Longview: 9-0, 5-0 in District 11-6A
Mesquite: 7-2, 3-2
Time: 7:30 p.m., tonight
Stadium: Hanby Stadium, Mesquite
Longview hit the field this past week against Tyler Lee with the gold socks blazing.
Longview: John King (16th season, 177-36)
Mesquite: Jeff Fleener (3rd season, 13-15)
Last week: Longview 49, Tyler Lee 7; Rockwall 66, Mesquite 42
Up next: Both teams will begin the 6A, DII playoffs
Players to watch
Longview: LB Tyshawn Taylor (89 tackles, 14 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 FF) ... DL Drew Beltran (48 tackles, 18 TFL, 8 sacks, FF) ... DL Sawyer Goram-Welch (47 tackles, 10 TFL, 6 sacks) ... OLD Malik Cannon (57 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 sacks) ... CB Dakirin Buchanan (11 PBU, 3 TFL) ... CB Patrick Webb (3 INTs) ... OLB/S Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson (7 TFL, 3 sacks) ... OL Parker Cox ... OL Malique Miller ... OL Owen Kuenemann ... RB Kaden Meredith (126 carries, 1,158 yards, 15 TDs) ... QB Haynes King (102-171-6, 1,493 yards, 16 TDs; 34 carries, 348 yards, 7 TDs) ... FB Kevin Jones ... TE Jhailon Braden ... WR Kyas Moore (31 catches, 555 yards, 3 TDs)
Mesquite: OL Seth Robinson ... OL Telscher McDaniel ... QB Dylan McGill (76 carries, 652 yards, 8 TDs; 73-176-4, 1,001 yards, 9 TDs) ... RB LaDarius Turner (132 carries, 1,114 yards, 14 TDs) ... WR Ja’Darion Smith (23 catches, 453 yards, 6 TDs; KO return TD) ... ATH RJ Bonner ... LB Jayden Brown ... DL Marlon Thompson ... DB Dewayne Adams (3 INTs) ... DB Reggie Reese
He said it: “Defensively, we’ve got to slow down the running game with Turner and McGill, those are two guys that can go. Bonner is an electric playmaker too. Their strong suite is running the football and have a good offensive line to do it with. They do a lot of zone read and try to leverage you with formations, hit you on the inside with the power run with the big back and hit you on the edge with the quarterback with the read stuff. That’s going to be the first thing, you can’t let them run the ball at you at will.
Full of personalities, Lobo defense getting it done together
“The Mesquite defense has a ton of speed. I’m very impressed with their second and third level guys with their speed and how active they are. They’ve got some new guys up front, a sophomore (Marion Thompson) that’s a bull and he’s playing better and better every week. We’ve got to be balanced and be able to throw the ball against a secondary that has quite a few interceptions this season. We’ve got to be multiple to try to keep them off balanced.
“They’ve blocked a number of kicks and have been strong in the kicking game so that’s a big concern. Blocked punts, extra points, returns for touchdowns, they’ve done it all. That really flipped the script with them against Heath. They’ve made played at the right times to keep them in it.
“It’s special to be playing for a 10-0 regular season, it puts you in elite company. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get back to this point. Nothing has been given. They’ve earned everything and have gotten everyone’s best shot and that won’t be any different this week.” — King
Did you know: Longview has clinched a share of the 11-6A title and can earn the outright title with a win, which is the 40th district title in school history and 14th in the past 16 seasons ... Mesquite is one of five teams (Marshall, John Tyler, Mesquite Horn and North Mesquite) to beat the Lobos in district play under head coach John King, according to Lobo football historian Bill Simpson of lobohistory.com ... Tonight is the 16th meeting between the two teams with Longview leading the series 13-2 including wins in the last four meetings ... Mesquite has clinched the season seed in D-I out of 11-6A. Longview has locked in the top seed in D-II and will host either Temple or Waco Midway on at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15 at Lobo Stadium ... Longview has outscored opponents 382-71 this season ... The Lobos average 452.9 yards per game while Mesquite allows an average of 336.7 yards per game — 181.4 rushing and 155.3 passing ... Longview’s defense has allowed an average of 178.4 yards per game and Mesquite is averaging 401.6 yards per game — 283 rushing and 118.6 passing ... Longview can complete a 10-0 season for the 11th time in program history and for the third time in back-to-back years, according to Simpson
Twitter-sized preview: Both teams have locked in their postseason plans but the Lobos have a few more goals on the line in district play. Expect a heavy dose on the ground both ways but whichever team can hit some plays in the passing game will head into the playoffs on a high note.