|LONGVIEW - Any doubts about Marshall's ability to defend its District 13-5A crown were quickly put to rest Friday night against the previously unbeaten and state-ranked Longview Lobos.
The Mavericks manhandled the Lobos from the outset and embarrassed the Lobos before a standing room only crowd at Lobo Stadium, 35-2. With the win Marshall (4-0) moves into the driver's seat in the district with two games remaining.
Longview, in dropping its first game of the season, still needs a victory next Friday over John Tyler to gain a playoff spot. The Lobos close out the regular season with a non-district game.
The Mavericks rode to victory in the shoes of speedy tailback D.D. Turner, who rushed for 158 yards on 30 carries. Turner had 120 in the first half alone as he tallied twice on runs of 1 and 7 yards.
The 5'8, 160-pound junior easily outclassed Longview's Earnest Hunter, who was held to a mere 48 yards. Hunter's only bright spot out of an otherwise sub-par evening saw him surpass 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight year.
Marshall grabbed a 21-0 halftime advantage on Turner's pair of short runs and a 1-yard quarterback sneak by David Haynes.
Longview tallied its only points as Brian Chumley tackled Haynes in the end zone with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter. Any momentum gained was quickly dispelled as the Maverick defense continued to shut down the Lobo offense.
Longview which went into the game with both the number one offense and defense in the district was held 57 yards total offense, while allowing Marshall to pound out 292. It was also the Lobos' most points allowed this season. They had been averaging 7.9, while scoring 34.1
The Mavericks finished off the scoring with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. The first only added insult to injury as Marshall lined up at the Longview 37 in punt formation, but back-up quarterback Chad Fox took the snap and passed to a wide open Trency Clough down the right sideline for a touchdown with 9:53 showing.
Marshall started its scoring drive after Jesse Jackson picked off Hunter's pass attempt for his second theft of the night.
The final score of the night followed the third of three interceptions thrown by the Lobos when Tremayne Green picked off Selwyn Broughton's toss.
Clough completed a short 5-play, 38-yard drive on a 2-yard dive up the middle at the 6:17 mark.
If there was a crucial play in the game, it probably occurred early in the game when Turner fumbled the ball following an 8-yard gain on Marshall's third play from scrimmage. But not only did Scott Carlile come up with the football for the Mavericks, they also came away with a first down at midfield.
A pass interference call on Longview and a steady dose of Turner drove Marshall down to Longview's 1-yard line. With 7:47 left on the clock, Turner dove through the middle of the line for the touchdown.
The Mavericks built their advantage to 14-0 one series later after forcing the Lobos to punt from their own 13. Marshall then moved 47 yards in eight plays, scoring on Haynes' quarterback sneak.
Just two plays into Longview's second possession of the game, Michael Reedy fumbled at his own 36 and the Mavericks were in business again.
A clipping call on Marshall forced it into a first-and-long situation, but an 18-yard pass from Haynes to Jason Wright and a 6-yard run by the senior signal-caller gave the Mavericks a first down at the 22.
A short carry by Clough and three straight carries by Turner led to the running back's second touchdown.
With 10:23 left before intermission, the Mavericks were in command, 21-0.
Longview's deepest scoring threat came in the waning moments of the first half as the Lobos reached the Marshall 14-yard line. However, on a third-and-seven play, quarterback Kevin Madden passed into the end zone for Reggie Adams was picked off.