LONGVIEW - Longview's football team continued its most dominant decade of football on Friday, thanks to a first half which is among the best in the program's history.
Longview scored touchdowns on all seven of its first-half drives to build a 42-0 lead, and coasted to a 54-14 win over Natchitoches (La.) Central at Lobo Stadium. The Lobos, the top-ranked team in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll, had a 294-18 edge in yards in a first half which was so dominant, the starters left the game by the middle of the second quarter. Longview improves to 3-0, and improved its record for the decade to 86-30. Longview previously had its most successful decade in the 1980's, when the Lobos were 85-44-1. Central (0-2) has lost 12 consecutive games.
Longview needed just four plays to go 72 yards on its first drive, capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Tyler McCray.
The opening play of Longview's first drive was a 46-yard reverse pass from LaDarrin Robertson to Carey Fortson. The play was designed by Daniel Mancha (age eight) a contest winner in a drawing at Longview's kickoff supper last month.
Central threatened to score on its first drive, but a 41-yard field-goal attempt by Luc Swimberghe was wide right. Longview countered with a 76-yard drive, with McCray bursting up the middle for a 48-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-two play to help give Longview a 14-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first quarter.
The game was delayed for 56 minutes with 1:20 left in the first quarter because of lightning, just after Longview's Thomas Jones recovered a fumble by Central quarterback Chris Mitchell at the Central 41-yard line. This set up 21-yard screen pass for a touchdown from Rayshone McGee to Keylon Shaw with 9:59 left in the second quarter.
Central's next drive ended with an interception by Addison McGee — his third interception in as many games — at the Central 41-yard line, which set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Shaw, in which he broke three tackles. Longview's LaDarius Brooks ended Central's next drive with an interception with 6:09 left in the second quarter.
Dakota Anthony helped give Longview a 35-0 lead with a 24-yard touchdown run. Anthony added a 12-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left to give Longview a 42-0 halftime lead. Anthony led all players with 82 yards rushing on 14 carries.
McCray had 79 yards rushing on four carries, while quarterback Aaron Johnson had 56 total yards in limited action.
Longview extended its touchdown-drive streak to eight drives, capping its first second-half drive on a 17-yard touchdown run by Blaine Tomlinson. Tomlinson had 92 total yards in the second half. Montario Harris concluded Longview's scoring with a one-yard touchdown run with 10:17 remaining to give Longview a 54-0 lead. Logan Washington added a fumble recovery for the Lobos.
Central scored all 14 of its points in the fourth quarter, playing its starters against Longview's third string. Central receiver Kendrick Aaron led all players with four catches for 72 yards, 74 yards in the second half.
Longview hits the road to play at long-time rival Lufkin next Friday.