Lobos, Mavericks to meet for 103rd time
Sept. 5, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Recent history shows that the bitter rivalry between Longview and Marshall has favored the Lobos heavily.
But, at the end of the day, it's still Lobos against Mavericks.
And that's the way head coach John King and his team have been approaching tonight's 103rd meeting between the two teams.
"Every game I've been in with Marshall has been hard fought," King said. "There's years where the score might have got out of hand late but I can tell you in 14 years of playing Marshall that they will be ready to play the Lobos and the Lobos likewise.
"Anytime these two teams get together, the kids get excited regardless of the records or any of that, it doesn't matter. They're coming to play."
Marshall opened the season this past week with a 42-7 loss against 3A No. 6 Kilgore but King said the game film revealed a Maverick team from a year ago when Longview cruised to a 48-0 win. The shutout pushed Marshall's scoreless streak against Longview to 11 quarters.
"I think they're an improved football team since last year, where the played a lot of kids for the first time, kids that returned this year with the Friday night experience," King said. "When they get all three phases of the game together and their personnel straightened out with something to hand their hat on, they're going to be a solid football team and one that I've said numerous times can return to the playoffs."
King said that the Mavericks have some weapons on offense that just missed some chances for big plays this past week against Kilgore.
"They had a guy wide open that they didn't hit on a pass play, had a well-designed screen pass that had three blockers with no one in front of them that was just dropped," he said. "Towards the end I think the separation in the score caused some to give up hope after coming out fired up but they convert a few of those plays early on (tonight) and the kids get excited and they play harder."
The Lobos are prepared for a dual threat at quarterback as well as a playmakers at running back and receiver.
"Marshall has some areas on offense that concern me and they're capable of throwing some wrinkles at us," King said. "They're production may have been a little better than what the scoreboard showed the other night, we've got to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and limit their bigplays."
Defensively, King said the Mavericks have a big defensive front and a group of linebackers behind them that will be gunning for the Lobo backfield of quarterback Dezmond Chumley and running back JaMycal Hasty throughout.
"They're going to try to blitz us so our offensive line has to pick that up and give those guys some time to move the football," King said. "They've got some big, active defensive lineman that they like to move a lot and the blitz a lot with their three different linebackers and throw a lot of looks. We're going to see that all night."
After big returns spring boarded a Coppell comeback against Longview this past week, specials teams has been a big part of the Lobo practice.
"We've hit on it pretty hard and had some extended sessions on it, including Thursday's practice in the athletic period where hit all facets of the kicking game," King said. "We focused on coverage. Our kickoff coverage, our punt coverage was poor (against Coppell) because we just didn't execute. On one punt return, we missed five tackles, we were there, had the chance to make the play and didn't."
Kick off is set for 7:30 tonight in Marshall.
Henderson withdraws TCU commitment
Lobo DT Zaycoven Henderson announced on Twitter Thursday he has officially withdrawn his commitment to the Horned Frogs.
He followed up with a second post stating that Texas, TCU, Baylor, Ole Miss, Florida and South Carolina remain his top schools as he reopens his recruitment process.
"Zaycoven is looking at other options in the recruiting process," King said. "TCU is still up there for him but he's going to entertain some interest from some others."
Henderson verbally pledged to the Horned Frogs in February.
He underwent surgery in the past month on a Jones fracture in his foot and is slated to return to the team when the Lobos have open week on October 4.
King said that Henderson's recovery, as well as running back Deionte Wall – who is also out with a foot injury – are on track.
"Both of them are recovering on schedule," King said. "They've been lifting weights and working with Coach Gonzales in the pool to get some conditioning in."