|LONGVIEW - There was no doubting Thomas Snoddy or Stauts. In fact, there was no doubting the entire Longview offense as it enjoyed its best fort of the season and steamrolled the outclassed Marshall Mavericks 42-12 Friday night at Lobo Stadium.
Snoddy rushed for a season's best 182 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns while Stauts, seeing little action in the second half, rambled for 74 steps and another touchdown to pace Longview to its sixth win of the season against two losses.
Longview offense showed signs of life last week in a 24-10 victory over Lufkin. This time the Lobo offense was not only alive, it thrived. The 42 points was the most Longview has scored this year and it scored in every period.
Prior to Friday night's game Longview's highest offensive output was 257 yards in a 14-3 trump over Tyler Lee.
The Lobos are 5-0 in District 13-AAAAA competition and will face undefeated John Tyler, who survived an upset bid by Pine Tree, next Friday at Lobo Stadium for the district championship.
Marshall, 2-6 and 1-4, played well offensively, passing for 150 yards and rushing for 122.
But there was little doubt the Mavs were no match for Snoddy, Stauts and the rest of the Longview offense. The Lobos dominated the game from start to finish, registering an impressive 409 yards total offense - 305 on the ground and 104 in the air. All of Longview's passing yards came in the first half.
"We're getting better as a football team. I think we're improving," said Longview coach Doug Cox. "We're coming together as a team. I can really feel it."
It didn't take long for the Lobos to show they would extend their winning streak over the Mavs. Marshall hasn't beaten Longview since 1968. It was apparent early the Mavericks would have to wait at least one more year.
Donny Childs recovered a Jerry Huffman fumble at the Lobos 45 with 8:28 left in the first quarter and it was all Longview from that point.
Sparked by two Brian Williams receptions, one of 14 from Kirt Griffin and another of 21 from wingback Eric Faggett, the Lobos moved to the Marshall 2 where Snoddy blasted into the end zone with 6:11 showing. Jason Baird's extra point made it 7-0.
After a Marshall punt, Longview marched for a score on its next possession as Snoddy capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a two-yard run with 35 seconds left in the opening quarter. Baird's extra point made it 14-0.
"The offense got the momentum and we played good," explained Snoddy. "Thomas Stauts was opening some holes and the line was blocking real good."
The Lobos next touchdown was the strangest play of the game.
Facing third and three at his own 42, Griffin dropped back and threw to split end Rolanda Reese. Marshall's Willie Hanks dove in front of Reese but deflected the ball right to tight end Scott Combest, who caught it in mid-"stride and sprinted untouched into the end zone.
"We'd been working on hitting the split end," said Combest. "We were hoping the strong safety would take me and then the split end would be wide open. The strong safety stuck with him and I looked back and he tipped it right into my hands."
The defense then got into the act.
A 26-yard completion from Rickey Defreeze to William McAfee put the Mavs at the Lobo 34-yard line.
But on the next play, cornerback Carwyn Richardson stole Defreeze's pass and raced 76 yards for the score just 29 seconds before the half ended.
"They had two receivers on one side and they both ran a post route," said Richardson. "I was right in the middle and he (Defreeze) threw it to me. I thought I was gonna fall down. It felt good."
Marshall was able to score just before the half when Baird topped the ball on kickoff and the Mavs took over at the Longview 40.
Five plays later Jerry Huffman, who was held to 83 yards on 20 carries, scored from the 1. A pass for the two-point conversion failed for a 28-6 Longview lead at intermission.
The second half was just continued domination.
Stauts scored his touchdown with 54 seconds left in the third stanza on a 4-yard run and Sophomore Carl Johnson, who rushed for 79 yards on 11 totes, scrambled 11 yards for a touchdown with 5:35 remaining.
Marshall's second touchdown was again tallied by Huffman. The senior tailback capped a nine-play, 74 yard drive with a 1-yard run.
The only thing that caused Longview some concern was an injury suffered by Childs in the third quarter. He stretched ligaments, but is expected to play again John Tyler.