LONGVIEW - Longview's defense looked like it was ready for the playoffs on Friday. The offense looked like it needed some fine tuning.
Still, a superior effort by the defense, led by cornerback Chris Lacy, and a good enough effort by the offense led to a 30-9 win over Mesquite Horn before 6,000 spectators at Lobo Stadium.
The win gives Longview (8-2, 5-0) sole possession of the District 12-5A title, and extends a streak of 17 consecutive district wins into 2007. Longview was also 5-0 at Lobo Stadium this year, sparking a celebration of Lobo players, band members, cheerleaders, Viewettes and other students on the Lobo Stadium turf, many yelling out "07!" as in this year's senior class. Longview will play a Class 5A Division II bi-district playoff next Saturday against Dallas Bryan Adams at Mesquite's Hanby Stadium at 6 p.m.
"Keeping the district and home-field streak going, that was on our mind," Longview quarterback D'Marcus Miles said. "It's big that we didn't lose on this field this year."
The party got started with 10:09 left in third quarter when Lacy returned a Demarcus Smith pass 36 yards for a touchdown to help give Longview a 21-6 lead. The defense scored again with 6:00 left in the third quarter, when lineman Gavin Esters tackled Chuck Oputa in the end zone for a safety, the second in the game for the Lobos.
Lacy struck again when Horn muffed a punt as he pounced on it at the Horn 16-yard line. Miles snuck in from one yard after Lacy's fumble recovery with 2:17 left in the third quarter to give Longview a 30-6 lead.
Lacy would add a second interception later in the third quarter, borrowing a baseball trick.
"I saw their coach's signals. He called the play back-to-back, and that helped me make the interception," Lacy said. "Our defense played pretty good, but we need to work on covering our short routes."
Smith had 134 yards passing, but Horn (1-9, 0-5) concludes its season with the worst overall record in school history, tying the 2004 team.
Longview's defense played considerably better than the offense in the first half. On Longview's opening drive, Horn cornerback Martin Uwah intercepted a Miles pass and returned it to the Horn 2-yard line. Two plays later however, linebacker Antajun Guinn tackled Oputa in the end zone to give Longview a safety with 7:24 left in the first quarter.
An interception and 26-yard return by Roderick Williams set up Longview's first touchdown of the game, a 28-yard pass from Miles to Frankey Nelson with 2:46 left in the opening frame. Zach Decker's extra-point attempt was wide right, leaving Longview with a 8-0 lead.
Horn linebacker Clayton Stormer recovered a Miles fumble with 11:16 left in the second quarter. This set up a 56-yard drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Bruce Hatton on a fourth-and-goal play with 9:10 left. Guinn broke up a Smith pass on a two-point conversion to keep Longview ahead.
Longview countered with a 56-yard touchdown run by Jazmon Moon three plays later, but placekicker Nick Tilley's extra-point attempt was wide left, leaving the Lobos with a 14-6 halftime lead. Moon rushed for 94 yards on just eight carries.
Dontray Nelson also had an interception for Longview in the first half, but the Lobos had four turnovers in the half and six for the game, including four lost fumbles. Horn had an 14-12 edge in first downs.
There was a heavy wind blowing to the east throughout the game.
"I don't want to make excuses, but the wind was a factor on the passes," Miles said. "We have been working on strip drills in practice, helping us to keep from fumbling. We need to work on the fumbles for the playoffs."