LONGVIEW - Allowing 21 points in a game is usually above-average at best for a football team's defense. It's what Longview's defense gave up on Friday, but considering the offense the Lobos faced, the effort was more solid than average.
Longview kept a normally high-flying offense in check for a 38-21 victory before 7,000 spectators at Lobo Stadium. Longview (5-1, 1-0) successfully opened District 12-5A play and won its fifth consecutive game.
The Lobos held North Mesquite to its lowest point total of this season.
North Mesquite (2-4, 0-1) did have 348 yards of offense, but 116 came in its last two drives, when the game had been decided.
Longview started to put the game away when Mark Johnson scampered 28 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 left in the third quarter, giving Longview a 24-14 lead. The Lobos practically finished the job early in the fourth quarter, when a 31-yard pass from Damion Lewis to David Larsen set up a one-yard touchdown plunge by Johnny Garrett.
Lewis accounted for 285 total yards of offense, but the Longview attack was balanced, with 219 yards passing, 216 yards rushing.
North Mesquite quarterback Blair Johnson passed for 205 yards, but after coming into the game with an 83.8 completion percentage, he was 18-for-35 on Friday for a 50 percent clip. Blair Johnson did more damage with his feet, rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
North Mesquite's Big 12-bound duo of receivers was held in check. Daymond Patterson, who has committed to Kansas, had five receptions for 61 yards.
Lanear Sampson, committed to Baylor, had three receptions for eight yards. Patterson showed why the Jayhawks want him in putting the Stallions on the scoreboard first. Using speed and elusiveness that made two tacklers miss, Patterson went 43 yards on a pass from Blair Johnson to give the Stallions a 6-0 lead, as the extra-point attempt by Trey McLaughlin was low and to the left.
Longview struck back two plays later, as Lewis found Travrus Brown wide open for a 73-yard touchdown pass. An extra point by Zach Decker gave Longview a 7-6 lead with 7:24 left in the first quarter.
Garrett had 54 yards of his team-high 78 yards rushing in the first half, but 52 came off a pitch that went for a touchdown with 9:32 left in the second quarter. Garrett used a fake move to run untouched by North Mesquite's safety.
North Mesquite's forte is passing, but the Stallions rushed for 60 yards on the ensuing drive. The drive was capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Blair Johnson with 5:47 left in the second, followed by a two-point conversion run by Blair Johnson to tie the game at 14-14. North Mesquite running back Chris Sprat rushed for 63 yards in the first half and finished with 77 yards.
Decker missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 1:29 left in the second. But, after the Longview defense held and a 19-yard pass from Lewis to Brown, Decker redeemed himself with a 46-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving Longview a 17-14 halftime lead.
Longview had seven tackles for losses in the game. Living up to a promise he made this week, in which he said he would get an interception soon, Longview cornerback Dontray Nelson had an interception in the third quarter.
Longview will host Tyler Lee (3-3, 1-0) next Friday at Lobo Stadium.