TYLER - Longview's football team sent a powerful message to the Class 4A Division I playoff field on Friday, and it was almost a record-setting message.
The Lobos stormed past Jacksonville, 61-14, in a bi-district playoff. Longview's offense was unstoppable, going for 558 yards, 461 yards rushing.
Longview had its point total for a game this season and its second-highest point total in school history for a playoff game. The Lobos had a shot at the record set in a 68-0 win over Dallas Bryan Adams in a Class 5A bi-district playoff in 2006, but the Lobos knelt on the ball after reaching the Jacksonville one-yard line in the final minute.
Longview (9-2), ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll, advances to an area playoff against Lancaster (7-4), which defeated Waco on Friday, 26-7. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in Dallas at Kincaide Stadium.
Longview dominated from the start and especially in the first quarter, starting with the second play from scrimmage when Lamarcus Howard returned a Kyle Stacy pass 21 yards for a touchdown.
Longview also had excellent field position for its second touchdown when a punt attempt by Stacy hit a Jacksonville blocker and Jeremiah Farley recovered the loose ball at the Jacksonville 26-yard line. This set up a five-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Oliver with 5:56 left in the first quarter.
A strong west wind knocked a Stacy punt down at the Jacksonville 40-yard line on the Indians' third possession. This set up a 35-yard pass from Aaron Johnson to Carey Fortson, which was followed by a two-yard touchdown run by Oliver to give Longview a 20-0 lead with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
Jacksonville did not cross the 50-yard line until there was 34 seconds left in the first, during the Tribe's highlight of the first half. Ryan Black found Chris Williams for a 24-yard touchdown pass to cut Longview lead to 20-7 with 9:36 left in the second. The touchdown capped an 80-yard drive, including six carries for 39 yards by Kendrick Hatton, who had 69 yards rushing in the first half. Hatton led Jacksonville with 91 yards rushing.
Longview responded with its own 80-yard touchdown drive, ending with Oliver's third touchdown of the half on a six-yard pass from Johnson. Oliver had 51 yards rushing on five carries.
Farley recovered a Black fumble at the Longview 26-yard line with 1:00 left in the first half, to set up the most spectacular play of the game.
On the final play of the first half, Johnson scrambled to avoid a pass rush, then eventually made four cutbacks downfield as part of a 48-yard touchdown run as time expired, giving Longview a 34-7 halftime lead. Johnson had 161 total yards of offense in the first half, 166 yards in the game.
Longview running back Tyler McCray got the bulk of his 96 rushing yards on the opening drive of the third quarter, gaining 75 yards in three carries including a 28-yard touchdown run with 10:27 left in the third quarter. Most of Longview's first-string players were removed from the game after that play.
Reserve running back Da'Cedric Hunt was Longview's top rusher, going for 179 yards on nine carries in the second half, including touchdown runs of 48 and 87 yards. The Lobos did not attempt a punt.
Longview's defense had seven tackles for losses, including two by Chris Knighton, who also forced a fumble. Jovorious Brown had two fumble recoveries for the Lobos..