Big plays propel Longview to 49-13 win over North Mesquite
By Rick Kretzshmar firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct. 21, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Jordan Burton, D.T. Jackson and Bivins Caraway had a bunch of big plays for Longview's football team on Friday. Add it up and it equaled a big win, not to mention another trip to the playoffs, for the Lobos.
Longview's 49-13 win over North Mesquite in a District 11-5A game before 8,000 spectators at Lobo Stadium is the largest victory margin for the Lobos this season, edging a 54-21 win at Mesquite two weeks ago. It was nearly complete domination as the Longview defense held North Mesquite scoreless until 11:21 remaining, when the Stallions scored a touchdown after Longview already had a 42-0 lead.
The game was practically decided with 10:29 remaining in the third quarter, when Burton returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown to give Longview a 28-0 lead. This was the third big play for the Longview linebacker, who also forced a fumble and had an interception in the second quarter to go with six tackles. After Burton's punt return, Chris Coby – who led Longview with seven tackles – forced a fumble which kicker Adam Mack recovered on the ensuing kickoff. This helped set up a three-yard touchdown run by Caraway with 8:26 remaining in the third quarter.
The win clinches a playoff berth for Longview (7-1, 3-0 in 11-5A), the No. 8-ranked team in the Associated Press' Class 5A state poll. It is the 11th straight season the Lobos have made the playoffs, including all seven seasons in the head coaching tenure of John King. North Mesquite drops to 4-04, 0-3.
"The punt return and interception Jordan had were game breakers. They were all big," King said. "Making the playoffs always feels great. It's a relief to know you've secured a playoff spot."
Caraway and Jackson had uncanny accuracy and chemistry. Caraway was 14-for-17 for 231 yards passing with one touchdown. His favorite target was D.T. Jackson, who had seven receptions for 140 yards in the first half on his way to a total of eight catches for 170 yards.
"We felt like there were times we could throw the ball on them," King said. "We felt D.T. could get open and Bivins did a good job finding openings in their coverage."
Jackson's first-half production included three receptions for 80 yards on Longview's first two drives, which the Lobos converted for touchdowns.
Tory White took the opening kickoff 46 yards, setting up the Lobos for a 56-yard drive ending with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Caraway to Eric Hawkins. A 53-yard pass from Caraway to Jackson was the majority of yards on Longview's second drive, which ended in an eight-yard touchdown run by Deontre Wilson with 4:19 left in the first quarter. Caraway was 12-for-14 for 182 yards passing in the first half.
North Mesquite mounted its first serious scoring threat late in the first quarter and had the ball at the Longview three-yard line at the beginning of the second quarter. After North Mesquite quarterback King Davis could not connect with Travis Jones on the first play of the second quarter, with Jones wide open in the end zone, Burton forced running back Anthony Sims to fumble at the Longview one-yard line and Davatric Cooks recovered in the end zone for a touchback for the Lobos.
Burton came up big again with 4:10 left in the second quarter when North Mesquite receiver Tre Jackson could not hold on to Davis pass and Burton made an interception off the deflection. This set up a 51-yard drive, capped by a two-yard touchdown run by J'Haston Faggans with 1:16 left in the first half. Faggans had 52 yards rushing in the first half and would lead Longview with 57 yards rushing. Eight ball carriers helped Longview rush for 188 yards.
Longview got a late chance for points as Longview defensive lineman Jalen Porter forced Sims to fumble and George Polk with 12.5 seconds remaining at the North Mesquite 45-yard line. Israel Madrid attempted a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, but the attempt went just right, his first missed field-goal attempt of this season after making his five previous attempts.
Davis, who has verbally committed to New Mexico State, passed for 121 yards in the first half and finished with 171 yards passing and one touchdown. North Mesquite's running game struggled all game. The Mustangs had three yards rushing on 12 first-half attempts and finished with 74 yards for the game, 53 on its last drive when Longview was playing reserves. Cornelius Williams led Longview's first-half defense with two tackles for losses.
North Mesquite had four fumbles, losing all of them. Stephan Maxey had a fumble recovery for the Lobos while Aaron Brashear forced a fumble. North Mesquite defensive back Javarius Flowers led all players with 10 tackles.
Longview's next game is against Tyler Lee next Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.