By Kelly Bell and Keisha Roland/ETR
The Longview High School (LHS) Lobos got the 2016 football season off to a howlong start with a 62-14 trouncing of the South Oak Cliff Golden Bears at Lobo Stadium on the evening of September 9. There was a long line of Green Out T-shirts making up the 15th annual Big Green Victory Line as packs of Lobo supporters showed up to cheer on their team as it savaged the hapless bruins.
The LHS breezeway was the pre-game site of the 2nd annual hamburger tailgate party as Lobo Nation came together to celebrate the victory it seemed to know was coming. Local bankers from Citizens National Bank were on hand to grill hamburgers for the festive affair that saw a mere $5 donation a juicy burger with all the fixings, chips and a cookie. Money brought in by this tailgate party went to support the Longview ISD Foundation, whose executive director Kay Ray was delighted with the turnout.
“This is another great year,” she said. “I am so thankful for all of the sponsors, supporters and everyone who made this day possible.”
Also during the pregame festivities LHS Principal James Brewer crowned a delighted senior Chandler Peoples the 2016 Homecoming Queen.
“It is great that I won,” she gushed.
The crush of fans overflowed from the stands as ardent spectators had to sit on the sidelines, grass and adjacent hillside. When the teams took the field the roars of enthusiasm were deafening.
South Oak Cliff got off to a quick, hopeful start with an opening, pass interference call-assisted 75-yard drive and 7-0 lead. Their early high hopes came to a devastating halt as Longview mauled the Bears with 59 unanswered points. Eleven separate Lobos productively toted the ball.
The home team’s running game was so powerful that Lobo quarterback Gaylon Wiley only had to throw the ball ten times, completing seven. He even ran for two scores. His favorite target, senior wideout Austin Henry, gathered in three passes for 98 yards and a 56-yard touchdown just before halftime. He was one of many who lit up the scoreboard.
Senior running back Kendrevian White galloped for 48 yards on nine carries and a one-yard TD in the first period. Even the placekicker, junior Chris Kessler, put in a spectacular performance, connecting on both the field goals he attempted and going 8 for 8 on extra points as his team did not have to punt at all in the game, and failed to score on just one possession. This was just the offensive heroics.
The defense adjusted quickly to South Oak Cliff’s attack after the long opening drive, holding the Golden Bears to just 121 running yards and 9 through the air for the rest of the night. Lobo seniors Kobe Davis and Traveion Webster both intercepted passes, and defenders Janarrion Blakemore and Ke’Andre Mauldin knocked down opposing ball carriers to give Longview a chance for one more score before halftime. In the closing seconds of the second quarter Wiley hit Henry on an end zone shot that gave the home team a cozy 38-7 lead at intermission.
After a magnificent halftime performance by the Big Green Marching Machine band gave the delighted crowd yet more to cheer about sophomore running back Jessie Anderson added to his team’s lead with a TD run six minutes into the third. Six minutes after that junior quarterback A’Darius Carter, filling in for Wiley, ran for a nine-yard touchdown.
Early in the fourth period junior running back JaQuan Edwards ripped off a 10-yard scoring run and a 59-7 Lobo runaway lead.
After Kessler nailed his second three-pointer with 7:21 remaining in the game Longview mercifully played ball control to eat up the clock and end the visitors’ misery as quickly as possible. Golden Bear runner Traylon Hicks scored both his team’s touchdowns to avoid the humiliation of a shutout.
The Lobos’ next game will be this coming Friday at home versus Mesquite Horn.