Insider: From the Den: Notes, comments on Longview's state quarterfinal win over Lufkin
In Lobo Insider
Dec. 10, 2017 at 7:18 p.m.
Updated Dec. 10, 2017 at 7:18 p.m.
The fact that Longview and Lufkin were competing for the Region II crown was no doubt a testament to both teams.
It was no surprise that the state quarterfinal bout between the Lobos and Panthers was an instant classic in a game that you, if able, should've witnessed live and in person. (I tried my best to recap it here).
Here's a few things about Longview's thrilling 33-32 win over Lufkin to advance to the state semifinals:
Overall on another chapter in Longview vs. Lufkin: "We knew we were going to have to play four quarters against this team, regardless of how good it started or bad it started. It's been that way for years. That's just what happens when it's Longview vs Lufkin. That's what you can expect and that's what we had yesterday." -- King
Perry's playoffs: You've probably seen junior wide receiver Kamden Perry's game-winning catch by every possible angle by now.
How about one more look, in slow-motion:
Perry had a career highs in catches (8), yards (115) and touchdowns (2) against Lufkin. In the postseason, the junior has 22 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns. King noted Perry's play when he doesn't have the ball in his hands as well.
"Kamden is one heck of a football player and very unselfish. He plays so well without the ball in his hands too. He blocks for the receivers, running backs or whoever it may be. He takes pride in that. He has tremendous hands, is a great route runner and will give up his body to go catch the football." -- King
Big play continue at linebacker: Senior Kevion Bush and Ja'Vontae Writt each turned in a team-high 17 tackles against Lufkin, continuing a strong postseason for the duo. Bush has 47 tackles in the postseason (30 in the past two games) and Writt has 39 tackles with five TFLs, a sack, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
All the backs: Keilyn Williams and Jaquan Edwards each got going in the third quarter and each had big kickoff returns with Williams' run setting up the game-winning touchdown.
Also, for the first time since Week 2, the Lobo offense got its look at its full backfield with the return of junior Jessie Anderson, who had 54 yards on seven carries, all coming in the second half. Anderson, who has been out with an arm injury, has been a staple at practice throughout, working on both his strength and speed throughout his recovery. (He became quite fond of a sled with a weight on it that he drug around Lobo Stadium).
It didn't take long for Anderson to show his bruising runs and he appeared even a step faster, giving the Lobo ground game a shot in the arm in the third quarter. Talk about a Trojan horse.
"We had a little better scheme trying to run the ball and we blocked a little better in the second half. Our backs had to make something out of nothing a lot of the time. Keilyn had some big runs and some big blocks as well.
For Jessie, he's been itching to get back and has handled the situation very well. He wanted to be out there and he was each step of the way. He was our starter at the beginning of the year and he's worked extremely hard to hopefully have a chance to get back in this year. We knew we had to play for a while for that to happen. He just gives us an added dimension. They are a compliment to each other and they have been that way for years. It's a change of pace for us in the backfield and the thing about those two is that they both run extremely hard." -- King
Bounce back kid: Sophomore quarterback Haynes King had his share of ups and down throughout the game. He started 6-for-6 for 105 yards into the second quarter with two first-quarter touchdown passes, both coming on nice play fakes.
The third quarter wasn't as kind, starting with an interception of the first snap on a pass play with Longview pinned at its own nine and into the wind. He was picked off again later in the third quarter.
King took hit after hit throughout the afternoon and has constantly shown the patience to stand in the pocket with pressure coming.
But for the sophomore, who moved to 10-0 as the Lobo starter, Saturday was about how you start, weather the storm and how you finish.
After a first-down pass after Lufkin's go-ahead touchdown, the Lobos took a shot with a timeout and the sophomore hit the spot and Perry, as you've seen many times, delivered.
"The big thing after the two picks in the third quarter was to get him settled back down. We were able to do that, made a few easy throws, which his completed, and the receivers did a good job running after the catch. There was no panic.
"And then, of course, there's the big one to end it. There's pressure, he knows where Kamden is going -- and he's covered -- but he throws it to a spot where that DB can't get there and Kamden makes a heck of a catch."
Another week of work: "That's things we've talked about in the regular season, just the things we were guaranteed. We knew that once we made the postseason, it is a week-to-week deal. Our kids have really embraced the opportunity to continue their season and taking care of things week to week, knowing that it is all that's guaranteed. I've said it many times, these kids are special and have something special about them. I love the way that they play for one another and the way that they play together. We're guaranteed one more week to do that and they're ready to embrace it." -- King
(Check back to ETVarsity.com Monday night for the first look at Waco Midway)