Thacker wide open in the end zone for a third TD pass of the game from McCown.
JT got a great return from Wilson to answer the score and set up the Lions at the Indians 30.
Four plays later, Rodney Bendy caught a 6-yard TD catch, and McCollister ran the PAT conversion in for a 43-30 advantage.
Gipson finished the game with 11 carries and 122-yards. McCollister was the leader on the ground with 185-yards in 23 carries. The Lion QB also threw for 148-yards, going 10-of-20, and added his 185 on the ground for a combined 333 yards of offense.
Through the air, Jacksonville managed 269-yards with Carter McCown going 24-for-41, in the game.
The Tribe QB, McCown led the team in rushing with 65-yards in nine carries. Brayden Parrish added 33-yards on nine tries. The leading receiver for Jacksonville was Tony Lane with seven catches for 50 yards.
The Lions held a 268-200 lead in total yardage at the half.
John Tyler under the guidance of head coach Ricklan Holmes, has district wins over Corsicana and Lindale, and now needs one win to clinch a playoff spot.
The Tribe (0-8; 0-3), will need wins in its final two conference games (at Lindale and versus Corsicana) to advance to post season play.
John Tyler 43, Jacksonville 30
John Tyler 6 21 7 7 - 43
Jacksonville 7 10 7 6 - 30
JT: Reggie Gipson 7 run, (kick no good), 6:41
JAC: Claude Franklin 23 pass from Carter McCown, (Ryan Travis kick), 4:06
JT: Geovani McCollister 18 run, (Gipson PAT pass from McCollister), 8:00.
JAC: Ryan Travis 22 field goal, 2:23.
JT: Jeremy Wilson 1 run, (Jose Perez kick), 1:01
JAC: Franklin 68 kickoff return, (Travis kick), :51.
JT: McCollister 2 run, (kick no good), :07.
JAC: Franklin 19 pass from McCown, (Travis kick good), 8:28.
JT: Gipson 10 run, (Wilson PAT pass from McCollister), 5:24
JAC: Datavion Thacker 30 pass from McCown, (PAT pass intercepted), 6:30
JT: Rodney Bendy 6 pass from McCollister, (McCollister PAT run), 4:20.
First Downs 29 20
Rushes/Yds. 22-186 25-136
Comp-Att-Int 10-20-0 23-42-2
Passing Yds. 148 269
Punts/Avg. 4-36.5 2-27.5
Penalties/Yds 6-41 12-85
Fumbles/Lost 3-2 1-0