If there’s any such thing as a postseason measuring stick, Longview’s second round showdown with Lancaster is it.
Both teams fully took care of business in the games that they were expected to do so in – Longview’s 37-point average margin of victory in four district games and one playoff game to go with Lancaster’s mind-boggling numbers put up in a 10-0 run, which includes one forfeit win. The Tigers average 65.2 points per game.
So that sets up a bit of the unknown coming into this one. Lobo head coach John King does know a few things, however.
“They’re a very solid football team,” King said. “People are looking at their district, strength of schedule or whatever. They’ve made deep playoff runs. They’ve been to a state championship. They went toe-to-toe with Duncanville and ran into a buzzsaw in the third round last year. They dominated their district. They dominated their playoff game.
“This is a good football team, there’s no question.”
Speed and physicality highlight this one, that much is certain as well.
“We’re going to compete,” King said. “Our kids are tough and physical, too. They’ve got speed. Lancaster has a side advantage but that’s never mattered much around here. We’ve got kids that are prideful and they’re ready to play. That’s all they know.”
Buckle up again because anything can happen when that clock starts.
Here’s a look at the Class 5A, Division I, Region II area round playoff between the Lobos and Tigers:
LONGVIEW VS. LANCASTER
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Memorial Stadium, Mesquite
Records: Longview 8-2; Lancaster 10-0
Lancaster: Chris Gilbert (10th season, 89-35)
Longview: John King (17th season, 187-38)
Last week: Lancaster 29, Frisco Wakeland 6; Longview 41, Lufkin 5
Up next: Winner will meet either Denton Ryan or College Station in the Class 5A, Division I, Region II semifinal next week
WHEN LANCASTER HAS THE BALL
Lancaster: OL Isiah Sillemon (6-3, 300) ... OL Joseph Amos (6-6, 325) ... QB Glenn Rice Jr. (121-171-4, 2,205 yards, 33 TDs; 42 carries, 400 yards, 5 TDs) ... RB DQ James (70 carries, 1,285 yards, 20 TDs) ... RB Maurice Moore (46 carries, 507 yards, 12 TDs) ... WR Majik Rector (39 catches, 739 yards, 10 TDs) ... WR Stephon Johnson Jr. (22 catches, 503 yards, 8 TDs) ... WR Dalyn Thompson (29 catches, 420 yards, 5 TDs) ... WR Tony Evans Jr. (13 catches, 268 yards, 4 TDs)
Longview: DL Joe Jones (4 TFL) ... DL Jahkamian Carr (51 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 4 PBU) ... DL Trevor Tamplin (53 tackles, 9 TFL, 6 sacks, FF) ... DL Arthur Bryant (20 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks) ... OLB Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson (42 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 sacks, 4 FR, 2 FF, 2 PBU) ... LB Laqualon Hale (69 tackles, 6 TFL, 2 sacks, FF) ... LB Devean Isaac (56 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 sacks) ... S Tyree Hale (46 tackles, 4 INTs, 3 PBU) ... DB Dylan Davis (3 INTs, 10 PBU) ... DB Jacobi Williams
WHEN LONGVIEW HAS THE BALL
Lancaster: DL Courtney Massingill (6-1, 195) ... DL Anthony Barnes (5-10, 320) ... DL Thomas Gort III (6-0, 325) ... DL Des Frazier (6-1, 240) ... LB Kourtney Washington (6-0, 200) ... LB Davion Hodge (5-10, 180) ... CB Deandre Johnson (5-11, 175)
Longview: OL Tavion Sterling ... OL Jatavian Bush ... OL Connor Cox ... OL Jax Norman ... RB Kaden Meredith (153 carries, 1,255 yards, 24 TDs) ... FB Markevion Haynes (112 carries, 1,087 yards, 12 TDs; 10 catches, 137 yards, TD) ... TE Austin Pencheon ... TE Justin Beltran ... WR Jalen Hale (33 catches, 552 yards, 8 TDs) ... QB Jordan Allen (54-101-3, 774 yards, 8 TDs)
Lancaster’s offense has been blistering in nine games this season: 542 yards (288.7 rushing/253.3 passing) and a staggering 65.2 points per game. The Tigers have put up at least 80 points four times and over 55 points three more times. Now, that comes against a 6-5A, DI district that was quickly and painfully swept out of the postseason in the first round, aside from the Tigers.
Frisco Wakeland finished with 272 yards (188 rushing/84 passing) against the Tigers last week in a 29-6 loss, the fewest point total Lancaster has put up by 26 points this season (55-3 win over Dallas White).
The Tigers will take on a Lobo defense that’s been stingy all season. Longview’s defense is holding opponents to 247.3 yards (167.2 passing/80.1 rushing). Temple put up 40 points in Longview’s season opener, the most by 12 points allowed this season. Similar to Lancaster, District 7-5A, DI was top heavy with district champion Highland Park and second-place Longview.
Longview has gone back to its roots offensively with an average of 284.7 rushing yards per game. The Lobos have passed for an average of 111.7 yards per game but haven’t hit the 100-yard mark through the air since an 18-13 loss to Highland Park.
The Lobos need to limit the big play and come away with a turnover, an area which Longview has a plus-10 margin this season with 12 interceptions on the season. Offensively, the Lobos must establish the run game and stay on schedule.
This all adds up to an anything-can-happen showdown and true measuring stick between two teams that just happens to come in the second round of the postseason.
DID YOU KNOW?
This is the second meeting in program history between the two teams. Longview took a 49-22 win over Lancaster in the area round in 2008 behind a 371-yard night on the ground, led by 157 yards and three touchdowns from Tyler McCray. ... TexasFootball.com has Lancaster as a three-point favorite over Longview.