LONGVIEW - It was a Moon over Marshall on Friday. More precisely, it was Longview running back Jazmon Moon ruling over Mavericks, by running away from them, although the Mavericks nearly caught the Lobos at the end.
Moon rushed for 272 yards and four touchdown runs, including scoring scampers of 85 and 83 yards, and the Lobos held on for a 38-35 win over Marshall before 10,000 spectators at Lobo Stadium. It is the sixth straight win for Longview (1-1) over Marshall, in a series that dates back to 1909.
Moon's 83-yard run on a burst up the middle with 8:06 left in the third quarter gave Longview a 28-14 lead and the Lobos would hold a double-digit lead. The Lobos would stretch it to as many as 17, 38-21.
Marshall closed within 10 points with 4:32 remaining on a 2-yard sneak for a touchdown by Marshall quarterback Derrick Sneed.
Matthew McCathran then recovered an ensuing onside kick, and Marshall drove for a 3-yard touchdown by Andrew Clough with 2:54 left to close within three, 38-35. On the next onside kick, however, Rigo Casas' kick went out of bounds and Longview ran out the clock, fittingly with a nine-yard by Moon sealing the deal.
Moon said offseason work gave him the speed on Friday and his offensive line gave him the holes to run through.
"The hills we did in the offseason, the sleds, the 40-yard dashes, they worked," Moon said. "The o-line did the job. Gordon Booker ... I love that boy. Ricardo Buchanan, Chris Knighton, Mark Johnson, they did the work."
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Marshall quarterback Y.A. Tittle attended Friday's game, but even Tittle had few games that matched what the Marshall offense did in defeat.
Marshall (1-1) had 500 yards in offense, including three players that rushed for over 100 yards: Clough (122 yards), Derrick Sneed (107) and Darius Jones (103). Sneed, who did not rotate with Jones at quarterback unlike last week against Shreveport (La.) Huntington, had 234 total yards of offense. Marshall had 23 first downs to 11 for the Lobos.
Unfortunately for the Mavericks, what doomed them was five fumbles, losing four. Longview's Brandon Pegues made a key recovery of a muffed punt by Jermiah Fisher, which led to a 33-yard touchdown pass from D'Marcus Miles to Johnson with 9:00 left, giving Longview a 38-21 lead.
"I'm not happy that we lost, but I'm pleased with our performance," Marshall coach Rodney Southern said. "We took a huge step today."
Thanks to a bad snap and a 13-yard punt by Sneed, Longview got the ball at the Marshall 24-yard line on its second drive, setting up an 8-yard touchdown run by Moon with 6:20 left in the first half. On the next play, however, Marshall's Lamar Green broke three tackles in returning a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Longview struck back on its next drive, moving 80 yards in four plays, capped by a 32-yard touchdown run by Moon.
Marshall drove inside Longview 30-yard line four times in the second quarter, but failed to score. Casas missed field goal attempts of 35 and 29 yards.
Two other times, Marshall fumbled the ball away. The first was when Phillip Rudd forced a Clough fumble. On the next play, Moon burst through a big hole 85 yards for a touchdown, helping give Longview a 21-7 lead with 5:18 left in the first half.
The Lobos play host to Monroe (La.) Ouachita next Friday.