LONGVIEW - Longview was involved in a blowout at halftime for the second straight game on Friday.
This time, the Lobos were the team team with the commanding lead.
The Lobos racked up 329 rushing yards and sophomore quarterback Dezmond Chumley shone in his second start, helping lead his team to a 52-27 blowout home win over Rockwall-Heath.
Longview (4-2, 1-1 12-5A) led 49-0 late in the first half and cruised to the win, bouncing back from a 33-7 loss at Mesquite to avoid its first 0-2 district start in coach John King’s nine years.
“I’m kind of shocked about the way things happened in the first half,” Longview coach John King said. “It’s kind of like two weeks ago, but everything went right for us this time. This is big time. It puts us back on track for a playoff spot. We were fortunate enough to win and beat a good team.”
Senior running back Tory White bounced back from a tough outing at Mesquite, running for 116 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries. He had gaping holes during the first half and made several nice cuts, including one on his 44-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game.
Longview’s offensive line, fullback and tight ends were able to handle Rockwall-Heath defensive ends Jay Arnold and Jordan Points, both committed to Texas A&M, most of the night.
The Lobos totaled 305 of their 403 yards of offense in the first half, including 235 rushing yards.
“We didn’t block them the same way every time,” King said. “We knew we couldn’t let them zero in on us. They’re too good of players. We mixed in some different formations. We were successful with it at times. We were able to run inside zone better than I thought we would.”
Following White’s long touchdown run, the Lobos recovered a fumble on Mesquite’s ensuing drive and White scored from 13 yards out on the next play to push the lead to 14-0, ensuring that the slow starts that plagued the Lobos in their losses wouldn’t be an issue.
“It settles everything down when you’re able to run your offense,” King said. “You go out there and get stuffed and you may get away from what you do. We were going to try to do what we do. It enabled us to get some play action passes and some scores.”
The lead kept growing. Chumley found fullback Antonius Sanders for a 2-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The running game helped open things up for Chumley, who bounced back from a tough first start that included two lost fumbles at Mesquite. Friday, he completed 5 of 6 passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns to Sanders, hitting receivers in stride and looking more comfortable in the pocket.
“I know he wanted to have a good outing and he did,” King said. “The big thing is were able to manage down and distance and run the football. The 10 guys didn’t put all the burden on him.”
The offense also benefited from a strong effort by Longview’s defense and special teams. The Lobos limited the Hawks to just 145 yards in the first half and forced two turnoversthat led to scores, while Nakia Brown returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, his second score of the season.
Rockwall-Heath had 72 of its first-half yards against mostly second-teamers on a scoring drive just before halftime that made it 49-6.
On offense, White wasn’t the only one who had a big game running the ball.
Junior L’Darrius Peterson finished with 61 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, senior fullback Antonius Sanders ran for 48 yards on seven attempts and senior Damian Russell had 46 yards on eight carries.
The Hawks took advantage of several Longview miscues in the second half, scoring three times in four minutes to pull within 52-27 early in the fourth quarter. Heath recovered a shanked punt in the end zone and returned a fumble 25 yards for a score on the Lobos’ ensuing drive.
“We kind of stunk it up the second half, but when you’re up 49-0 you can live with that,” King said.
Longview will play at Mesquite Horn next week.