Lone Star Gridiron

John Tyler Falls To DeSoto, But Still Makes Playoffs

John Tyler backed into the playoffs, even without a win.

DeSoto defeated John Tyler 21-17 in come-from-behind fashion, but the Lions live to see another day thanks to Robert E. Lee's win over North Mesquite, coupled with Mesquite Horn's victory over Mesquite.
Lee and DeSoto finished tied for the District 11-5A title at 4-1, with JT (2-3), Horn (2-3) and Mesquite (2-3) tying for the third and fourth spots.
Since JT and Horn both beat Mesquite, they get the final two spots.
The final shakeup helped JT avoid a first-round tussle with Copperas Cove, which had been ranked among the state's top 10 most of the season. With Mesquite missing the playoffs, Lee goes to the Class 5A Division I bracket, making JT the district's top seed in Division II by virtue of its win over Horn.
JT (5-5) is tentatively set to face Killeen Shoemaker at 5 p.m. Saturday in Midlothian.
"We're in the playoffs," second-year JT head coach Dereck Rush, whose team needed either a win, North Mesquite loss or Mesquite Horn win to sew up a playoff berth. "We'll get in any way we can."
For the third straight week, JT struggled stopping the run, allowing DeSoto's Marcus Murphy to burn them for an 82-yard TD jaunt for the go-ahead touchdown with 5:39 remaining. Murphy mustered all three scores for DeSoto, including one on a 16-yard pass from Ryan Polite to pull the Eagles to within three (10-7) and another on a 3-yard scamper to put the home team ahead the first time (14-10).
DeSoto finished with 235 yards rushing, with Murphy making the most noise with 16 carries for 197.
"That one play got us there," Rush said of Murphy's long score. "We just have to overcome it."
After falling behind 21-17, JT reached DeSoto's 37-yard line before Vincent Eddie jumped Jeremy Johnson's slant pass intended for Tarik Spencer to give the Eagles back the ball.
The final JT drive went backwards after a zero-yard pass and a DeSoto sack for a 13-yard loss, followed by a 5-yard run and incompletion on fourth-and-18 with 1:30 left.
The Lions looked capable of taking care of their own business, jumping out to a 10-0 lead on a 37-yard field goal by Jesse Diaz and 7-yard sneak by Johnson.
The Lions even answered Murphy's second TD with Johnson's 7-yard scoring toss on a shuffle pass to De'Trich Morgan, giving the guests back control (17-14) late in the third quarter.
JT turned the ball over three times, however, twice inside the DeSoto 40.
Johnson provided most of JT's offense, rushing 16 times for 80 yards and one TD, and completing 10 of 18 passes for 149 yards and another score.
Even backing in, JT sees an opportune chance to extend its season next week as the Lions prepare to face a Shoemaker team that entered its regular season finale with a 4-5 record.
"We'll pick our heads up," said Rush, "and see what happens."
DeSoto 21, John Tyler 17
JT -- FG Jesse Diaz 37, 11:10

JT -- Jeremy Johnson 7 run (Diaz kick), 5:29

DES -- Marcus Murphy 16 pass from Ryan Polite (Bryson Echols kick), 1:29
Third Quarter DES -- Murphy 3 run (Echols kick), 6:52 JT -- De'Trich Morgan 7 pass from Johnson (Diaz kick), 4:05 Fourth Quarter DES -- Murphy 82 run (Echols kick), 5:39 JT -- DeTrich EST.ATT. -- 1800.
RUSHING -- John Tyler, Jeremy Johnson 16-80, Ky'Ordric Black 8-35, Kedrick Chancellor 5-12, Charlie Jackson 1-6, De'Trich Morgan 1-4, Dominic Ward 4-(-4), Team 1-(-11). DeSoto, Marcus Murphy 16-197, Ryan Polite 10-24, Courtney Webb 8-11, Aaron Hayter 1-10, Devon Sanders 1-(-3), Antoine Jimmers 1-(-4).
PASSING -- John Tyler, Johnson 10-18-1 -- 149, David Bush 0-1-0 -- 0. DeSoto, Polite 12-23-0 -- 134.
By HAROLD WILSON
Staff Writer Tyler Morning Telegraph

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