TYLER - A lack of a running attack turned out to be a one-week hiccup for the Longview football team.
The Lobos had 317 rushing yards on Saturday, and was especially proficient late in pulling away for a 38-22 win over John Tyler in the Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic before 10,000 spectators at TMF Rose Stadium. Longview nearly doubled their total of 165 yards in last week's 30-0 win over Marshall in which the Lobo ground game was ineffective until the fourth quarter.
This week the Lobos got cooking in the fourth quarter, starting with Tory White bursting through the left side of the line for an 84-yard touchdown run with 8:10 left in the game to extend Longview's lead to 24-16. Filling in for starter J'Haston Faggans, who was out because of a concussion, White finished with 172 yards rushing on 20 carries.
"Our offensive line made some holes and our backs did a good job finding them," Longview head coach John King said. "I challenged the offensive line this week."
On the next play from scrimmage, a pass by John Tyler quarterback Greg Ward was deflected, then intercepted by Jaylan Lawson at the John Tyler 28-yard line. This set up a three-yard touchdown run by Deontre Wilson with 5:05 left. Wilson had 75 yards rushing on 14 carries with two touchdowns, his third consecutive multi-touchdown game.
Longview receiver Eric Hawkins got into the ground game act by taking a reverse 59 yards for a touchdown with 2:39 remaining to ice the win, and capping a personal game of 156 total yards for Hawkins. The victory sets up next week as a showdown between state-ranked teams when Longview (2-0), ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press' Class 5A state poll, and top-ranked Allen (2-0), which crushed Justin Northwest 59-0 on Friday. They will face off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Lobo Stadium. John Tyler (0-2), which upended the Lobos in Longview last year 28-14, came up short in consecutive wins over Longview for the first time since the Lions won three in a row from 1998 to 2000.
John Tyler took a 13-10 lead when Fred Ross took a sweep 74 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, giving the Lions a 13-10 lead as the extra point was blocked.
A 21-yard punt by the Lions gave Longview the ball at JT 47-yard line with 6:32, and 51 seconds in Wilson powered in from 16 yards out to put Longview up for good. Julian Varona made a 37-yard field goal with 9:34 remaining to pull John Tyler within 17-16.
John Tyler had the first scoring opportunity with 5:06 left in the first quarter as Terry Ausborne forced Longview running back White to fumble and Elliott Hart recovered for the Lions at the Longview 45-yard line, but the Lobo defense didn't give up a single yard on the ensuing a drive and forced John Tyler to punt. On the next play, Bivins Caraway connected with Hawkins on an 83-yard touchdown pass to give Longview a 7-0 lead with 4:06 left in the first quarter. Caraway was 6-for-14 on pass attempts in the first half for 159 yards and finished 8-for-17 for 175 yards for the game.
John Tyler struck back with a 71-yard drive, capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Greg Ward to Darion Flowers with 53 seconds left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. Ward was 16-for-20 passing for 193 yards in the first half. Ward finished 27-for-36 for 282 yards passing while adding 64 yards rushing
The Lobo defense did make a play on Ward to get a halftime advantage. Longview safety Stephan Maxey forced Ward to fumble and Jaylan Lawson recovered for the Lobos at the Longview 41-yard line with 9:19 remaining in the second quarter. A 33-yard pass from Caraway to Braden King would set up a 38-yard field goal by Israel Madrid with 7:17 left in the first half.
Both teams missed an additional scoring opportunity in the first half. Longview drove to the John Tyler 17-yard line with 2:16 remaining, a strong wind carried a Caraway pass and Hart made an interception in the end zone.
John Tyler drove to the Longview 14-yard line on the ensuing drive, but kicking into the wind, a 32-yard field goal attempt by Julian Varona went wide left with 21 seconds remaining.
Corey Bartley had seven first-half tackles to lead Longview while Jordan Burton had six tackles. Andre Jefferson led John Tyler with five tackles.
A Lobo appeared to suffer a season-ending injury with 5:10 left in the second quarter. Senior safety A.J. Hopson suffered a left-ankle injury while attempting to tackle JT running back DeQuante Woods. Hopson was carted off the field.
Burton led Longview with 10 tackles. The Lobos had seven tackles for losses, including two sacks by George Polk.
John Tyler did have success moving the ball with 507 total yards. John Tyler plays arch rival Tyler Lee this Friday at Rose Stadium.