JT in Elite Eight for fourth straight season

Published on Monday, 3 December 2012 23:34 - Written by Harold Wilson

John Tyler’s playoff show known by the alter-ego Cujo scheduled six performances for the postseason.

Three down. Three to go.

Next stop: Ennis.

JT reached the state quarterfinals for the fourth straight season with last week’s 45-28 win over Frisco at the state’s premier high school setting — Allen’s Eagle Stadium.

Another Frisco school, Centennial, awaits the Lions for the Region II championship game.

JT (12-1) and Centennial (12-1) meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lion Stadium in Ennis, a recently renovated venue among the upper echelon in the northern region of Texas.

The other three state quarterfinal matchups pit Denton Guyer (11-2) against North Richland Hills (13-0)) in Region I, Georgetown (13-0) and Nederland (12-1) in Region III, and Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (13-0) and Leander Rouse (9-4) in Region IV.

The eight teams hope to be one of two standing for the Class 4A Division I title game, set for noon on Dec. 22 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

JT leads the field with three state championships. Nederland owns one state title, with Guyer the most recent team to play in a championship game (2010).

The Lions are appearing in the state quarterfinals for the 14th time.

JT holds a 7-6 all-time record in the quarterfinals. The Lions defeated Sherman 45-24 in the Elite Eight last year.

A breakdown on the eight quarterfinalists still alive in their title drive:

REGION I

Denton Guyer

Record: 11-2

Points For-Against (playoffs): 580-269 (146-52)

Credentials: Guyer opened the season ranked No. 1 then started 0-2 after losses to Cedar Hill (a 5A Division I quarterfinalist) and Colleyville Heritage. Guyer, currently on an 11-game win-streak, reached the 4A semifinals in 2008 and 2009 and played in the 5A Division II title game in 2010. All five of the program’s playoffs appearances have come since 2008.

North Richland Hills Birdville

Record: 13-0

Points For-Against (playoffs): 672-173 (142-83)

Credentials: Birdville averages more points (51.7) than any team left in Division I. Birdville, in its 13th year of competition, is enjoying its finest season in school history. The Hawks have won all 13 games by double-figures, hitting the 40-point mark in all but two of their games.

REGION II

John Tyler

Record: 12-1

Points For-Against (playoffs): 544-211 (160-58)

Credentials: John Tyler has been the most-dominant of the quarterfinalists remaining, with an average playoff margin of victory of 34.0 points. JT averaged 53.3 points in its first three postseason wins, tops among the regional finalists. The Lions are the only team to appear in the state quarterfinals the past four years, with 47 wins to their credit dating back to 2009.

Frisco Centennial

Record: 12-1

Points For-Against (playoffs): 487-207 (111-51)

Credentials: Centennial kicked off its football program in 2004. The Titans netted 24 wins total over their first seven seasons. The Titans have 24 wins the past two seasons with consecutive 12-win campaigns.

Region III

Georgetown

Record: 13-0

Points For-Against (playoffs): 599-158 (120-60)

Credentials: A Georgetown program mired in mediocrity most of its history continues to shine in its first year down from Class 5A. The Eagles sport the top defense remaining, allowing 12.1 points per game after holding seven of their first 13 opponents to single digits. Georgetown’s high-powered offense, averaging 46 points, trails only Birdville among the quarterfinalists.

Nederland

Record: 12-1

Points For-Against (playoffs): 400-169 (60-36)

Credentials: Nederland, which won a 3A state title in 1957, served notice with a 22-19 win in regionals over top-ranked Pearland Dawson. The Bulldogs have been the best defensive team in Class 4A in the playoffs, allowing only 12 points per game over the first three rounds. Only Nederland’s history rivals JT, with the Bulldogs in the playoffs for the 34th time, ranking them among the top 12 all-time in 4A.

Region IV

Corpus Christi Flour Bluff

Record: 13-0

Points For-Against (playoffs): 509-200 (135-79)

Credentials: Bluff went 18 years in between playoff berths starting in the early 1980s. The Hornets have since become a playoff regular, getting to the postseason nine straight years. Bluff survived a close call to get by Leander, 29-27, in regionals.

Leander Rouse

Record: 9-4

Points For-Against (playoffs): 373-222 (138-48)

Credentials: The new program, in only its fourth season of football, is only two years removed from an 0-10 season. Rouse compiled the worst record in a district last year featuring Lake Travis, who won five straight 4A crowns before moving on to 5A.