TYLER - Saturday night's 89th meeting between Longview and John Tyler got off to a rough start.
Then the game started.
After an hour delay due to the lack of officials, the two rivals collided for a back-and-forth first half with sloppy play all around. In the second half, however, the Lobos gained traction both ways to knock off John Tyler, 31-14, at Rose Stadium in Tyler.
"You make the most of it and play ball," Longview head coach John King said. "We're here to play football, you deal with it and go."
Trailing 14-10 at halftime with four turnovers – three interceptions and a muffed punt -- in the first half, the Lobos outscored the Lions, 21-0, the rest of the way to move to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2011. Two of the Lobo turnovers led to John Tyler points.
“We shot ourselves in the foot offensively with turnovers and penalties, things you can’t do if you’re going to beat good football teams,” King said. “We’re going to have to get it all cleaned up and I think we can be a good football team offensively.”
Tylan Miller rushed for 175 yards, hitting paydirt three times to pace a Lobo ground attack that rolled up 298 yards. In 14 games for the Lobos, Miller has hit the 100-yard mark 11 times and has nine multi-score games for the Lobos. Miller added two catches for 18 yards as well.
“To be 2-0 and not have played well at times is nice,” King said. “It lets you know that when you get things together and eliminate mistakes you can be a good football team. It’s a lot better than where we were last year at this point. We’ve got to get everyone on the same page on the same night.”
Much like the season opener against Lufkin, the Lobo defense set up Miller and the offense time and time again, forcing six John Tyler punts, including four three-and-outs, while pitching a shutout in the second half. In total, the Lions finished with 115 rushing yards – averaging 3.8 yards per touch. Trevor Allison finished with a fumble recovery and King noted the play of Bryson Davis and Kybrin Sheridan.
Austin Moore followed with 66 rushing yards and hauled in one pass for six yards. D'Crayvan Polk finished with 38 yards on the night, including a 12-yard score to open the fourth quarter. Cody Jenkins rounded out the Lobo scoring with a 21-yard field goal.
Longview took the ball to open the second half, marching 73 yards on eight plays – the first of three 60-plus-yard scoring marches in a run-heavy second half.
John Tyler took the ball to start and, with a 39-yard pass, advanced to the Lobo 39-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Ross hit Andrew Washington for a 46-yard gain over the middle, setting up the Lobos at the John Tyler 15 on its third snap of the game. Miller then went untouched 15 yards to put the Lobos ahead, 7-0, with 8:23 left in the opening quarter.
The Lobo defense then forced its first three-and-out but after two-straight false start calls, John Tyler's Javontavius Mosley hauled in an interception.
John Tyler then converted a third down and, with the aide of a Lobo personal foul, a fourth down, setting up Trey Allison's four-yard score to knot it 7-7 with 3:36 left in the opening stanza.
After another three-and-out from the Lobo defense, Longview's ensuing drive stalled inside the red zone, resulting in a 21-yard field goal from Cody Jenkins to put the Lobos back on top, 10-7, with 10:04 left in the second.
John Tyler picked up a first down before Stacy Nelson stuffed and 3rd-and-4 run at the line, forcing a punt. The return was muffed and John Tyler took back over at the Lobo 12. Two plays later, Smith put the Lions ahead 14-7 on an eight-yard scoring jaunt.
After a third three-and-out forced by the Lobos, the next two offensive possessions ended with interceptions for a 14-10 John Tyler lead at the half.
Longview meets Shreveport Byrd in the Battle on the Border showcase on Saturday at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.