ENNIS - Longview used a big first half for the second week in a row as the Lobos extended their unbeaten streak to 12 straight with a dominating 44-14 win over Jesuit on Saturday night at Lion Memorial Stadium.
For the second time this season, weather delayed the game as severe lightning sent both teams to the dressing room at the end of the first quarter. Play was held up for 46 minutes. Rain had begun to fall early in the opening frame.
Longview advances to a Class 5A Division II regional semifinal this Saturday against longtime rival Lufkin. That game is set for Homer Bryce Stadium on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
The Lobos ground out 513 yards, with Vondrell McGee rushing for 195 on 11 carries. He scored three times to push his season total to 25. Chris Ivory carried four times for 83 yards and a touchdown, and Kris Thomas rushed for 117 in a backup role. Nine players carried the ball for Longview.
Defensively, the Lobos limited Jesuit's Kyle McKissack to 97 yards on 22 carries, the first time all season he finished under 100. The senior came into the game having rushed for over 2,000 yards. He also fumbled four times, losing three.
Longview opened with a bang, taking advantage of two Jesuit fumbles to grab a 23-7 lead after one quarter of play.
McGee scored on the Lobos' second play from scrimmage, rumbling in from 17 yards after the Rangers had fumbled on their first play of the game.
However, Jesuit used a bit of trickery on its next possession. After a short kickoff, the Rangers faced fourth-and-one from the Lobo 43. They faked the punt with Zach Packard taking the snap and racing untouched into the end zone to tie the game.
Longview came right back with a two-play, 73-yard drive as Ivory took the handoff and headed down the left sideline as the Lobos took a 14-7 lead.
This time, Willie Cloyd came in to kick and booted it through the end zone for the touchback. Longview defense then forced a Jesuit punt, and the Lobos marched 54 yards in six plays that resulted in a 24-yard field goal by Cloyd.
Carlin Freeman connected with Malcolm Kelly on the first two plays of the drive for 14 and 33 yards.
Both teams traded punts, with Jesuit getting a 54-yard boot from Sal Rallo and Cloyd booting a season-best 66-yarder.
The Lobos tacked on their touchdown of the quarter as they forced another Jesuit fumble, taking over at the Ranger 16. Freeman then called his own number and carried the final two yards for the score.
Cloyd's point-after try was blocked, but the Lobo lead was extended to 23-7 with 28.7 seconds showing on the game clock.
Once play resumed in the second quarter, the Lobos put up 14 more points for a commanding 37-7 halftime advantage. McGee scored his second touchdown from 2 yards, and Arthur Jackson added an 11-yard scoring run.