|LONGVIEW - For Homecoming, the Longview Lobos came back to basics Friday night.
Which means the offensive line pushed the opposite around and Isiah Stoker busted through the holes like a Rocketman.
With a career-high 223 yards rushing and three touchdowns, Stoker reaped the benefits of a team effort as Longview drubbed Nacogdoches, 29-6, at Lobo Stadium. The 170-pound senior tailback/halfback had 125 yards on his sheet just nine seconds deep into the second quarter. By game's end, he had dashed through the vacant middle of the Dragons' defense for gains of 44, 54 and 65 yards, the latter two ending in the end zone.
Thus Stoke broke the 1,000 yard mark for the season with three games to go - he has 1,030 unofficially - and the Lobos evened their 13-5A record at 1-1; they are 6-1 overall.
The Lobo defense bent, giving up 241 yards of offense to the Dragons (2-4, 0-2), but it recovered two Nacogdoches fumbles and sacked quarterback Patrick Williams three times. Longview's bid for a shutout was ruined with four seconds left in the third period, when Williams passed 33 yards for a touchdown to Chaye Massey on a post pattern.
Defense end Tony Cox made countless plays that disrupted the Dragons' offense.
Longview lost starting left cornerback Denjuan Richardson to a knee injury on the next-to-last play of the first half, but that was the only notable setback.
The Lobos recovered an onside kick to start the game. Two plays later, Stoke took a quick inside handoff and ran 44 yards to the Dragons' 12. It was a preview of things to come.
"We needed to run inside and set our outside plays up," Lobos coach Robert Bero said. "They were overplaying our sweep and pitch, and that can leave you vulnerable inside. Our line opened up some nice holes on a few plays."
The line flourished despite the absence of both starting quarters. Paul Thomas and Kendrick White, out with injuries. Nick Lawson and Wilton Jones subbed for them admirably.
Three plays after that big gained, quarterback Lee Nix faked a run and passed eight yards to Eric Davis for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
At the end of the first quarter, Cox and J.J. Mathis sacked Williams on fourth down, turning the ball over to the offenses at the Longview 38. On the first play of the second period, Stoker took a pitchout right and turned it inside the end for a 54-yard touchdown run and a 12-0 lead.
Barely two minutes later, Juan Ingram returned a punt 47 yards down the right sideline to the Dragons' 16, setting up a 25-yard field goal by Jeff Works for a 15-0 lead.
Mathis took the ball away from Dragon runner Byron Moore in the third quarter at the Longview 33. Two plays later, Stoker broke his 65-yard for a 22-0 lead.
Stoker bucked in his third score, a one-yarder, with 4:39 left in the game to cap an eight-play, 61-yard drive that included a 26-yard run by his backup, Lee Jackson.
Longview ran up a season-high 334 yards rushing and did not turn the ball over all night.