TYLER - John King's frown earlier this week turned upward Thursday night as Longview rolled into Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium and continued its drive toward the postseason with a 35-7 win over Tyler Lee.
The Lobos not only put on a demonstration of power football before a crowd of 10,000, but showcased its talent before a nationwide audience as the game was telecast live by Fox Sports Net.
Longview, which was ranked No. 3 in this week's Associated Press Class 5A state poll, improves to 7-0. Even more important, Longview moves to 3-0 in District 12-5A. Lee falls to 2-4 and 0-2.
It was a banged up Red Raider team that the Lobos faced after Lee lost its starting quarterback a week ago to a knee injury. The Lobos also had too many weapons for the Red Raiders to overcome.
Longview running back Vondrell McGee rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. He had 107 yards in the first quarter alone. Quarterback Carlin Freeman was outstanding, throwing for three touchdowns on 5-of-8 passing for 118 yards.
Defensively, Longview still has not allowed an opponent over 100 yards on the ground.
Lee finished with 90 yards on 34 carries. Lee tailback Jason Williams was held to 73 yards on 18 carries. The Red Raiders totaled just 206 yards on offense, while the Lobos piled up 327.
Marcus Jackson, pressed into his first-ever varsity start at quarterback for Lee was 11-of-19 through the air for 116 yards and the Red Raiders' lone touchdown. The Lobos did pick off a pair of Jackson passes, plus recovered three of Lee's seven fumbles.
Longview took control early, scoring on four consecutive possessions. The Lobos were also helped out by Lee fumble on a kickoff.
McGee opened the scoring with 30-yard touchdown jaunt, as his two rushing attempts were both plays of the two-play, 60-yard drive. On McGee's first carry, Lee was also flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty.
The drive was set up by McGee's 31-yard return of the opening kickoff.
After Lee went three-and-out on its opening series, the Lobos marched 70 yards in eight plays. Chris Ivory did the honors as Freeman rolled to his right and connected with his fullback for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
McGee, who had 120 yards on 11 carries at halftime, took a handoff for 27 yards to set Longview up in the red zone. Freeman had also connected with David Robinson for 16 yards as the Lobos quickly moved into Lee territory.
Down 14-0 with 6:43 left in the first quarter, the Red Raiders gave the ball right back as Marquise Seaton fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Laderrick Satterwhite recovered for Longview at the Lee 25. It took just three plays before Freeman again rolled to his right, and this time found Adrian Reese for a 21-yard scoring toss.
Lee's lone highlight in the early going came from punter Josh Bourque, who had boots of 50 and 47 yards. His 47-yarder with under three minutes left in the opening stanza, had the Lobos starting their fourth possession on their own 30.
Sticking to the ground, Longview marched 70 yards in 10 plays, with Ivory scoring on a 1-yard carry.
The Red Raiders finally got on the scoreboard at the 5:03 mark of the second quarter as Jonathan Williams made a circus-like catch, getting both feet down in the back of the zone on a fourth-and-18 pass from Jackson for 23 yards.
However, the Lobos quickly returned the favor as Robinson, who was shielding defender Quett Nicholson with his body, used his 6-foot, 3-inch frame to haul in a Freeman pass in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown reception. Zach Decker added his fifth extra point and Longview held a 35-7 advantage with 1:11 remaining before halftime.