DALLAS - A year after the low point of his Longview football career, senior running back J’Haston Faggans had the high point on Saturday, and his offensive excellence rubbed off on a bunch of his teammates.
Faggans rushed for a career-high 212 yards, fueling Longview’s best offensive output of the season in a 59-35 win over Sachse in a Class 5A Division II area playoff at Kincaide Stadium. Faggans capped his big day with his lone touchdown run, which was on his 20th and last carry, going for 60 yards with 2:18 remaining to conclude Longview’s touchdown outburst.
Longview’s previous high-point total of 2011 was a 54-21 win over Mesquite on Oct. 7.
In Longview’s Class 5A Division II Region II semifinal win over Tomball in 2010, Faggans suffered a season-ending right-ankle injury which hampered him throughout the offseason.
Faggans also had 119 yards rushing in Longview’s 24-3 bi-district win over Temple last week.
“This was my best game. It’s the first time I’ve had a 200-yard game,” Faggans said. “I didn’t think this day would come.”
Longview (11-1) improves to 8-0 all-time in playoff games at Kincaide Stadium. The Lobos, ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press’ Class 5A state poll, advance to face Spring Dekaney (10-2) in a Region II semifinal at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana, the site where Longview defeated Temple on Nov. 12.
Sachse (8-4), which advanced to the postseason for the first time this season, suffers its first playoff defeat.
Longview basically put away Sachse with a 28-point second quarter, led by a big quarter from fullback Deontre Wilson. Wilson scored three touchdowns in the quarter just touching the ball five times. Wilson had 102 total yards, part of a 559-yard day for the Lobos, including 390 yards rushing on 47 attempts.
Wilson said credit for the offensive explosion should go to offensive linemen such as Donavon Webb, Jhermikal Partner and De’Raymond Horton.
“The whole offensive line has come a long way,” Wilson said. “Every week they get better and better.”
Jordan Burton had the first big play for the Lobos, returning the first punt 22 yards to the Sachse 39-yard line, setting up a 42-yard field goal by Israel Madrid with 8:49 left in the first quarter. Sachse responded with a drive to set up a tying field goal, but John Pannell’s 27-yard attempt hit the right post.
Longview countered with an 80-yard drive, with a 30-yard pass from Bivins Caraway setting up an eight-yard touchdown run by Tory White with 4:22 left in the first quarter. Sachse followed with its best drive of the first half, moving 76 yards before a two-yard touchdown run by LaKeldric Moore with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Then Wilson got cooking.
Wilson first touchdown was off a screen pass from Caraway, which Wilson took 24 yards for a touchdown with 11:46 left in the second quarter. The drive was extended by a two-yard run by Faggans on a fourth-and-one play at the Sachse 26-yard line.
The Lobos followed with a play which may have broke the spirits of the Mustangs as Longview successfully executed an onside kick with Corey Bartley recovering at the Sachse 43-yard line. This set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Wilson with 10:22 left in the second quarter which gave Longview a 24-7 lead.
Longview’s next drive was more conventional, but also impressive as the Lobos moved 89 yards before an 11-yard touchdown run by Wilson on a fullback dive with 6:13 remaining in the second. Wilson had 90 total yards in the first half, with three receptions for 60 yards. The big play of the drive was a 39-yard end around by Justinn Spady.
Caraway made it 38-7 with 4:08 left in the second quarter on a one-yard sneak for a touchdown. Burton set Longview up at the Sachse 35-yard line with a 20-yard punt return.
Sachse cut into Longview’s lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Trent White to Jeff Guckenberg with 2:13 left in the first half, then tried to give the Lobos a taste of their own medicine with an onside kick. However, Longview’s Aaron Brashear made a heads-up play by grabbing the onside kick at the Sachse 48-yard line and returning it seven yards, although the Lobos gave the ball up on its ensuing drive on downs.
Faggans led a strong Longview rushing attack in the first half with 96 yards on 12 carries. The Lobos had 227 yards rushing in the first half.
Trent White had 131 yards in the first half on 16-for-27 passing. Sachse running back Billy Cole had 57 yards rushing on seven carries in the first half, but finished with 61 yards on 14 carries for the game.
Davatric Cooks had a big first half for the Longview defense with seven tackles. Cooks and Stephan Maxey would lead Longview with eight tackles each for the game. Longview defensive end Larry Thomas had two tackles for losses in the first half and forced a fumble, finishing with six tackles (three for losses) and two sacks.
Longview head coach John King said strategy was a factor in keeping Sachse’s offense in check for most of the first half.
“We gave them different looks so they couldn’t zero in on what we’re doing,” King said.
Sachse got a flicker of hope early in the second half when Aaron Ballard picked off a Caraway pass at the Longview 31-yard line on the second play from scrimmage, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Cole with 8:22 left in the third quarter. The Lobos put out that flame of hope when D.T. Jackson took a slant pass from Caraway and went 55 yards for a touchdown with 7:10 left in the third quarter. Jackson had four receptions for 109 yards while Caraway was 9-for-19 passing for 169 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Tory White would get an eight-yard touchdown run with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter to give Longview a 52-21 lead, capping a day which he rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries. Tory White’s second touchdown was set up by another big special-teams play by Bartley. After Jackson’s touchdown, the ensuing kickoff hung in a strong wind. No Sachse player caught the kickoff and Bartley recovered the loose ball at the Sachse 23-yard line.
Sachse would score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Trent White would finish 34-for-50 for 350 yards and three touchdowns passing, but 219 yards and two touchdowns came in the second half, most of it with the game decided. Still, Burton said the amount of points his team allowed was a disappointment.
“We were lucky in the first quarter. I think Sachse was over-emotional,” Burton said. “We played better in the second quarter, and the whole game, it was OK.
“I can speak for the whole defense in that we don’t like giving up 35 points.”
King said he was pleased with the defense, but he can understand Burton’s frustration.
“You can learn from every video of games you look back on,” King said. “The big thing is we won.”
Chris Robb finished with 148 yards receiving on seven catches, including a 60-yard touchdown reception. Ballard led Sachse with eight tackles. Cortez Goodwin also had an interception for Sachse.
Tickets for Longview’s Class 5A Region II semifinal against Spring Dekaney, set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Corsicana, will be on sale Monday and Tuesday only at the LISD Athletic Office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (through lunch). Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students in advance. All tickets at the stadium are $10.