LONGVIEW - Call it defense with a capital D.
If Longview's defense started to gel last week against Dallas Carter, it may have begun to solidify in a 10-3 win Friday over Tyler Lee in both team's District 13-5A opener at Lobo Stadium.
The Mean GReen definitely had the hard hats on as they limited the Red Raiders to 113 yards total offense. They also held the opponents to only six first downs.
Tyler Lee could only muster 56 yards rushing and 57 passing. The biggest gain of the night was a 22-yard pass in the second quarter.
Longview garnered 210 yards of total offense.
"They're improving and that's been the key to what we've been trying to do since the Kilgore game," said Lobo defensive coordinator Robert Bero. "We're getting better, we're not where we need to be, but we're doing a whole lot better."
A 17-yard pass from quarterback Shawn Lawson to tight end Mike Tidwell proved to be all the scoring the Lobos would need. Lawson, who replaced starter Mike Bobo, connected with Tidwell on a third-and-goal play with 3:02 left in the first quarter.
Bobo, who suffered a strained knee against Carter, did make an appearance for three plays as the game ended. Quarterback coach Steve Gaddis said Bobo could have played, going at 90 percent, but the coaching staff decided to hold him out.
The Longview scoring drive went 46 yards in seven plays on their second possession of the game. In the previous three games, the Lobos had scored on its initial possession.
The Lobos increased the score to 10-0 when Steve Allgood hit his third field goal of the season, a 37-yarder with 7:23 to play before halftime.
Tyler Lee got on the scoreboard with a field goal at the 2:23 mark of the second quarter. Chris Renner punched across a 28-yarder.
The rest of the game was defense. Offensively, Longview hurt its own chances to further the score as it committed three turnovers.
"I thought we really played well. The fumble I think really killed us, we could have scored some more points and I'd have really felt good about our offense and our defense. Boy, we just shot ourself in the foot," said Lobo head coach Doug Cox.
The lack of point production, however, did not stop Longview tailback Carl Johnson, who topped the first 100-yard game for the Lobos this season. He carried the ball 19 times for 120 yards.
But, if Longview perhaps shot itself in the foot on offense, strong safety Joe Brookins did a little-trigger shooting of his own with two big sacks for 10 yards. The second forcing Lee into a third-and-12 play at the Lobos' 46 on its final drive of the game, and the first with the Red Raiders at Longview's seven-yard line facing third-and-goal.
The latter eventually led to Lee's only points of the contest.
"Our four down guys, we told them at the beginning of the fourth quarter that we weren't going to do a lot of stunting with our linebackers and we were going to have to win it with our pass rushing out of our four down guys. And they responded to it," Bero said.
"We just really haven't gone out and beat Tyler Lee, we've had to stop them defensively," explained Brookins.
The Lobo defense also got a 40-yard interception return by weak safety Fred Thompson.
Longview, 3-1, 1-0 in district, travels to Texarkana next Friday to face Texas High.