ET Football: Longview clinches playoff spot in win over Rockwall-Heath, 35-21
Oct. 28, 2016 at 11:13 p.m.
Updated Oct. 28, 2016 at 11:13 p.m.
LONGVIEW 35, ROCKWALL-HEATH 21 — Two things Longview had to do in the early going Friday night at Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium: Get out of their own way and adjust to a foreign offense in front of them.
The Lobos did both en route to a 35-21 road win over Rockwall-Heath and its single-wing offense to secure a playoff berth for the 16th-straight season.
With the win, Longview improves to 7-2 on the season and 5-1 in District 11-6A action. Heath falls to 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in district play.
Things didn’t start swimmingly for the Lobos, who found themselves in a 14-0 hole after the first quarter before ripping off 35 unanswered points in a contest that featured seven combined passing attempts.
“The big thing is our defense had to get adjusted to the speed of their offense, that’s something that’s hard to duplicate in practice,” Longview head coach John King said. “Once they did, we did a better job of fitting it and controlling it.”
It being the single-wing, which Heath used to 159 first-quarter yards, compared to 44 from the Lobos, who opened the contest with turnovers on its first two possessions.
The script flipped in the second quarter with Heath coughing up two turnovers, sparking 35 unanswered points for the Lobos.
D’Crayvan Polk and Kendrevian White accounted for all five Lobo scores with Polk totaling three touchdowns and 139 yards on 11 carries. White followed with 152 yards and two scores, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark on the season in the process.
The Lobos, up 21-14 at halftime, used two five-minute plus drives in the second half to build a 35-14 lead.
“We knew it would be limited possessions and we were able to stay on schedule with some first down runs and some third-down conversions,” King said. “Polk and White made some great runs for us and it takes everyone, the tailbacks, the fullbacks, the tight ends and the big boys up front.”
Heath’s J’Corian Jimmerson got things going for the Hawks quickly with a 33-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the game. After a Lobo interception, Jimmerson bolted for a 29-yard score to put Heath up quickly, 14-0. It was Longview’s first scoreless quarter since the season opener.
On its sixth snap of the night, Longview committed its second turnover. The Lobo defense responded with Traveion Webster jumping on a loose Hawk ball on the plus-side of the field.
Two plays later, Polk raced 47 yards to paydirt to put the Lobos on the board.
Heath then committed its second turnover, and fourth overall, setting up the Lobos first and goal at the seven. White punched in the tying score, to make it 14-14.
After a three-and-out, Polk pulled down a 27-yard completion and, on 4th and 10 at the Heath 40, rocketed in his second score to put the Lobos up, 21-14, which they carried into halftime.
Heath finished with 18 total yards in the second quarter.
Gaylon Wiley had a 28-yard run and converted a fourth down on the ground to extend Longview’s possession to open the second half. White scored on a 12-yard run on 3rd and 3 – the Lobos’ first third-down conversion of the night – with 6:32 left to cap a Lobo drive that chewed 5:28 off the clock. Longview finished 5-for-7 on third downs.
After a Heath punt, Wiley connected with Jaylin Brown for 13 yards on a 3rd and 6, Jessie Anderson followed with a 12-yard run and Polk was in the end zone for the third time on a 20-yard score, capping a five-minute drive and a run of 35 unanswered for the Lobos.
Heath responded with a touchdown before the Lobos chewed up 5:49 off the clock to sure up the 35-21 win and ensure postseason football for Longview for the 42nd time in school history.
The Lobos close out the regular season at home against Mesquite on Friday.
“In this district, being able to get in is an accomplishment and I’m proud of this team,” King said. “We punched our ticket tonight and there’s still some things on the line but, most importantly, we’ve got to go win.”
Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h