TYLER — A fast start by the Tyler Legacy Red Raiders was erased by a dominant second quarter by the Longview Lobos.
The Lobos, behind a 503-yard offensive performance, were able to pull away in the second half for a 46-20 win over the Red Raiders Friday night at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
It was the 17th consecutive win in the series for the Lobos, who had scored just a total of 21 points in their first two games.
“We progressed a lot,” Longview head coach John King said of his team’s offensive turnaround on Friday. “We made young team mistakes the first couple of weeks. I felt like this week we had good practices.”
Legacy opened the game with an onside kick, and kicker Christian Baxter recovered it at the 50. On fourth and 8, Bruce Bruckner connected with Jamarion Miller for a 28-yard completion down to the 1. The Longview defense rose to the occasion and held the Red Raiders to a 26-yard field goal by Baxter to make the score 3-0.
“The onside kick was executed very well obviously,” Tyler Legacy head coach Joe Willis said. “And most of the drive was really good. And then we get down to the 1-yard line and we go backwards. That’s a shame because that should’ve been 7 points and we ended up with 3. You can’t trade 3 for 7 with a good team like Longview.”
The Lobos then turned it over at their own 17 with a fumble that was recovered by Legacy’s LaBrendo Flowers.
The Red Raiders needed just three plays to score on a 9-yard touchdown run by Bryson Donnell to make the score 10-0.
Longview came right back as Jordan Allen hit Taylor Tatum for a 48-yard touchdown to cut the score to 10-7 with 3:42 left on the clock in the first quarter.
After forcing a Legacy punt, Longview went down the field, and Tatum scored on a 14-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to give the Lobos a 14-10 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Donnell fielded a bouncing ball at the 2-yard line and ran backward into the end zone where he was tackled by the Lobos for a safety to put the score at 16-10.
Allen was intercepted by Jordan Ford on the next possession, and Ford returned the ball to the Longview 28-yard line. Penalties and a sack put the Red Raiders in a fourth and 30 situation.
With 1:36 left in the first half, Joshua Thomas connected with five-star receiver Jalen Hale for a 10-yard touchdown to make the score 23-10.
Longview got the ball back with 26 seconds as a 44-yard punt return by Willie Nelson got the ball to the Legacy 21. Michael Fields kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give the Lobos a 26-10 lead at halftime.
Legacy got the ball first in the second half, and Miller scored on a 37-yard touchdown run to cut the score to 26-17.
Longview responded with a 51-yard pass from Thomas to Hale down to the Legacy 6, but the Lobos lost a fumble on the next play, and it was recovered by Legacy’s Le’Travian Whitmill.
Legacy was unable to get away from the end zone and had to punt from its own 2-yard line. The Lobos needed just two plays to score with the short field as Thomas scored from 22 yards out. The extra point was blocked to put the score at 32-17.
Legacy got a 42-yard field goal from Baxter 10 seconds into the fourth quarter to trim the score to 32-20.
The Lobos added a 56-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Hale and a 7-yard touchdown run by Alijah Johnson in the fourth quarter.
Hale had four grabs for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas was 5 of 6 for 165 yards and two scores. He also ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Allen was 5 of 10 for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jarrett Lewis had eight carries for 103 yards.
Legacy finished with 183 yards. Miller had 135 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries as the Red Raiders finished with 134 yards on the ground. Donnell was limited to 10 yards on 10 carries, and Bruce Bruckner was 5 of 19 for 49 yards.
“They’re hard to defend because they’re a triple-option team and they give you so many different looks,” King said of Tyler Legacy’s high-powered offense. “You gotta be in the right place and the right gap, and I thought our defensive line did a pretty good job with that. We held them from making too many big plays and I thought that was key. Great job by all 11 guys on the field.”
Willis said there were ups and downs from his team on Friday night.
“I saw a lot of good physical play on defense,” Willis said. “Honestly, I was pretty excited with some of the things we did on defense. There were times we missed tackles, but for the most part, I thought we played really physical inside.
“Longview made some plays, but we also shot ourselves in the foot. There were way too many errors on offense. We had a ton of penalties. There were some positives to take away. When you weigh it out, there’s not enough positives to overcome a very good team like Longview.”
Legacy (2-1) will host Allen at 7 p.m. Thursday. Longview (2-1) will host Bryant (Arkansas) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.