|LONGVIEW - There would be no fourth quarter rally by Longview Friday night as the No. 8-ranked John Tyler Lions roared into Lobo Stadium to claim a 42-7 triumph.
The loss was the Lobos' first in District 12-5A and dropped them into a second-place tie with John Tyler. Although Longview (7-2, 3-1) has already clinched a playoff berth, the loss put a serious dent in its bid for a district championship. It closes out the regular season next Friday at third-ranked and unbeaten Marshall, a 45-22 winner over Nacogdoches.
Against the Lions (8-1, 3-1) the Lobos found themselves down 28-0 at halftime, and 35-0 to start the fourth quarter. It was their biggest deficit of the season. They had previously rallied from 21-6 against Tyler Lee two weeks ago and 10-0 in Week No. 3 at Bryan, to win 35-28 in overtime and 15-10 respectively.
Longview, which went into the game as the district's top-rated offense, managed just 30 yards on the ground and six first downs. The Lobos' only touchdown came with 4:45 remaining as split end Steven Bradley hauled in a 33-yard pass from quarterback Jay Hurst for the first passing score of the season.
Hurst finished 7 of 13 for 99 yards, but also threw his first interception. Bradley caught two passes for 40 yards, while H-back Dexter Daniels had three receptions for 57.
The pickoff by Gary Baxter and a Lobo fumble recovery by John Tyler's Michael Curl led to two Lion touchdowns. But, it was a 21-0 point second quarter that put the Lobos in a deep hole early.
Turnovers have proven costly for Longview against John Tyler, which has now won three straight over the Lobos.
Leading 7-0, the Lions opened the second quarter with a long 78-yard, 13-play drive, consuming 6:33 on the clock. After sticking primarily to the ground, quarterback Mickey Jones found a streaking Kenric Carter behind Longview's secondary for a 36-yard completion to the Lobo one-yard line. One play later, Torrey McMiller burst across for his first touchdown.
One series later, Jones again went to the air, connecting with Devon Rose for a 62-yard scoring play. Rose, who later caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jones, made the catch at the Lobos' 35 and shook off his only defender.
On Longview's ensuing series, John Tyler's defense forced a bad pitch by Hurst and recovered the ball deep in Longview's end of the field. Jones finished off a short 24-yard, four-play drive, running a quarterback draw for the final 13 yards with 33 seconds left in the half.
Up until that point, Longview had amassed just 17 total yards offense and one first down.
McMiller led all rushers with 89 yards on 14 carries. He scored twice, including an 11-yard run in the third quarter. Jones finished with 70 yards, while completing just 4 of 6 passes for 140 yards. Kelvin Fuller added the other rushing touchdown for the Lions on a 36-yard burs tup the middle of the game's first score.
The Lions picked up 285 yards on the ground. Defensively, John Tyler minted its ranking as the district's top unit, having allowed just 182 yards per game.
However, Longview came into the contest giving up only 83 points through eight games.