LONGVIEW - Carlin Freeman threw for a pair of second-half touchdowns as Longview scored 25 points over the final two quarters to hand Mesquite a 35-7 defeat on “Green Out” night Friday at Lobo Stadium.
With the offense struggling in the first half, despite the Lobos holding a 10-7 advantage, they picked it up with passing scores to Malcolm Kelly and Adrian Reese, plus a rushing score by Vondrell McGee. The victory improved Longview to 5-0 - the third straight year the team has opened the season with five consecutive wins - and more importantly gave them a 1-0 mark to start District 12-5A play.
Mesquite fell to 0-5, the first time the Skeeters have gone winless to start the year since 1976.
Longview also got a pair of field goals from Willie Cloyd - his fourth and fifth of the season - and Cartez Beall returned an interception for a touchdown.
Freeman was just 6-18 passing, but finished with 111 yards and two TDs. However, the junior rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries. McGee went over 100 yards for the fourth time in five games with 102 on 20 carries, plus tallied his ninth TD of the season.
Kelly was the receiving end of three passes for 40 yards. The senior wide receiver and Freeman didn’t connect until 3:34 mark of the third quarter as Kelly hauled in a 16-yard toss on third-and-seven. Freeman threw in Kelly’s direction 12 times.
However, Longview lost tight end Gordon Freeman - Carlin Freeman’s older brother - to a knee injury in the first half. He was on crutches throughout the second half.
It was Cloyd’s 24-yard field goal that started the second half scoring. A Mesquite fumble on fourth-and-one from its own 35 was recovered by Tony Johnson. Longview had first-and-goal from the Skeeter 7, but couldn’t punch it in as Cloyd came on to converted his second field goal of the game for a 13-7 Lobo advantage.
One series later, Carlin Freeman picked up 21 yards and McGee then broke one before being tackled at the 30 following a 31-yard run. Four plays later, Freeman and Kelly connected for the score.
The Lobos then went for the two-point conversion as Freeman found Reese in nearly the same spot in the end zone he’s completed his TD pass to Kelly.
With five seconds to play in the third quarter, McGee took a pitch from Carlin Freeman and covered nearly 10 yards to turf before busting into the end zone on a 1-yard carry. He initially fumbled the ball, but it bounced right back into his arms as he slipped through a couple of Mesquite defenders with 6:34 left to play.
The Lobo defense forced the ball over on downs on its subsequent series, and after Carlin Freeman ran 10 yards to midfield, he lofted a strike to Reese who caught it in stride for his second touchdown of the year.
The Lobos’ second defense touchdown of the season - Beall’s interception - and Cloyd’s 27-yard field goal were the difference for the Lobos in the first half.
Mesquite had taken its first possession and marched 50 yards in seven plays to grab a quick 7-0 lead. Stephen Harper scored from 1-yard out with 7:31 showing in the opening quarter of play.
Longview took the ensuing kickoff and took nearly 51/2 minutes off the clock. Carlin Freeman connected with Kelly for a first down on a 13-yard pass play, then called his own number on a bootleg and ran for 30 yards down the right sideline before being caught from behind.
The drive reached a first-and10 at the 11, and after an 8-yard gain by McGee was at the three-yard line. An offsides call on Mesquite, along with a costly 15-yard penalty on the Lobo moved the ball back to the 16. Carlin Freeman and Gordon Freeman connected for a completion to the 1, but McGee was thrown for a 3-yard loss.
That brought in Cloyd, who converted his fourth field goal of the season.
Mesquite on its next possession faced fourth-and-five at its own 42. Attempting a fake punt, Leo Ortiz had Beall stepped in front of his attempted pass and run it back for the defense’s second TD of the season.
Despite three turnovers by the Skeeters - two interceptions and a fumble - Longview struggled on offense. Kelly had just two receptions, while Carlin Freeman was 3 of 12 for 39 yards. Freeman was also the leading rusher in the first half with 39 yards on three carries.
Longview travels next week to Mesquite to face the Horn Jaguars. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Kickoff at Hanby Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.