|LONGVIEW - Longview and Tyler celebrated the 100th edition of their East Texas football rivalry, and the Lobos bounced back from a first quarter deficit to earn a 34-12 home district win against the Lions at Lobo Stadium and the 2023 District 7-5A Division I championship.
Longview improved to 54-39-7 against Tyler since Oct. 26, 1912, and will bring an 8-1 season record and a 6-0 district record to next Friday's 7 p.m. regular season finale against West Mesquite at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Tyler, meanwhile, owns respective 6-3 and 3-3 marks before their 7 p.m. senior night matchup against Forney at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
"I'm excited and proud of these kids for winning the district championship and getting another home game [in the Class 5A Division I bi-district playoff round]," said Longview athletic director and head football coach John King. "That was one of our goals. We did that. The regular season goal has been met, but we still got a game to play and gotta take care of business."
Tyler controlled the first quarter and took an early 3-0 lead during Marvin Espinal's 38-yard field attempt at the 7:24 mark of the opening period.
Longview then dominated the second quarter to take a 15-point lead by halftime. Andrew Tutt launched the surge with a 72-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Washington, but his team owned a 6-5 lead after Tyler's Braylen Ford returned a blocked extra point attempt to the opposite end zone with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter.
Washington earned six catches for 172 yards and two receiving touchdowns and carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards and one rushing touchdown, while Tutt finished the game with a 10-for-17 passing performance for 216 yards and one touchdown.
The Lobos then hit the ground running. Kelvin Washington's two-yard touchdown run made it a 13-5 lead at the 2:30 mark of the quarter.
Taylor Tatum then followed up his All-American Bowl jersey afternoon ceremony at Lobo Coliseum with a 25-yard touchdown carry to grow the gap to 20-5 with 2:21 to play in the first half.
Tatum continued the Lobo charge with 23 carries for 233 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Tyler eventually bounced back and cut Longview's lead to 20-12 during Derrick McFall's one-yard touchdown run at the 10:27 mark of the third quarter.
But, Tatum immediately responded with a 75-yard touchdown run to give Longview a 27-12 lead with 10:11 left in the period.
Tutt then tossed a 36-yard touchdown dart to Washington to make it a 34-12 advantage with 1:49 remaining in the quarter.
Longview's defense stepped up when Daedrion "Buddha" Garrett and Willie Nelson intercepted passes from Tyler's Caden Granberry in the second half.