|LONGVIEW - Longview's defense was high-flying and the ground game went to work to open District 7-5A, Division I action with a big win.
Coming away with turnovers on four-straight snaps from West Mesquite, Longview rolled to a 49-24 win over the Wranglers to move to 4-1 on the season on Friday night at Lobo Stadium.
The hits were big from the Lobos, who cashed in on four second-quarter turnovers from the Wranglers (0-5, 0-1). They weren't just handouts either.
Big hits from Shannon Jackson, Jacobi Williams and Laqualon Hale forced three turnovers, one of which was scooped and taken to the house by Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson. Jahkamian Carr grabbed the other two fumbles and Dylan Davis picked off two passes for the Lobos, who honored 43 seniors prior to the contest.
On offense, the two-headed attack of Markevion Haynes and Kaden Meredith led the charge. The duo finished with 186 of Longview's 240 rushing yards. Haynes led that charge with his third 100-yard game of the season, finishing with 114 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns. Meredith added 72 yards and rushing scores of 13 and one yards.
The sophomore quarterback duo of Jordan Allen and Landyn Grant continued to split time throughout the game. Allen finished 3-of-8 passing for 29 yards and Grant was 1-of-2, including an 88-yard catch-and-run score from CJ Hopkins. Grant was picked off once in a game that featured nine turnovers combined.
West Mesquite had 39 yards of total offense at halftime and finished with 213 total yards, 118 on 35 carries and 95 through the air.
Both teams opened the night with three-and-outs. Carr had a sack to force West Mesquite's punt and the Wranglers returned the favor on an 11-yard drop of Allen.
On its second drive, the Wranglers marched 42 yards, chewing up nearly five minutes off the clock before punting near midfield.
Longview attempted one pass attempt on the next possession as Haynes and Meredith went to work. Meredith had a 16-yard run before Haynes rumbled in for a 25-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Longview lead after the first quarter.
Then the turnover madness began.
Davis picked off a twice-tipped ball but the Lobos came up empty on a sloppy, penalty-filled possession.
On West Mesquite's next snap, Jackson came flying in from the secondary with a big hit and Carr scooped up his first fumble. Five plays later, Meredith punched in his first touchdown on a 13-yard run for a 14-0 Lobo lead.
The next Wrangler snap was a lateral pass to the flat and this time Williams was there for the big hit. Jackson-Jamerson scooped the loose ball and went 15 yards to the house.
West Mesquite tried again and it was Hale this time with the hit stick that led to Carr's second fumble recovery. After a dropped pass in the end zone, Haynes punched in his second score for a 28-0 Lobo lead.
The Wranglers got new life after a Lobo muffed punt but the Lobo defense stood tall. After a defensive pass interference on third-and-goal, the Lobo defense denied the punch-in attempt twice before Davis picked off his second pass.
On the next Lobo snap, Grant hit Hopkins over the middle and the senior raced 88 yards to the house for a 35-0 Longview lead.
Grant's interception led to West Mesquite's first points, a 33-yard field goal as time expired at halftime. The Wranglers' first touchdown came after a Haynes fumble to start the third quarter.
After a 93-yard kickoff return from Jackson, Haynes got payback with his trifecta on the night with a seven-yard touchdown.
Meredith closed out the scoring for the Lobos after Spencer Powell recovered his own kick that ricocheted off a West Mesquite player.