|LONGVIEW - Longview wasted little time locking in the 18th-straight postseason berth on Friday night.
Behind another prolific night offensively and a shutdown night from the defense, Longview jumped ahead early and rolled to a 63-3 rout of North Mesquite in District 11-6A action at Lobo Stadium.
With the win, No. 4 Longview moves to 8-0 on the season and 4-0 in district play to clinch a trip to the postseason. It was Longview's third-straight win of 30-plus points and the fourth of that margin on the season.
North Mesquite drops to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in league play.
"We did what we needed to do," Longview head coach John King said. "I challenged them to go out and make a statement early on and, if we could do that, we could get control of the game and it would have a good ending.
"They accomplished that. We felt like we were the better team coming in and we needed to play like it."
Longview led 29-0 after the first quarter and 50-0 at halftime.
Haynes King had three touchdown passes before being removed midway through the season quarter with the Lobos up by a commanding 36-0 lead. King finished 8-of-10 passing for 172 yards.
Kamden Perry finished with 68 yards on three catches, including a 14-yard touchdown, his 11th of the season. Junior Kaden Kearbey had a seven-yard scoring haul and had three catches for 27 yards.
Keilyn Williams finished with 123 total yards, including a dazzling 67-yard touchdown run off a screen pass from King.
Jessie Anderson hit paydirt twice on runs of three and 16 yards for Longview, who had 10 ball carriers total 344 yards on the ground. Kevin Jones (21 yards), Harvey Boyd (9), Corey Evans (6) and Jordan Malone (9) also had scoring runs for the Lobos.
Defensively, Longview held North Mesquite to 28 yards in the first half and 130 total. The Stallions finished with 69 rushing yards on 24 carries and connected on 7-of-12 passing attempts for 61 yards.
Tyshawn Taylor forced a fumble that was recovered by Ja'Vontae Writt. Jacob Johnson scooped up a second Stallion fumble as well.
"I thought they played exceptionally well in the first half and we were able to empty the bench and get all of those kids in the game," King said of the defense. "It was another good performance by pretty much everyone in stopping the run and defending the pass well.
"Just pretty dominating."
Longview scored on its first seven possessions and had a safety off a blocked punt near the North Mesquite endzone. The Lobos chewed up the clock entering halftime and, with a running clock, used nine plays to move 47 yards in the fourth quarter.
The second-team offense played two-and-a-half quarters and the second-team defense played the entire second half.
"The big thing and the challenge for us is to get ready for the next game with every snap," King said. "That's what we need to concentrate on, being 1-0 next week as a total team with everyone involved.
"We have to control what we can control and that's us. We have to go out there and practice and prepare for what comes next."
Sophomore Kaden Meredith sparked the night right out of the game with a 51-yard kickoff return, setting up the first of six Lobo scoring drives that started in North Mesquite territory.
Kearbey had a 21-yard haul, setting up his seven-yard touchdown catch for a quick 7-0 lead with 10:21 left in the first quarter.
North Mesquite punted for the first of five times on the night on the Stallions' opening drive. North Mesquite finished 1-of-9 on third down and picked up a first down for the first time on the first play of the second half, a drive that resulted in the lone points for the Stallions on a 31-yard field goal from Jorge Ramos.
On third down, which Longview had three touchdowns overall, King dumped a screen to Williams, who made several moves on the way to a 67-yard touchdown.
Writt recovered a fumble forced by Taylor, setting up Anderson's first touchdown run of three yards. The senior added his second with 2:12 left in the first quarter for a 27-0 Longview lead.
A blocked punt near the endzone resulted in a safety for a 29-0 lead through 12 minutes.
King and Perry connected on the first play of the second quarter. Williams converted a fourth down and Jones rumbled for a 21-yard score.
After Johnson's fumble recovery on the ensuing kick, Malone took a nine-yard sweep to the house for a 50-0 Lobo lead at halftime.
Longview, with its playoff berth clinched, turns its attention to the next goal next week at Tyler Lee. North Mesquite takes on Mesquite Horn at Memorial Stadium in Mesquite.
"It's well-deserved to clinch a playoff berth but it's one of three," King said. "Clinching a playoff berth, clinching home-field advantage and then the third is a district championship.
"There's still work to be done."