ET Football: Lobos punch ticket to state 7-on-7 tournament
June 17, 2017 at 5:51 p.m.
TYLER — Longview's defense set the tone in the spring when the pads were on.
On Saturday at the Tyler 7-on-7 state qualifying tournament, it was once again the defense that led the way.
Longview punched its ticket back to the state tournament for the first time since 2013 after turning in a rout of Marshall, 33-0, in the semifinals at Lindsey Park in Tyer.
While the defense, which held opponents scoreless over the final two games of Saturday's action, the offense had a hand as well.
Kendle Johnson had a pair of touchdowns in win over Marshall, capping a solid day for the senior wide receiver.
"I feel like we played our best once we got going as a team," Johnson said. "Once we did that, it started to connect.
"It feels good to be going to state and representing Longview. It's going to be good competition and it's only going to help us."
Help them as in August, when football returns. Senior defensive back Jalen Carr, a standout over the spring, felt the same way.
"We've come together as a team," Carr said. "Our chemistry is better. Our communication is better.
"It's still a work in progress and we're only going to get better."
As they did in the spring, it was heavy rotation at quarterback for the Lobos with Jordan Lawson, A'Darius Carter and Haynes King seeing time as the signal caller.
Lawson accounted for all five touchdowns against Marshall, targeting both Carter and King, who moved to receiver, for touchdowns.
King also had a strong showing against Forney, hauling in four touchdown passes.
Longview dropped its opener to Whitehouse, 33-14, on Saturday morning in pool play. The Wildcats had previously clinched their spot at the state tournament.
The Lobos sputtered in the first half against Forney, falling behind, 14-6, at halftime.
Longview would allow seven more points the rest of the day.
Kendle Johnson and Jacob Johnson, along with King, all hauled in passes for the Lobos, who got a strong game defensively from Carr and Kyle Johnson as Longview rallied for a 32-21 win over Forney.
They closed out pool play with a 30-0 romp of Lindale, setting up a semifinal match with rival Marshall.
After four combined empty possession, Lawson connected with King for the first score.
It went 14-0 after Lawson and Kendle Johnson connected for a 30-yard pass and score. He added a second touchdown catch in the second half.
Defensively against Marshall, junior Tanique Taylor capped a strong day defensively with a pair of interceptions.
The Division I State 7-on-7 Tournament is set for Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1 in College Station.
The Lobos will continue its local league beginning at 6 p.m. Monday at Lobo Stadium.
"We can go nowhere but up from here," Kendle Johnson said. "I feel like we're going to continue to make progress as a team as the summer goes along and keep going up."
In other action Saturday, Jacksonville topped Greenville, 41-25, in the other semifinal to return to state. The Indians went 3-0 in pool play, beating Tyler Lee (34-6), Texas High (32-26) and Huntsville (28-27).
Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h