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Defense leads Lobos to bi-district win

By Hayden Henry
Nov. 16, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.

DALLAS – It was just another day at the office on Saturday for Laurent Johnson and Travin Howard.

The safety duo combined for five of Longview's six takeaways and put up two defensive touchdowns to lead the Lobos to a 46-21 win over Rowlett in a Class 5A, Region II, Division II bi-district win at John Kincaide Stadium in Dallas.

With the win, Longview advances to the area round, meeting McKinney Boyd at 4 p.m. Saturday at Wildcat-Ram Stadium in Dallas.

"Both safeties - Laurent and Travin - had a heck of a game," Longview head coach John King said. "Just making plays after plays - it happens every week. I think that's a combination of great athletic ability, football awareness and being coached the right way."

Howard pulled down interceptions number six and seven on the year - returning one 43 yards to paydirt - the senior's third pick-six of the season. Johnson - who finished strong down the regular-season stretch leading the Lobos with 81 tackles - had an interception and scooped up two Rowlett fumbles - taking one to the house from 18 yards away.

"Just a great defensive effort," King said. "I thought they settled down after the first quarter when we switched our scheme from a three-man to a four-man front, allowing us to get an extra guy in the throwing lanes, giving us some more options."

Longview finished with 153 yards on the ground - the lowest since the season opener against Coppell when the Lobos managed 97 rushing yards.

But Dezmond Chumley was there to pick up the slack.

The junior quarterback completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 222 yards and three touchdowns for Longview, which improved to 10-1. The junior appeared to be injured and missed four snaps early in the first quarter.

"He threw the ball with pressure on him and made some key throws," King said of Chumley. "Some were third and long, some on fourth down - just key throws that extended drives and resulted in points. I was real proud of how he played after coming out of the game. He got hit and was bruised up but came back and made the throws."

Dorian Leonard was on the receiving end of a 65-yard touchdown strike from Chumley and Jordan Whitaker made a 27-yard scoring grab. Stephon Anthony caught three passes for 53 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown for Longview.

JaMycal Hasty finished with 109 yards on the ground and had a five-yard scoring run.

"We knew we were going to have some different looks that were going to give us trouble, we knew they were going to load the box with an extra guy" King said of Longview's running game. "We didn't do a good of a job as I hope we would. Coming in, we knew that was going to be hard and we're going to see it again."

Johnson ended Rowlett's opening drive with an interception, setting up Hasty's five-yard scoring blast to give Longview a quick lead.

The Eagles responded, however, marching 60 yards on eight plays with sophomore quarterback Logan Bonner finding Andrew Harrison for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 7-all after the first quarter. Despite the three picks, Bonner finished 25-of-35 for 248 yards with two touchdowns.

Howard cut of Bonner's pass on Rowlett's following possession and returned it 43 yards to paydirt.

Rowlett turned the ball over on downs and Chumley threaded the needle with a 27-yard score to Whitaker, who dropped both feet in the corner of the end zone to give Longview a 21-7 lead.

Again, the Eagles hung around, marching 70 yards on 10 plays to make it a one possession contest with 2:44 left in the opening half.

Jhavaurian Moore lit up a Rowlett receiver and Johnson emerged with the football at the Lobo 34 yard line.

Chumley then found Leonard, who turned on the jets for a 65-yard score to make it 28-14 Longview at halftime, ultimately sparking a 25-point unanswered streak for Longview.

Omar French forced another fumble and Johnson scooped and scored from 18 yards out, Andres Perez drilled a 28-yard field goal and Chumley found Anthony for 21 yards away before Rowlett scored the final touchdown with 3:44 left in the contest for the 46-21 final.

(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank">@hayden_h)</a>



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