Lobos

Longview quarterback Joshua Thomas looks to pass against Tyler Legacy. The Lobos host Bryant, Ark., in a 7:30 p.m. contest on Friday.

Longview’s high school football team took another step forward during Friday’s rivalry win against Tyler Legacy.

The Lobos showed what they’re made of when they erased an early 10-0 deficit against a strong opponent and came from behind to earn a 46-20 victory. Their continued progression will come into play when they face Arkansas high school football power Bryant at Lobo Stadium on Friday night.

The week four kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“It drives home the point that we tell them all the time,” said Longview athletic director and head football coach John King. “Don’t worry about what the scoreboard says. Just keep playing. If you play it the right way, good things will happen. That’s what [our team] did. You felt like the defense was going to hang in there. If the offense could find its footing, then we could get back in it and make it a ballgame. We did and the ball bounced our way a little bit.”

A big part of that performance was the Lobo offense. The team set season-highs with 503 offensive yards and 46 points. Quarterback Joshua Thomas also showed his passing and rushing efficiency when he finished with 226 total yards and three touchdowns.

“We were able to make some big plays and I thought that was huge for us after falling behind 10-0,” said King. “Play-action pass and had some big runs with it, so it was a lot better performance out of our offensive unit as a whole. A lot of it started up front.”

Another thing that set up Friday’s victory was the Longview defense.

The Lobos knew they had their hands full when they faced Texas commit Jamarion Miller and Texas Tech commit Bryson Donnell, but they came to play. Miller did find enough space for 135 rushing yards, but Donnell was limited to 10 yards on 13 carries. Both running backs were held to a touchdown, Tyler Legacy’s passing attack finished with 49 yards, and the Red Raiders were forced into their lowest scoring outing of the season.

“Friday, we were committed to stopping the run, and that was a big thing,” said King. “They throw it enough to keep you honest, but what they want to do is run the ball and we were able to defend that. We’re going to try to take away people’s strengths and make them do things that they don’t want to do. We’ve got to continue to do that defensively.”

Longview may be riding a two-game win streak, but it knows it has another notable foe to prepare for this week. That team is Bryant, Arkansas, which has won 32 consecutive games and the last three Arkansas high school football 7A state championships. But, you can expect the Lobos to be up for the challenge.

“They’re very good,” said King. “They’ve won three state championships and 30-something straight games. We’ve played North Little Rock, who gave us all we wanted [in 2012]. [Bryant has] been able to beat them the last three years. Tells me that they’re extremely talented. What I see on tape is what I expected. They’re big and physical on the offensive and defensive lines and they have great skill players. Their running back, Chris Gannaway, he’s the guy and he makes plays. They’re a very sound football team.”

“We know when we sign up to play someone that we’re going to get their best shot,” he added. “We’ve got to prepare for this one just like we did last week and the next one. You can’t look behind you [and] you can’t look ahead of you. You’ve got to look at what the job is this week. We’ve got to beat a fine football team in Bryant, Arkansas.”

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Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen

Howdy y'all! I'm the Longview News-Journal's multimedia sports reporter. I have deep East Texas roots and love covering the region's stories and games. I graduated from UT, and have covered sports in different parts of Texas throughout my career.