|LONGVIEW - Longview's one-back multiple offense hasn't diminished its ability to run the football. Three different Loob tailbacks found the century mark Friday night to close our non-district with a 37-0 shutout of Ruston.
If the Louisiana school came to Lobo Stadium looking for a football game, it left feeling like it had found a track meet. The trio of Fred Talley, Tajuan Stoker and Jessie James left the Bearcats in their wake.
Talley, who was coming off a 197-yard effort a week ago, continued his pounding of the turf with 129 yards on just 10 carries and three touchdowns. The Sophomore sensation began to find his grove only two games ago and hasn't stopped churning.
Stoker added 125 yards on 11 carries, which included an 80-yard sprint to the end zone. James, who had been only a late-game substitution, picked up 100 yards on five carries. He also showed his speed with some nifty open field running on a 61-yard touchdown romp in the fourth quarter.
"He's a good athlete. He just got his opportunity to play, and we just feel he's going to be a good one in the future," Lobo head coach Robert Bero said of James, who is a junior.
"I think these formations are giving us a chance to get a few more cracks. We've got some good athletes, and we know Lufkin is going to be a great challenge for us. They're a good defensive football team and we're just going to have to execute next Friday night."
Longview (4-1) hosts the Panthers (4-0) in the District 12-5A opener on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Longview rumbled for 326 yards on the ground, plus continued to improve its passing game with a 94-yard effort by both quarterbacks Jay Hurst and Lee Nix.
Talley's first touchdown snapped a string of four straight games without a Lobo score in the opening half. His 24-yard romp was set up by Longview's special teams. Randall King came up the middle unblocked and forced Ruston punter John Pruitt to scramble with the ball, where he was forced out of bounds at his own 24-yard line.
King also blocked a punt before halftime.
It took only one play as Talley scored at the 2:51 mark of the first half.
One series later, King picked off a Patrick Ramsey pass at the Bearcats' 40. The Lobos reached the 23 on a 12-yard run by Stoker and a five-yard penalty against Ruston before Erin Roerecke, who had tallied the previous extra point, connected for his first field goal of the season from 41 yards.
Again, one series later, the Lobos were in business at their own 20-yard line after a Ruston punt. Longview needed just one play as Stoker steamrollered 80 yards with 9:54 left in the half.
A shanked punt by Pruitt gave the ball back to Longview on its next series. Talley then led the Lobos on a 51-yard, seven-play drive for his second touchdown - from four plays - and a commanding 23-0 halftime advantage.
Talley picked up his third score at the 4:03 mark of the third quarter on a 23-yard run. The drive was keyed by a Hurst 21-yard toss to Steven Bradley.
Bradley caught three passes for 45 yards. Hurst finished 4 of 11 for 44 yards, while Lee Nix connected on 4 of 6 for 50.
Defensively, the Lobos held Ruston (0-4) to 94 yards rushing and 39 through the air. The Bearcats were just 7 of 26 passing with two interceptions.