LONGVIEW - Now you see it, now you don't. That about summed up Longview's offensive barrage Friday night at Lobo Stadium as the Lobos erupted for four touchdowns on their first five possessions en route to a 33-9 whipping of Fort Worth Paschal.
A stunned Panther defense watched helplessly as the Lobos punched out drives of 80, 62, 68 and 20 yards in the first two quarters and got to within a foot of the goal line on their only other first half drive.
"The kids had their heads on straight tonight," said an elated Lobo head coach Doug Cox after watching his team dismantle Paschal's defense for 424 yards of total offense. "From everything I heard, I expected Paschal to be better than they were. I just hope we can execute like this against a strong team."
It was a year ago that wingback Donnie Centers first displayed his ability with three receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns to aid Longview's 21-0 win over the Panthers. And the blue chipper came alive again this time with 86 yards on six carries, including touchdown bursts of 35 and 28 yards in the first half, and added two receptions for 42 yards to his worksheet.
Centers was not the lone standout of the game, however, as tailback Fred Hunter compiled 106 yards on 12 carries, highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown scamper. Also providing fuel to the fire was junior tailback O'Neal Jackson, who churned out 63 yards on 16 carries and blasted over from 7 and 4 yards out.
In all, Longview racked up 342 yards rushing, 230 of which came in the first half alone.
Unlike last week's win over seventh-ranked Fort Worth Eastern Hills, a 14-7 mistake-filled defensive struggle, Longview had little trouble putting the ball in the end zone - and quickly. Three of the Lobo scoring drives lasted four plays or less.
On the other side of the line, Longview's defense held the Panthers in limbo most of the time. On their first three possessions, Paschal managed just seven yards total offense. Their only score of the first half, a 29-yard field goal, came after junior quarterback Trey McNeil completed back-to-back passes of 25 and 19 yards. Paschal's only touchdown, in the fourth quarter, was the result of a five-play drive following a fumble recovery at the Lobo 39.
When Longview didn't keep a drive alive, twice the entire night, junior punter Wes McWhorter was on hand to make certain Paschal didn't get good field position. McWhorter booted punts of 46 yards from Longview's 34 and of 66 yards from his own end zone for a 56-yard norm.
Defensively, linebackers Eddie Barba and Pat Collier made their presence known, with several key tackles, including a quarterback sack by Barba and a deflected pass by Collier. Also getting to the Panther quarterback was tackle Will Pegues while John Northcutt and Norton Ward recovered fumbles for Longview.
The victory marked the second straight week Longview's defense held its opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
The Lobos, 2-0, make their first road trip next Friday to Abilene against Abilene High and open district play on Sept. 24 at Tyler Lee.