LONGVIEW - Longview turned to its running game, and in particular senior running back Jerrel Williams, as they cruised past Monroe Neville here Friday night, 35-12.
The Lobos, making their 2003 home debut at Lobo Stadium, finished with 335 yards on the ground, led by Williams who rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. Fullback Chris Jones added 85 yards on eight carries, quarterback Quincy Grant picked up 34 on eight totes, and Vondrell McGee came off the bench to also carry the ball eight times and gain 53 yards.
Grant also completed 6 of 17 passes for 138 yards and one TD. Malcolm Kelly caught four passes for 103 yards and one score.
Longview, now 2-0 on the season, won’t be home again until Oct. 10. They play their next two on road against Lake Highlands (Sept. 12) and Evangel Christian Academy (Sept. 20) in Shreveport’s Independence Bowl. They then have an open date before opening district play on Oct. 3 at John Tyler.
“We made some big plays when we needed to,” said Lobo head coach Pat Collins, who otherwise felt his ballclub played flat. “We took advantage of some mistakes. We just did what we had to go, and that went a long ways when we still not play a very good football game.
“There’s no such thing as an ugly win. I’ve got to find a way to punch the button and get them excited. I’m not going to fault our football team, I’ve just got to do a better job of preparing them.”
Longview held Neville to 275 yards total offense. The Tigers also had just 12 first downs. The Lobos had built a 21-0 lead before the visitors got onto the scoreboard.
Williams, who had just 39 yards in last week’s season opener, scored on a pair of 1-yard runs — once each in the second and third quarters — and then closed out the scoring with a 10-yard scoring dash in the final frame. His longest gain went for 43 yards early in the third quarter, giving Longview a first-and-goal at the two. After a Neville penalty, he scored from the one as the Lobos built their three-touchdown advantage.
Neville scored its first points on a 60-yard run by Tony White down the left sideline with 7:04 to play in the third frame. Longview’s Roderick Allen came through the line to block the extra point and Frank Brocato recovered it.
Jones then scored his second touchdown of the season, breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage and outrunning Neville’s defense for a 38-yard scoring play with 18 seconds left in the quarter. Williams tallied his third TD at the 9:57 mark of the fourth quarter after the Tigers turned the ball over on downs at their own 42.
Ryan Howard converted all five extra point attempts.
Neville scored with 8:37 remaining as White scored on a 21-yard run. He finished the game with 118 yards on 15 carries. The Tigers’ try for two failed when Longview’s Robert Henson tackled White in the backfield.
Two big pass plays were the difference in the first half as Grant went to the air, connecting with Kelly for a 57-yard touchdown and then hitting Rogers Taylor for a 29-yard completion that set up Williams 1-yard TD run.
Other than than two plays, the Lobos looked lethargic against an inspired Neville ballclub. The Tigers started one drive at the Longview 34, and then had the ball inside the red zone late in the second quarter before a costly fumble that kept the goose egg on the scoreboard.
The Lobos got their offense going on their second possession, marching 80 yards in five plays. The big play being Grant’s completion down the left sideline to Kelly who had gotten behind the Neville secondary for a 57-yard touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, after Longview had put together a good defensive stand, the Lobos took over at their own 42. Williams picked up 30 yards on three carries, and on second-and-15 from the Tiger 30, Grant went up top to Rogers who was knocked out of bounds at the one.
Williams then quick-stepped into the end zone for a 14-0 Lobo lead with 6:51 showing before halftime. Williams had 71 yards in the first half on 11 carries, and Grant was 3 of 10 for 95 yards passing.