LONGVIEW - Longview's football team added another weapon to its powerful offensive arsenal on Friday: a go-to receiver.
The receiver is Carey Fortson, and his catches helped the Lobos put Mount Pleasant away early in a 51-7 rout at Lobo Stadium. Fortson had touchdown receptions of 63 and 20 yards in the first quarter, as the Lobos scored 20 points in a span of three minutes, seven seconds.
Fortson nearly had Longview's first 100-yard receiving game of this season, making three catches for 96 yards. His play helped open up a solid game for quarterback Aaron Johnson, who had 187 total yards in three quarters of play. Longview had 451 total yards of offense and its point total was just short of a season high set in a 52-22 win over Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian on Sept. 12.
The win sets up a showdown for first place in District 13-4A between Longview (6-1, 3-0) - ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll - and Marshall (5-1, 2-0) next Friday at Marshall's Maverick Stadium. Marshall defeated Pine Tree 58-7 on Friday. Mount Pleasant drops to 3-4, 1-2.
The Lobos took command of the quickly. On their first play from scrimmage, Fortson was wide open for his 63-yard touchdown pass from Johnson.
On Mount Pleasant's first possession, Longview safety Lamarcus Howard recovered a bad snap at the Mount Pleasant 34-yard line, and three plays later, Johnson shook off a tackle attempt and sprinted 49 yards for a touchdown to give Longview a 13-0 lead with 8:57 left in the first quarter.
Longview defensive end Chris Knighton recovered another bad snap two plays later at the Mount Pleasant 28-yard line. Johnson and Fortson hooked up again for their 20-yard touchdown strike, giving Longview a 20-0 lead with 8:37 left in the half.
Mount Pleasant's highlight was an 82-yard drive, capped by an eight-yard touchdown run by Terrell Howard to cut Longview's lead to 20-7 with 2:35 left in the first quarter.
Mount Pleasant's hopes for a rally suffered a fatal blow with 1:23 remaining in the first half when Britton Eastburn intercepted a Howard pass. This set up a 21-yard touchdown run by Tyler McCray, helping give Longview a 30-7 halftime lead. McCray didn't rush for over 100 yards for the first time in 13-4A play this season, but had 82 yards on seven carries.
Johnson accounted for 169 total yards in the first half, while Fortson had 99 total yards. Roman Hurndon had six receptions for 71 yards in the first half for Mount Pleasant, but the Tigers had six fumbles (losing two) and threw two interceptions. Hurndon finished with nine receptions for 93 yards.
Da'Cedric Hunt took the running load for the Lobos in the second half, going for 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Fullback Keylon Shaw, filling in for Montario Harris, who suffered a knee injury last week at Sulphur Springs, had 50 yards rushing on six carries with two touchdowns.
Howard would add another fumble recovery on the first play of the fourth quarter. Melvin Templeton and Knighton had three tackles for losses and two sacks each. Addison McGee added an interception and a 40-yard return for Longview.
Howard finished with 137 yards passing for Mount Pleasant, which had 205 total yards.
Taylor's jersey will receive a permanent display in the Lobo Den, Longview's main locker room for boys sports. Taylor's number (24) will not be retired because the football team does not retire numbers, according to Longview ISD director of extracurricular activities Pat Collins.