LONGVIEW - Those who think there isn't much difference between a good Class 5A team and a good Class 4A team needed look no farther than Longview on Friday night. The Longview Lobos defeated the Roosevelt Mustangs, 44-20. Longview is ranked No. 5 in the Class 5A state poll, and Roosevelt is ranked eighth in 4A.
Although Roosevelt was able to mount some fairly impressive statistics in the marathon game, which lasted three hours and 30 minutes, most of the numbers came in the second half after Longview (4-0) had the situation firmly in hand.
Roosevelt quarterback Michael Dean passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns but was 11-for-37 with one interception. Roosevelt receiver Terrence Sharper had three receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.
But the game belonged to Longview.
Things started off badly for Roosevelt (2-2), the second-ranked team in The News' Class 4A area poll, and got worse from there. At the end of the first quarter, Longview had a commanding 23-7 lead. The Lobos extended that margin to 30-7 by halftime.
A large part of Longview's success was due to its offensive line, a group of juniors that averages 219 pounds. They were able to provide the running backs with gaping holes all night.
But it was the defense that started the onslaught. On the Mustangs' first play from scrimmage, Dean hit tight end Clint Thompson for a 18-yard gain but Thompson fumbled, and Longview linebacker Brian Chumley recovered at the Roosevelt 45.
From there it took Longview only one play to score as wingback Todd Dauper galloped 45 yards on a misdirection play that fooled the entire Roosevelt defense. The Lobos led, 6-0, at the 11:34 mark.
Roosevelt came back, driving 78 yards in nine plays, to take a 7-6 lead as Dean hit Kevien Ward on a 13-yard scoring pass with 8:30 left in the first quarter. It was the first and only lead Roosevelt had all game, and it didn't even last three minutes.
Longview scored three times in the final 5:41 of the first quarter. The Lobos took the lead for good as junior Andre Davis scored on a two-yard run and added the two-point conversion for a 14-7 lead at the 5:41 mark. Then, with 1:46 remaining, running back Mike Reedy scored on a 17-yard run.
That was followed by a safety at the 1:11 mark as Roosevelt punter Terrance Bennett got alow snap when he tried to punt from his own 18. The ball rolled into the end zone and Bennett kicked it out the back of the end zone before Longview could recover the loose ball.
Reedy struck again early in the second quarter, this time on a 28-yard run. Kicker Brain Payne's extra point gave Longview a 30-7 lead.
The second half was much of the same Longview defensive back Bobby Taylor started the scoring by blocking a punt and returning it 24 yards for a touchdown. Roosevelt countered with a couple of touchdown passes to Sharper and Thompson but Longview capped the scoring with a 11-yard run by Randy Floyd.