John Tyler head football coach Ricklan Holmes promised a different team would show up Friday night against North Mesquite.
He was right on the money.
The Lions rebounded to capture a 44-7 win over the Stallions in Tyler. It was quite a change from the previous week’s loss of 48-7 to Rockwall.
Holmes’ seniors took over and called a players-only meeting ‑ and whatever was said worked.
While the seniors took ownership of the team, it was a couple of juniors who stood out to garner JT Player of the Week honors.
Offensively, running back Roderick Hawkins, a 5-9, 190-pound junior, earned Player of the Week. He rushed for 135 yards and a 41-yard touchdown run on 12 carries. He also had two catches for 28 yards.
It was the second straight game Hawkins started in the place of Cam Grant, who missed his second consecutive game as he was still in concussion protocol.
On the season, Hawkins has rushed for 425 yards and five touchdowns on 43 attempts. Grant has 341 yards and two touchdowns on 41 totes.
Defensively, linebacker Jarrius Lane earned Player of the Week. He had four solo tackles, along with an assist and three tackles for losses. Lane is a 5-10, 195-pound junior.
Senior Michael Givens-Washington was tabbed the Special Teams Player of the Week. He had two punt returns for 69 yards, including a long of 54 yards that resulted in a touchdown.
The speedster Givens-Washington leads District 11-6A in punt returns with six for an average of 19.83.
Earning the Lion Heart Award was linebacker Tre Allison.
Allison, who spoke at the players-only meeting, was all over the field against the Stallions. He not only had five solo tackles and an assist, but he also returned an interception for a touchdown. The 28-yard return matched the SMU commit’s jersey number. Allison also broke up a pass.
LIONS TALES: In junior varsity action, John Tyler defeated North Mesquite 49-7 with the JT freshmen downing the Stallions, 48-0. … JT (3-2, 1-1) plays its fourth road game in six games on Friday, traveling to Mesquite to meet the Mesquite Skeeters (1-4, 0-2). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at E.H. Hanby Stadium. Next week the Lions have a bye and then travel to Rockwall on Oct. 13 to meet Heath.