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Lobos look for urgency preparing for Boyd in area round

By Hayden Henry
Nov. 18, 2013 at 2:55 p.m.

Longview head coach John King said going into the Lobos' postseason opener that their game against Rowlett was going to the same key plays that every game comes down to.

Travin Howard and Laurent Johnson had some of those.

Well, maybe more than a few.

"Defensively, the game looked the same in live action as it did on tape: Laurent Johnson and Travin Howard all over the place," King said.

Both have made that a weekly occurrence coming down the stretch, especially Johnson, who has 46 tackles, four fumble, two fumbles recovers – one for a TD, two interceptions and three passes broken up. He finished with 18 tackles, 2 FR, FF, INT, PBU and TD in <a href="" target="_blank">Longview's 46-21 bi-district win over the Eagles.</a>

"Laurent's interception the other night was just a heck of a play," King said. "I thought he had broken it up but he managed to pick it off one-handed on the dive. He was all over the place making tackles. He's not one of those guys that makes ankle tackles – he brings a little pop with it. Just all over the place."

No is surprised on Johnson's emergence for the Mean Green defense with the 5-8, 160-pound safety leading the Lobos with 99 tackles this season.

"One, he's just a heck of player. He did some things for us last season that gave us indications that he was going to be a good player for us," King said. "And he's lived up to that billing this season. He's an intelligent player, always in the right place, studies film and understands the scheme. We're quite proud of the play from both our safeties.

"There's a lot more people more anxious to stay away from No. 4 too."

Howard (UT San Antonio offer) continued his recent tear through opposing offenses, picking of passes number six and seven on the year, returning one for a 43-yard score – his third pick-six of the season. He also has two punt return touchdowns.

"We made key plays at the right moments, offensively and defensively" King said. "We were fortunate enough to make enough of them to come away with a win. It was not our cleanest game."

Now the Lobos look to an area round matchup against McKinney Boyd (7-4) – who advanced with a 24-9 win over Richardson Pearce. The Lobos meet the Broncos at 4 p.m. Saturday at Wildcat-Ram Stadium in Dallas.

"They're very well coached and very sound," King said. "They have an excellent running game. It's a totally different scheme than we've seen – it's more of Wing-T variety. They do a lot of pulling and trapping with the guards. Their quarterback is a good of a passer as we've seen – very accurate with a strong arm."

Curis Ladd has completed 49 percent of his passes for 1712 yards and 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions and has 580 yards with five scores on the ground. Running back Dedrick Scrivens has 1585 yards on 223 touches with 23 touchdowns.

"We've got to control the running game and the play action off of it," King said. "They're scheme is just different. We're going to have to trust what our eyes are telling us. We're going to have to hit the right gaps. You get out of the gaps with the way they run the ball downhill and you'll have some problems. There's not a lot of side-to-side with those guys and they have the option game to go with it."

The brother linebacker duo of Andrew and Adam Brown lead Boyd with 86 and 81 tackles, respectively. Adam (#10) is one of five Broncos with at least five tackles for loss and Andrew has a pair of sacks.

"Defensively, they're gap sound out of the 3-4," King said. "The three down guys are big bruts and they free up their two linebackers. Those guys get a very good nose to the football. They hit their keys, are never out of position and find ways to get off a block."

With the Lobos' running game held to their second lowest yardage of the season, Dezmond Chumley completed 11 of his 18 pass attempts – coming back after a hit took him out of the contest for four plays early against Rowlett. Chumley has six games with 200-plus passing yards and is 96 away from the 2000-yard mark this season.

"He's fine – just got bruised," King said. "He went back in and played well and is ready to go."

As the Lobos prepare for Boyd, King hopes he sees focus and a sense of urgency from his team – not just on Saturday but throughout the week in practice.

"I want it to be important to them when we're out there at practice – not just on game day," King said. "It's going to be important all week. Sometimes I think that's what we lose focus on.

"For some, this is it. It's going to be the last football they play and we want to play as long as we can. Taking care of business in-house and being focused on the opponent, our practice plan and game play – all the intangibles – that's really what it's going to take to win."

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank">@hayden_h</a>



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