SHREVEPORT, La. — Kaden Meredith turned in a tough night on the ground and, to continue a trend in the 2019 season, the Longview Lobo defense stood tall.
Meredith ran for 191 yards as Longview scored 17-unanswered points in a 17-7 win over West Monroe on Friday in the Joe Delaney Classic at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.
With the win, Longview moves to 4-0 on the season heading into District 11-6A action. West Monroe drops to 2-1 on the season in its first regular-season loss since 2016.
“Good night for Kaden, he had a lot of carries and popped a few big runs for us,” Longview head coach John King said. “I thought the offensive line did a good job of creating some holes at times and when he saw it, he hit it hard.
“Not an easy task against those guys and he was physical between the tackles tonight.”
West Monroe took advantage of a short field after a game-opening fumble from the Lobos to go ahead 7-0. The closest the Rebels would come the rest of the way was the Longvew 42-yard line.
“Defensive played well,” King said. “We had the fumble on the first drive that put them in a bad position.
“We didn’t give up big plays for the most part and did a good job against the ground-and-pound running attack. The key for us was to get them off schedule. We were able to do that as well as have a few big stops and that made it more difficult for them.”
West Monroe finished with 138 rushing yards on 37 carries and punted six times. It was a bit of a bend-but-not-break effort at times before the Lobos, led by big nights from Malik Cannon, Shannon Jackson and Drew Beltran, put the stop down. The Rebels finished with 13 first downs but were 4-of-11 on third down conversion attempts.
Meredith finished with 191 yards on 23 carries, including a 91-yard touchdown and a 22-yard catch. The Lobos totaled 252 rushing yards.
Haynes King and Kaden Kearbey connected for the first time this season on a seven-yard score. King finished 8-of-18 passing for 75 yards.
It was an ugly start for the Lobos, who were hit with the first of six penalties on the second play of the game before a fumble on the fourth snap set up West Monroe at the 16-yard line.
The duo of Derome Williams and Cayden Pierce, who finished with 90 and 51 yards, respectively, cashed in on the short field on Pierce’s one-yard punch-in.
Longview answered quickly with a 10-yard, 65-yard march, highlighted by three third-down conversions and capped with King’s connection with Kearbey in the endzone.
It was all punts from there for the West Monroe offense.
After a big third-down stop from Jackson and Dakirin Buchanan on the Rebels’ next drive, Meredith popped a 91-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 with 2:38 left in the first quarter.
Antonio Onofre booted a 24-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead at halftime, which carried over the next 24 minutes of action.
Next up for the Lobos is a home date with Rockwall, who will come to Lobo Stadium on Friday with a 3-1 record.
“Biggest game of the year is next week to start the second season,” King said. “It’s going to be important for us to start off on a good note and that won’t be an easy task. Rockwall is a good football team and probably one of the most explosive in the state.”
King said that the Lobos accomplished their mission in non-district, which finished with a win against a premier program in Louisiana.
“I think we found out a lot about ourselves in non-district and a lot more tonight,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to improve and it will be a challenge as we fight for a playoff spot.
“I think we’re better in some areas than we thought coming in and answered some question because we hadn’t been forced to answer those. It was a good challenge and one that our kids stood up to.”