TYLER - Longview head coach John King called Friday's game against Tyler Lee a tale of two halves. The first tale was about the first half, and it had a very good ending for the Lobos.
In that half Longview jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead and was never threatened the rest of the game, coasting to a 45-19 win over Lee before approximately 3,800 spectators at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
In the first half Longview scored on its first five possessions, the last four going for touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Lobo defense held Lee to 90 total yards, shutting the Red Raiders down after they scored a touchdown on their initial drive.
"The big thing we did after Lee's first drive is we started tackling and got in the right gaps," King said. "The offense made some good passes and we moved chains with our running. The first half went well."
The win sets up a showdown between Longview (8-1, 4-0) - ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press' Class 5A state poll - and No. 3-ranked DeSoto (9-0, 4-0). They will play on Thursday night at Lobo Stadium with the winner taking the District 11-5A title. The game was moved to Thursday to accommodate television coverage by Fox Sports Southwest.
"It will be a short week, and it will be a great night at Lobo Stadium," King said.
Lee head coach Randy Huffstickler said this week he was hoping for long, time-consuming drives, and he got one in the first quarter. After a 38-yard field goal by Israel Madrid gave Longview a 3-0 lead on its opening drive, Lee went on a 16-play drive which consumed 7:05 and ended with a three-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Seeber to Luke Swanson with 1:48 left in the first quarter.
But after Lee piled up 72 yards of offense on its opening drive, the Lobos clamped down and held Lee held to 18 total yards and no first downs in the second quarter. The Lobo defense was led by safety Stephan Maxey, who had six tackles (his total for the game), while the Lobos had five tackles for losses. The Lobos had 12 tackles for losses for the game, three by DeMarkus Lathan.
Meanwhile, the Lee defense couldn't stop Longview at all. A one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bivins Caraway with 10:41 left in the second quarter gave Longview the lead for good at 10-7. It ended an 84-yard drive, including a 46-yard screen pass from Caraway to fullback Deontre Wilson.
A 13-yard punt return by Jordan Burton set up Longview for a 41-yard drive on its next offensive possession, which Caraway and Hawkins connected again for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Caraway threw his second touchdown pass of the half with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter, a 39-yard scoring strike to tight end Braden King. Caraway was 7-for-11 for 180 yards passing in the first half. Caraway finished 8-for-17 for 195 yards.
A 43-yard pass from Caraway to Hawkins started an 84-yard drive, ending with a seven-yard touchdown from Wilson to Colin Jeter with 1:11 left in the first half, giving Longview a 31-7 halftime lead. Wilson's scoring toss was a jump pass similar to what Tim Tebow made famous at the University of Florida in the past six years. Hawkins, who has verbally committed to the University of Arkansas had three receptions for 74 yards in the first half, his total for the game.
Longview running back Tory White, who rushed for 174 yards in Longview's 38-22 win over John Tyler on Sept. 3 at Rose Stadium, had 43 yards on five carries in the first half and finished with 64 yards on 10 carries.
A one-yard touchdown run by Antonius Sanders gave Longview a 38-7 lead with 4:42 remaining in the third quarter. Longview blocked two punts in the second half, the first by Corey Bartley with 1:08 left in the third quarter. The second was a deflection which Khody Hubbard picked out of the air and returned 34 yards for a touchdown, giving Longview a 45-7 lead with 9:53 remaining.
Lee scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a one-yard touchdown run by Aneas Sutton. Sutton rushed for 152 yards on 21 carries, 121 yards in the fourth quarter. Lee had 204 yards rushing, but just 31 yards passing.
Longview had three fumbles in the second half, losing one, while Caraway threw his second interception of this season, which was picked off by Bryce Stewart in the third quarter. King said he takes blame for second-half flaws, saying his play calling could have been better.
The loss eliminates Lee (1-8, 0-4) is eliminated from playoff contention.