Lobos alter 2012 football schedule
By Rick Kretzschmar firstname.lastname@example.org
March 30, 2012 at 11 p.m.
Plans for the Longview football team's first two games against a team from Mexico have fallen through, but one contest against a team from Arkansas has filled half the void.
Longview athletic director/head football coach John King said on Friday the Lobos will not play a team from Mexico – Monterrey Tech – in 2012 and 2013. Taking Monterrey Tech's spot in the 2012 campaign will be North Little Rock, Ark.
North Little Rock will be Longview's opponent in the home opener on Sept. 7. The deal is for one year, currently giving the Lobos an open date for Sept. 6, 2013, although King said that date will be filled in the future.
King made tentative plans on Feb. 2, the same day of the UIL's biennial realignment, to host Monterey Tech in 2012 and 2013, which would have been Longview's first games against an international opponent. King said he sent contracts to Monterrey Tech in anticipation of finalizing the deal on Feb. 21, the first day UIL schools can complete contracts concerning football games. However, King said on Feb. 29 he received an e-mail in which Monterrey Tech indicating they couldn't play the games.
"Getting that eight days after most contracts were signed put us in a bind," King said.
King said because most Texas schedules were locked in he had to look for out-of-state opponents. He said he tried to get the Lobos into "The Battle on the Border" showcase matching Texas and Louisiana schools at Independence Stadium in Shreveport (La.) in early September, but it couldn't be worked out.
King said he was also turned down by two Louisiana schools the Lobos have played multiple times in the past decade: West Monroe and Shreveport Evangel.
King said he also attempted to schedule a game against Miami Norland, the defending Florida Class 5A state champions, but costs were too much of an obstacle. This led King to look toward Arkansas schools and getting a deal with North Little Rock, which will be Longview's first game against an Arkansas school since a 39-6 victory over Texarkana Arkansas High in 1955.
North Little Rock was 9-3 in 2012 and advanced to the Arkansas Class 7A state semifinals before falling to Bentonville, 31-7. North Little Rock features running back Altee Tenpenny, who has verbally committed to the University of Alabama, the defending national champion.
Tenpenny rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010, but missed the entire 2011 season because of a broken ankle suffered during a scrimmage. Tenpenny is rated a four-star recruit out of five by rivals.com, which also lists defensive tackles Gerald Watson and Kenny Howard as potential college recruits.
"From what I heard from my coaching contracts, North Little Rock is as talented a team as there is in Arkansas," King said. "They were great to deal with too."
King said the opponent to fill the open date in 2013 will likely be from out-of-state as well. He said it could be determined after Louisiana's biennial realignment for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, which will be made this fall. and he may try to get Longview involved with The Battle on the Border in 2013.
Longview will open its 2012 season against Coppell in the Tom Landry Classic on Sept. 1 at SMU's Ford Stadium in University Park. The Lobos will host arch rival Marshall on Sept. 14 before closing out non-district play with its first true road game of the season at Lufkin on Sept. 21. The Marshall game will be Longview's annual Green Out game.
Longview will open District 12-5A play against Mesquite on Sept. 28 at Hanby Stadium in Mesquite. After a bye week, the Lobos will play their first home district game against Rockwall-Heath on Oct. 12.
The Lobos will play two other district home games against North Mesquite (Oct. 26) and Rockwall (Nov. 9), with the Rockwall contest being Longview's regular-season finale. The North Mesquite game will be Longview's homecoming contest. The Rockwall game will be Senior Night. Longview will play two other district opponents on the road: Mesquite Horn (Oct. 19) and Tyler Lee (Nov. 2).