LONGVIEW - Jerrel Williams turned in a career performance on Green Out night Friday at Lobo Stadium. With nearly three-quarters of the 10,000-plus spectators decked out in Lobo Green, the junior tailback was a blur to visiting John Tyler en route to rushing for 202 yards and three touchdown as Longview posted a 28-7 win in the District 11-5A opener for both teams.
Williams highlight run was a 53-yarder in the fourth quarter, coming one play after JT had avoided the shutout. He had just 14 carries in the game.
Longview, ranked No. 5 in the state in Class 5A in this weeks Associated Press poll, improved to 5-0. It was also the Lobos 10th consecutive win at home. The Lions, who had won three straight after losing their opener, fell to 3-2.
The Lobos put up 14 points in the first half, despite fumbling away the opening kickoff. Williams scored on 10-yard run and Joel Armstrong, returning to the starting lineup after sitting out last week's ballgame, posted his sixth rushing touchdown on an option bootleg from eight yards out. Williams second touchdown came on a short 3-yard carry, after he'd run 71 yards. His 53-yarder early in the fourth quarter clinched the victory.
Longview's defense, meanwhile, forced a couple of key turnovers and held the Lions twice in goal line situations.
A goal line stand right before the end of the first half enabled the Lobos to hold onto a two-touchdown lead. The Lions had third-and-goal from the 1 after driving 85 yards in 12 plays. But on the 13th play, Longview's Anthony Perry broke through the line to jar the ball loose from JT quarterback Antoine Bush, which was recovered by Keaton Daniels.
"That was the turnaround of the whole ballgame ... what we were able to accomplish at the goal line," said Lobo coach Pat Collins. " I think we can credit that to Anthony Perry who had a furious blow down inside where we had him lined up on the center. He knocked him (center) back into the quarterback which caused the fumble."
"Great defensive adjustment. Great call down there on the goal line. I'm really proud of that. But, great calls were made on both sides of this field. I thought they (John Tyler) did a wonderful job. They're a good football team. Great running backs ... it's a lot harder to tackle those guys then it looks like. I thought we had people in position to make plays."
The end result came despite an ominous beginning where Longview fumbled away the opening kickoff. However, safety Keaton Daniels picked off a Bush pass on second down for JT and returned it 31 yards to the Lion 40.
On the Lobos first offensive snap, Armstrong hit Tate Casey for a 26-yard pick up to the JT 14. Two plays later, Armstrong pitched to Williams who scampered untouched into the end zone from 10 yards out. Alex Cammack added the point-after and the Lobos led 7-0 with 10:35 showing on the clock.
Both teams then traded punts before JT pinned Longview deep in its own territory, downing Lamarcus Britton's 40-yard boot at the 5.
The Lobos then went on a season-best 95-yard drive in 14 plays, alternating a ground attack with Williams and fullback Fred Hawkins, while also mixing in a couple of carries by Chris Jones. Twice, Longview converted on short-yardage third down plays, and Armstrong and Casey hooked up for a 30-yard gain from the 47 to the JT 17.
John Tyler briefly stuffed Hawkins for a 2-yard loss, but Williams came back for a 11-yard gain, setting up a third-and-one at the 8. Armstrong then rolled right, faked the pitch and turned upfield into the end zone. Cammack's extra point pushed Longview s lead to 14-0 with 10:51 remaining before halftime.
The two defenses then forced a couple of punts, with John Tyler getting the ball at their own 14-yard line with 1:17 to play.
The Lions marched all the way to the Lobo 1, facing a third-and-goal. However, Perry came crashing through to force Bush's fumble and Daniels fell on the loose ball. Armstrong then ran a quarterback sneak to the 3 as the Longview ran out the first half.
Longview pushed the score to 21-0 on its first possession of the second half. Williams 71-yard romp advanced the ball from the Lobo 25 to the JT 4. After a short gain by Hawkins, Williams strolled into the end zone on second-and-goal from the 3.
The Lions then got their best run of the night as Cedric Mauldin returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards before being run down by Longview's Keith Johnson, who saved the potential touchdown with a tackle at the 4. John Tyler reached the one-yard line on first down, but Brandon Templeton sacked Bush back at the 6 for a loss. Two straight incomplete passes turned the ball over the Lobos on downs.
John Tyler ended the drought with 9:31 remaining in the fourth quarter as Bush and Javan Cole hooked for a 30-yard scoring pass.
But Williams answered on the Lobos next offensive series, romping through the Lion defense for 53 yards. It came after Damon Johnson had recovered an attempted onside kick at the Longview 47.