Longview pulls away late to beat JT

John Tyler quarterback Greg Ward looks for running room against the Longview defense on Saturday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. (Sarah A. Miller | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Longview mixed a combination of speed and power to devour John Tyler down the stretch for a 38-22 win over the Lions in the Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic finale on Saturday.

Clinging to a one-point lead (17-16) with less than nine minutes remaining, Longview bruised and cruised its way to three game-changing scoring runs.

First, Tory White rumbled 83-yards for a touchdown scamper before Deontre Wilson burst in for a 2-yard score following a JT turnover.

For the exclamation point, arguably the state’s top sprinter, senior receiver Eric Hawkins, zipped downfield for a 59-yard scoring run on a reverse as Longview suddenly stormed ahead 38-16, effectively putting the game out of reach with under three minutes to go.

Longview (2-0), ranked No. 8 in Class 5A, avenged a loss to JT last year at home. The Lobos continued their road mastery in Tyler, winning for the 12th consecutive time at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Both teams moved the ball all night, with JT edging Longview on total yards, 506-505. JT junior quarterback Greg Ward completed 27 of 36 passes for 287 yards and rushed for 61 more.

Darion Flowers played both ways for JT, finishing with a team-high 92 yards receiving and one TD. Fred Ross accounted for 140 total yards while DeVonte Haggerty produced 106 yards and the game’s final TD — a 77-yard run with the contest out of reach — while playing three different positions.

“They busted big plays,” JT head coach Dereck Rush said. “Defensively we have to line up better and tackle better. We improved from last week (against Lufkin). Turnovers and small mistakes hurt us a bit. “

Despite playing without J’Haston Faggans, a 1,000-yard rusher last year, who suffered a head injury in the opener, Longview’s ground game flourished. White wore down JT with 21 rushes for 174 yards.

Wilson added 75 yards while Hawkins finished with 156 all-purpose yards. Bivins Carraway balanced Longview’s offense with 186 yards passing.

The Lobos grabbed an early lead after Hawkins scored on an 83-yard pass early.

JT (0-2) eventually pulled ahead after Ross ripped off a 74-yard scoring run to give the Lions a short-lived 13-10 advantage.

Hawkins, an Arkansas commit, showcased the same speed on the opening score which helped him win a silver medal in the 200-meter dash at last year’s state track meet.

“I saw the wind (had) picked up and I had to drift over. I was focused on him behind me and watching the video screen,” said Hawkins, describing his TD reception. ““They say speed kills. We’ve got speedsters all over the place.”

JT answered Hawkins’ first TD right away, tying the game on Flowers’ 24-yard TD grab from Ward down the seam.

The kicking game gave Longview back the lead, and kept JT behind.

Israel Madrid made a 33-yarder early in the second quarter and JT’s Julian Varona — who later pulled JT within 17-16 with a 37-yarder early in the fourth quarter — missed from nearly the same distance with time winding down in the first half, helping Longview retain a three-point lead.

The Lions penetrated Lobo territory four times in the first half, only to fumble once and reach the end zone only once. For the game the Lions crossed midfield 12 times, but reached paydirt only three times.

“We’ve got to score in the red zone,” Rush said. “That’s the number one thing.”

Longview 38, John Tyler 22

At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium

Longview              7              3              7              21            —             38

John Tyler            7              0              6              9              —             22

First Quarter

LON—Eric Hawkins 83 pass from Bivins Carraway (Israel Madrid kick), 4:06

JT—Darion Flowers 24 pass from Greg Ward (Porfirio Benitez kick), 0:53

Second Quarter

LON—FG Madrid 33, 7:17

Third Quarter

JT—Fred Ross 74 run (kick blocked), 11:43

LON—Deontre Wilson 16 run (Madrid kick), 5:44

Fourth Quarter

JT—FG Julian Varona 37, 9:34

LON—Tory White 83 run (Madrid kick), 8:10

LON—Wilson 2 run (Madrid kick), 5:05

LON—Hawkins 59 run (Madrid kick), 2:39

JT—Devonte Haggerty 77 run (conversion failed), 1:16


                         LON            JT

First Downs          18             21

Rushes-Yards       42-319      28-214

Passing Yards       186          292

Com.-Att.-Int.       8-16-1      28-37-1

Punts-Avg.           2-37.0       4-28.5

Fumbles-Lost        3-2           2-2

Penalties-Yards     1-15         7-55


RUSHING—Longview, Tory White 21-174, Deontre Wilson 13-75, Eric Hawkins 1-59, Bivins Carraway 7-11; John Tyler, DeVonte Haggerty 3-80, Fred Ross 1-74, Greg Ward 17-61, DeQuante Woods 6-15, Team 1-(-16).

PASSING—Longview, Carraway 8-16-1—186; John Tyler, Ward 27-36-1—287; Haggerty 1-1-0—5.

RECEIVING—Longview, Hawkins 2-97, Donterius Jackson 2-51, Braden King 1-33, Scott Byrd 1-3, Colin Jeter 1-2, White 1-0; John Tyler, Ross 9-66, Darion Flowers 6-92, Justice Liggins 4-49, Haggerty 4-21, Devonte Black 2-33, Woods 2-16, Tyus Bowser 1-15.

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