Beaumont West Brook vs Longview

Longview and Beaumont West Brook will square off Thursday in Lufkin in a rematch of the 2018 Class 6A, Division II state championship.

Longview has taken care of two of its East Texas rivals over the past two weeks and now, it’s time to square off with a foe from the southeast.

They’ll meet up in the middle.

After wins over Marshall and Tyler Legacy, Longview (2-1) will close out its non-district schedule against Beaumont West Brook at 7 p.m. Thursday at Abe Martin Stadium in Lufkin in a rematch of the Class 6A, Division II state championship.

It’ll be the fourth meeting between the two teams since 2016 and the first since the Lobos’ 35-34 win at AT&T Stadium for the title.

Longview comes in off back-to-back wins, including a strong defensive showing at the Red Raiders this past Friday night at Lobo Stadium.

“Our defense played well and the film showed that,” Longview head coach John King said. “Still some things to improve and keep growing on but overall a solid night for that side of the ball.

“Offensively, we missed some chances in the passing game but we’ve got to keep forging ahead. We were close to hitting a few big runs earlier in the game but a few missed assignments here and there but we got it locked down and settled down.”

Now the intensity amplifies a week before District 7-5A, Division I action begins for the Lobos. A big game, yes, but a little different than the previous three meetings with the Bruins, who check in at 1-1.

“We both have a young, inexperienced football team where in the past we’ve met in the playoffs when you know what you’ve got out there,” King said. “For us, we’re taking steps and, after watching them on film, you can see they’re doing the same as far as growing as a team and progressing.

“They’re in the same boat as us in having to replace a lot of players. Of course, they’ve had a jacked up schedule with COVID-19 and the hurricanes but I know (head coach) Eric Peevey, who has done an excellent job there, and I know he’ll have his team ready to go. We better be ready too.”

West Brook got its season started a week later than most 6A/5A programs with a scrimmage during what was Longview’s opening week. The Bruins opened its season with a shootout loss to Tomball Memorial, 66-63, and bounced back this past Thursday with a win over Bellaire Episcopal, 56-10.

King noted the play of junior quarterback Bryce Anderson, an LSU commit who has made the move to offense after playing in the Bruin secondary as a sophomore. King also mentioned the Bruin secondary as well as the one-two punch of running backs Jordan Guidry and Jamichael Foxall.

Anderson has 718 total yards in two games at quarterback.

“Size and speed everywhere,” King said. “We’ve just been playing them a few years now but I can say that it’s the West Brook of old.”

It has the makings of an early-season showdown and a measuring stick as both teams move forward into district play next week.

“I saw a quote where Peevey said he called a bunch of people and no one would return his calls,” King said. “He called us and we said sure.

“That’s what you want, good competition in non-district and that’s definitely what we we both have coming up Thursday.”

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h