Written by Michael Florek
Bidding for another stunning upset, Frisco can’t hold lead in loss to John Tyler in 4A regional semis
Tyler John Tyler erases 11-point deficit, pulls away in fourth quarter
ALLEN — Two weeks removed from stunning Highland Park in the first round, Frisco smelled another upset Friday night at Allen’s Eagle Stadium against Tyler John Tyler.
But two potential go-ahead possessions were derailed, and John Tyler added two late touchdowns to advance, 45-28.
John Tyler will play Frisco Centennial in the Class 4A, Division I, Region II final.
Down 31-28 midway through the fourth quarter, Frisco forced John Tyler to punt for the first time but fumbled the ball away on its first play.
John Tyler gave up a sack a fourth-and-4 from the Frisco 6 on its ensuing drive, giving Frisco the ball with 3:40 left. But three plays netted only 5 yards, and quarterback Jake Battaglia overthrew receiver Jake Hardy on fourth down.
“We didn’t excute,” Frisco coach Vance Gibson said. “Their kids made plays. Our kids had a great effort; I’m proud of the way they competed. It’s just, we came up short.”
Frisco led throughout much of the first half, using a throw-back pass to Battaglia on fourth-and-5 in the second quarter to keep a drive alive and scoring two plays later to make it 21-10.
Frisco looked to add to the lead before the half after Drake Hardy intercepted John Tyler quarterback Greg Ward. It was Ward’s first interception of the season. But Frisco returned the favor four plays later and John Tyler scored to end the half, using two short passes from Ward that receivers Darion Flowers and DeQuante Woods turned into long gains.
John Tyler got the ball back coming out of the half, promptly scored a touchdown to take the lead, forced a punt and then scored another touchdown.
“We knew they were going to try to keep our offense off the field,” John Tyler coach Ricklan Holmes said. “We had to make two stops to put our offense back on the field, and that’s what we did the second half.”
Follow Michael Florek on Twitter at @michaelflorek.