Longview received an early test in Friday’s Class 5A Division I bi-district football game, but scored the final six touchdowns to earn a 49-15 home playoff win against Crosby at Lobo Stadium.
The Longview Lobos improved their season record to 11-0, and advanced to play Frisco Lone Star in an area round postseason contest on Friday Nov. 18 at Dallas’ John Kincaide Stadium. The kickoff time wasn’t set by the time of publication.
The Crosby Cougars, on the other hand, finished the 2022 campaign with a 6-5 mark.
“It feels great to get out of here 1-0,” Longview athletic director and head football coach John King said of his team's strong start to the 2022 postseason. “We played a good football team tonight. We told [our squad that] we’re going to have to weather the storm. The kids played hard, really settled down, and dominated the game after the second quarter.”
Longview’s defense started the game by forcing a quick Crosby three-and-out on the opening drive, and its offense quickly found itself at the Cougar 32-yard line after a short punt.
The Lobos took advantage of the great field position during a four-play scoring drive that resulted in Taylor Tatum’s 19-yard touchdown run. That gave the home team an early 7-0 lead at the 8:19 mark of the first quarter.
Tatum led Longview’s charge throughout the night, and finished the game with 17 carries for 193 yards and five touchdowns.
The Lobos rushed for 377 yards on 42 carries on the night.
Crosby then stormed back with back-to-back scores. Levi Fontenot tied the game with his five-yard touchdown run, and added both a 29-yard score and successful two-point conversion attempt on the ground to give the Cougars a 15-7 edge with 4:48 remaining in the period.
Longview responded with another quick scoring drive that included Jordan Allen’s 12-yard completion to Alijah Johnson, and Tatum’s 15-yard touchdown run. That cut Crosby’s lead to 15-14 at the 2:37 mark of the quarter.
Johnson carried 12 times for 106 yards.
The score remained the same until Tatum’s 21-yard touchdown run gave the Lobos a 21-15 advantage at the 6:52 mark of the second period.
Tatum continued to march down the field on Longview’s next drive, and added a 45-yard touchdown run to grow his team’s margin to 28-15 with 3:08 left in the first half.
The Lobos’ defense wrapped up the first half when it forced a third straight Crosby punt, and sacked Cougars’ quarterback Cyrin Myles on a fourth down play in Longview territory with 8.1 seconds remaining until the halftime break.
Longview continued its defensive dominance when it forced a fumble on Crosby’s first drive of the second half, and Xaryus Sheppard picked up the ball for the recovery at the 9:35 mark of the third quarter.
Longview’s offense took advantage of the situation because Tatum earned his second 19-yard touchdown run of the night to make it a 35-15 score with 9:19 left in the period.
The Lobos continued to cruise because Jalen Hale produced a 25-yard touchdown run with 12.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter, and Johnson followed with a 27-yard score on the ground to grow the gap to 49-15 with 9:03 left in the fourth period.
Longview’s defensive unit then wrapped up the team’s win by earning its second and third fourth down sacks of the game, and forcing a fifth and sixth Crosby punt.
“It was huge,” King said of Longview's defense shutting down Crosby’s offense on the final 11 Cougar drives. “They don’t score, and we do. The defense has been great all year long, and had a great plan [on Friday].”