|LONGVIEW - Behind the 7-for-7 passing performance of quarterback Derek Grant, the Lobos punched out a 24-9 victory over the Nacogdoches Dragons Friday night at Lobo stadium.
Grant, who amassed 143 yards in the air to five different receivers, guided the Lobos to touchdowns in every quarter except the fourth, where the host team added a field goal. Longview finished the night with 307 yards in total offense to Nacogdoches' 253.
As always, the visitors played the Lobos rather tough, out-rushing Longview 168-to-164. Grant's passing made the difference in yardage as he hit favorite receiver Bobby Daniels four times for 72 yards and one touchdown.
Nacogdoches performed well offensively behind Tony Jackson's 82 yards rushing and Derrick Simpson's 56 yards running and 85 yards passing. The duo gave the Lobos all they could handle. But in the end, the Longview defense came up with five quarterback sacks, and two fumble recoveries.
Driving 63 yards on a nine play series, Longview let it be known there wasn't going to be an upset this year, taking a 7-0 lead on Clifford Ward's eight yard run. Chuck Tomberlain kicked the extra point with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
After an exchange of fumbles, the Dragons put on an offensive display of their own, driving to the Longview seven before Simpson fumbled to the Lobos. On their next possession, Nacogdoches again threatened to score, moving the ball to the Longview 12, but came away with a 29-yard field goal by Timmy Williams.
"If the offense didn't move the ball, we would've been in trouble," said head coach Doug Cox, who watched his team raise its record to 3-1. "The defense didn't seem emotionally ready to play. They were missing too many tackles."
Overall, the Longview mentor was pleased because, as he says, "we're the district champions until somebody proves we aren't. I'm proud to start right. We're pleased to be 1-0 in district."
After the Nacogdoches field goal, Longview's offense came alive, driving 73 yards on 10 plays for a 14-3 lead with seven seconds remaining in the first half. Ward scored his second touchdown on a 10-yard run, taking the pitch to the right, stopping for a second, and then cutting back across field toward the left corner of the end zone.
Longview consumed the time and the football with long sustaining drives on its first two possessions of the third quarter. The Lobos took a 21-3 lead on Grant's 13-yard pass to Daniels with 6:43 remaining in the third quarter. Faking the Statue of Liberty play, Daniels caught the ball on a screen, followed his blockers to the five, and bulled his way into the end zone for the score.
Nacogdoches had only five plays in the quarter, but it made the best of them, capping a 69-yard drive with Simpson's one-yard touchdown run. Simpson passed for 21, ran for another 20 and transfer Tony Jackson added another 25-yard run, to set up the score.
The Lobos returned the favor, moving to the Nacogdoches 10, before settling for Tomberlain's 27-yard field goal with 11:23 left in the game.