LONGVIEW - Longview used a little bit of everything to open District 15-5A action against crosstown foe Pine Tree on Friday night at Lobo Stadium.
The pass game, the run game and the defense all had a hand as the Lobos opened district action with a 61-6 romp of the Pirates.
With the win, Longview extends their home winning streak in district action to 18-straight wins, coming in front of a homecoming crowd.
“We’re 1-0 and that was our biggest objective,” Longview head coach John King said. “It’s about finding a way to get in the driver’s seat when it comes to a playoff berth and 1-0 gets you there.
“It was tougher than the scoreboard indicated, I’ll tell you that. Pine Tree is a much-improved football team and we just were able to wear them down late in the game. We had to earn it and I’m proud of the way the kids responded.”
Four different ball carriers found the end zone, quarterback Michael Ross connected on two passing scores and the defense added six points in the win for Longview, who moves to 11-1 in district openers under King.
Tylan Miller had a hand in two different areas, rushing for a nine-yard score and connecting on a 35-yard halfback pass as Longview built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Miller finished with 99 yards on 11 carries and hauled in one pass for 12 yards.
Fullback Austin Moore had a pair of scores, totaling 54 yards on four totes on the night. Tyler Buchanan-Anderson had a six-yard score and Braylynn Anthony rounded out a 397 yard ground game for the Lobos with an 85-yard touchdown run.
Ross turned in a season-high 144 yards through two-and-a-half quarters of action. He finished 9-for-14 with two scoring passes, both going to Lobo tight ends. He found Jacorian Jones for 16 yards and Jordan Wyatt for 52 yards.
“I thought Michael threw the ball well tonight,” King said. “We came out and did some empty stuff which no one had seen us do. He threw the ball well, had a couple of drops and probably had a better night than the stats indicated.
“Then the running game got going in the second half.”
Defensively, Travian Clayborn led the way, hauling in two interceptions and scooping up a fumble. His first interception went 56 yards to paydirt on the return. Kybrin Sheridan finished with two tackles for loss and a pass broken up for the Lobo defense, who held Pine Tree to 182 total yards – 98 through the air and 84 on the ground on 28 rushing attempts.
“We had good pressure at times from our defensive line, didn’t have too many busts,” King said. “We missed a few open-field tackles and allowed yards after contact, which wasn’t good. Overall, a stingy defensive performance tonight.”
In total, Longview finished with a 585 to 182 yard advantage.
Longview opened the contest five-wide, a set they dialed up for the first three offensive snaps. After two completions and two dropped passes, Ross found Jones in the end zone for a 16-yard score with 8:27 left in the first quarter.
Pine Tree moved the ball on its second possession with four completions from quarterback Daniel Bonamy. The Pirates converted a fourth down near midfield before the drive stalled at the Lobo 42.
Longview took the ball and went 76 yards on seven plays with Miller moving the scoreboard to 14-0 on a nine-yard run.
Clayborn scooped up a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and one play later, the Lobos were in the end zone again on a halfback pass to Jon Sorey for a 35-yard score to push the lead to 21-0. Sorey finished with five catches for 75 yards on the night.
Pine Tree converted two third down plays on the following drive with Bonamy finding Maliq Owens for a 23-yard score, cutting into Longview’s lead, 21-6, with 10:13 until halftime.
The teams exchanged punts throughout the second quarter before Clayborn, with heavy pressure from the Lobo defensive front, stepped in front of a pass and took it 56 yards to the end zone.
After a three-and-out, Ross capped the first half with a 52-yard pass over the middle to Jordan Wyatt, sending Longview to the locker room with a 28-6 lead.
D’Crayvan Polk opened the second half with a 35-yard kickoff return and Moore followed a 28-yard run with a 17-yard score.
Clayborn then hauled in his second pick of the night, which Longview turned into six more points on Moore’s second score.
Anderson added his six-yard run with 10:14 to play and Anthony ended the night with an 85-yard run down the sidelines for the 61-6 final.
Bonamy finished with 98 passing yards for the Pirates. Owens finished with 66 total yards and Shaffer Russell tallied 68 total yards. Sophomore defensive lineman Kalvin Hutchings recovered a fumble for the Pirates, who visit Marshall next.
Longview travels to Greenville on Friday.