|LONGVIEW - What was supposed to be a showdown between Longview and Texas High's football teams on Friday turned out to be a showcase of absolute dominance by the Lobos.
This matchup of state-ranked teams was one-sided the way of the Lobos, as they romped to a 41-7 victory in the District 13-4A opener for both teams at Lobo Stadium. Longview (4-1, 1-0 in 13-4A) is ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll, while Texas High (3-1, 0-1) is No. 8.
Only Longview lived up to their prestige, led by an offense that generated 512 total yards. The ground game led the way with 416 yards on 44 carries, led by 129 yards and two touchdowns by Tyler McCray.
Meanwhile, a Texas High offense that averaged 40.1 points per game coming into the game didn't find a rhythm until it was too late. The Tigers had 188 total yards and didn't score until a 16-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Sorenson to Roderick Collier with 5:35 left in the third quarter, cutting Longview's lead to 34-7.
Longview's defense matched Texas High's offense for scoring, as Longview's Alonte Darden returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Longview's defense also played well in keeping Texas High blue-chip recruit receiver Cobi Hamilton under control. Hamilton had three receptions for 33 yards with no receptions in the second half.
The Lobos played a near-perfect first half. The Lobos had 437 total yards of offense in the half, including 341 yards rushing, while Texas High had 81 total yards.
Longview took control of the game quickly, ending its first drive with a 30-yard touchdown run by McCray with 9:50 left in the first quarter. Longview quarterback Aaron Johnson used a deft fake to trick a Texas High defender, freeing himself for a 65-yard touchdown run to give Longview a 14-0 lead with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
Texas High's best chance to get back in the game came with 24 seconds left in the first quarter, when Texas High linebacker Slade Heathcott stripped the ball from Da'Cedric Hunt and recovered the fumble at the Longview 33-yard line.
On the first play in the second quarter however, Longview defensive end Jeremiah Farley forced Heathcott - who plays running back on offense - to fumble and Darden recovered for the Lobos at the Longview six-yard line. Farley had three tackles for losses in the first half, including a sack.
After Darden's recovery, the Lobos marched 94 yards on nine straight run attempts, capped by a 37-yard touchdown run by McCray, who had 129 yards rushing on eight carries in the first half. McCray had one carry for no yards in the second half.
Longview's passing game got into the act with an 82-yard touchdown strike from Johnson to Aaron Hollins with 4:02 left in the second quarter.
The Lobos capped its formidable first half with an 89-yard drive on 10 rushing attempts, ending with a five-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Oliver.
Johnson finished with 194 total yards. Oliver had 76 yards rushing on nine carries, while Hunt had 75 yards on 12 carries.
Sorenson had 147 total yards for Texas High. Jordan Strickland had an interception for Texas High.
The Lobos will play another state-ranked team, its fourth in as many weeks, when they visit Sulphur Springs (5-0, 1-0) for at least a share of the 13-4A lead next Friday. Sulphur Springs is ranked No. 10 in the AP Class 4A state poll.