Lobo Football

Longview head coach John King addresses the offense during practice on Monday at Lobo Stadium.

Longview hit the field this past week against Tyler Lee with the gold socks blazing.

It’s more than just a fashion statement.

“We broke out the socks tonight because that’s playoff mode,” Longview head coach John King said this past Friday after a 49-7 win over the Red Raiders to move to 9-0 on the season.

Playoff spot, check. Home playoff opener, check. Next up on the goal list for Longview: an outright district championship and a chance at history.

Longview closes out the regular season on Friday against Mesquite with a chance an undefeated regular season, which has happened 10 times in program history. Back-to-back regular seasons? That’s happened twice before in Lobo football history, according to Lobo football historian Bill Simpson.

“It’s always special to play for the gold ball and on top of that to have a chance at an undefeated regular season,” King said. “It’s happened 10 times, not too often and that puts you in elite company. It’s special and we need to go play like it.”

The Lobos can clinch the 11-6A championship, the 40th district title in program history with a win over the Skeeters, who come in with a 7-2 record and a playoff spot secured as well.

“I want us to go out and play playoff-level football — that’s what we need to be playing because that’s where we’re headed,” King said. “We’re not looking at it a week to rest people, that doesn’t cross my mind. We’re going to win a ballgame and we’re going in with the best play to give us a chance to do that.

“This football team has worked its tail off to get to this point and anything less than our best effort is not going to be acceptable.”

Mesquite comes into Week 11 with two 11-6A losses, a 35-14 setback to Mesquite Horn in the district opener after a 4-0 start and this past week to Rockwall, 66-42.

“They’re a good football team, had some chances against Horn, who made a couple of big plays and last week against Rockwall, they had some guys out,” King said. “They’ve found a way to win some tight games late and have dominated some people as well.

“They’re a playoff team for a reason, good defense, run the ball well and are good in special teams.”

Offensively, the Skeeters, led by quarterback Dylan McGill, who is seventh in 11-6A rushing yards, and running back La’Darius Turner, who is second in the district behind Lobo junior Kaden Meredith, average 401.6 yards per game with 2,547 rushing yards on the season. Longview is first with 2,579.

Defensively, Mesquite, with nine returning starters back, are holding opponents to 336.7 yards per game and have 10 interceptions on the season.

Longview’s defense continued its dominant season this past week. The Lobos have held opponents to 178.4 yards per game, allowed 634 total rushing yards and have held opponents to 26-of-111 on third down conversions this season.

Elsewhere in 11-6A, Mesquite Horn visits Tyler Lee with the winner grabbing the final playoff spot.

Longview’s first-round opponent has been narrowed to either Temple or Waco Midway out of District 12-6A. Temple closes the regular season against Copperas Cove while Midway travels to Belton. There are a number of scenarios to determine which team comes to Lobo Stadium in the bi-district round, which is tentatively set for Friday, Nov. 15, King said.

But the head coaches’ message on Monday was focused on one thing: 10-0.

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h