|LONGVIEW - Same song, fifth verse.
Gahlen Johnson continued his rushing antics and Longview's "Mean Green" defense continued its stifling ways to pace the Lobos to a 21-6 win over John Tyler and keep Longview in a first place tie for the District 14-AAAAA lead. It was the fifth win in six loops game for the Lobos, who remain in a knot with Texas High, who defeated Nacogdoches Friday by the same 21-6 score.
Longview must defeat cross-town rival Pine Tree and hope for a Marshall victory over Texas High in next week's regular season finales in order to gain the coveted state playoff berth. Texas High owns a 10-8 win over the Lobos.
Johnson rushed for 106 yards on 26 carries and added a new twist - pass receiving. He caught three for 39 yards and helped block for three Ronnie Hunter touchdowns in the triumph, which broke a two-game losing skein at the hands of the Lions. Both Longview and John Tyler are 7-2 on the season, but John Tyler falls out of the district running with the loss.
But, oh, that defense.
The Lions, known for their rushing prowess, were held to just 100 yards, including only 37 and one first down in the second half. It was a 79-yard punt return by Keith Johnson which kept Longview from posting its fifth shutout in six loop games.
The Lobos held the Lions to a mere four first downs, recovered two fumbles and picked off two of Ray Jones' seven passes, the last on the first play of the fourth quarter by Kyle Jones as John Tyler was threatening Longview's 21-0 lead. Jones, who scrambled for 66 yards to lead the Lions' attack, gained 18 yards on a fist down play, following a 36-yard kickoff return to the Lobos' 48, to place the ball at the 31. He was then thrown for a 2-yard loss, gained a yard and coughed up the interception to Jones, who returned it 25 yards to his own 46.
John Tyler, thanks to a 23-yard run by Jones, moved from its own 45 to the Longview 23 before Michael Mims fumbled and Darrell Writt recovered for Longview.
Ten plays, 79 yards and 4:13 later Longview was on the scoreboard with a 2-yard blast by Hunter. The point after was no good.
Longview wasted little time and scored on its next possession, too, as Hunter caped a 55-yard drive with a 3-yarder. Jones (Kyle) floated a pass in the right corner of the end zone to Nathan Harris for a two-point conversion and a 14-0 lead with 10:17 still left in the first half.
The Lobos' third and final score came after, what else, a tremendous defensive effort by Kelvin Bates, Tony Duckett and Harris who combined to collar a scrambling Jones for a 4-yard loss on a fourth-and-two situation at the John Tyler 44.
It took eight plays to drive down for the touchdown, another 3-yard blast by Hunter with 1:24 left in the third period. The march was highlighted by a 13-yard completion form Jones to tight end Bobby Daniels to the 3 on a third-and-12 call.
Longview ground out 273 yards on the ground and a return of the passing game netted 64 for 337 total. The Lobos had not completed a pass since the Tyler Lee game three weeks ago. Jones was four of six for 48 yards and Zane Butter one of three for 16.
The Lobos visit Pine Tree next week. The Pirates lost a 27-8 decision to Marshall Friday night.