Rivals Robert E. Lee, Longview meet in key 11-6A matchup

Robert E. Lee wide receiver Kiave Glover-Davis (10) leaps into the air to make a catch last week against Rockwall-Heath at Rockwall's Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium. The Red Raiders face longtime rival Longview on Friday. (Lang White / Correspondent)

The old rival returns to Tyler on Friday and Robert E. Lee hopes to exorcise over a decade of demons.

The District 11-6A clash between REL (2-2, 0-1) and Longview (3-1, 1-0) is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

The last time these two faced off was Halloween 2014 at Lobo Stadium, which turned into a house of horrors for REL, which suffered its worst loss ever, 63-7.

The Red Raiders haven't defeated the Lobos since 2003.

This newest renewal of acquaintances will enjoy the backdrop of the East Texas State Fair.

Lee head coach Clayton George is aiming for the Red Raiders to win the big stuffed teddy bear at the end of this and even their district record.

"We need to play four quarters in all phases," said George, who is in his first season at Lee. "In the last two games, we have had too many self-inflicted wounds that keep stopping drives on offense.

"Our job on offense is score more points than the other team and we haven't been doing that the last two weeks."

Lee had four turnovers last week in its 34-7 loss to Rockwall-Heath, one of those at the goal line preventing a potential touchdown and the other at its own 20, which led to a TD against the Red Raiders.

REL also missed a field goal, averaged 33 yards per punt on three attempts and did not register a punt return for the second game in a row despite having six opportunities in those games.

Defensively, REL surrendered 317 yards rushing and three touchdowns - the second straight game for Lee to allow 200 or more yards on the ground after giving up a combined 90 yards in its first two games.

Next up is a Longview offense that sports two backs (Kendrevian White/D'Crayvan Polk) who've combined for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns by themselves. Longview has surpassed 300 yards rushing as a team in all four of its games this season and has racked up 1,254 total yards, averaging 7.1 per attempt.

At quarterback for the Lobos is Gaylon Wiley, who has passed for 488 yards and six TDs thus far.

Last week against Mesquite Horn, the Lobos held the ball for nearly the entire first quarter on an 18-play drive. The Red Raiders have been successful at getting opponents off the field on third down (opponents convert 9 for 45) and will need to be as successful to keep the Lobos' clock-churning ground game in check.

Prior to the first of three first-half turnovers, the Red Raiders were in control at Rockwall-Heath, leading 7-0 and it could've been more if not for the fumble at the goal line and missed field goal. The second and third miscues turned things in Heath's favor and the Red Raiders couldn't get the momentum back.

Lee wants to start fast against the Lobos and has the playmaker to accomplish that in junior quarterback Chance Amie, who leads the Red Raiders in rushing (73-555, six TDs) to go along with completing 33 of 61 passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns.

He faces a Longview defense surrendering 141 yards rushing per game and 23 points per contest.

George has prepared the Red Raiders all season for the district slate and understands and appreciates Longview's program and tradition, but now he wants his team to take some shine off of that with a victory and end the winless drought against their rival.

"They are the kind of program that we are striving to achieve here," George said. "Coach John King and his staff do a great job and have built a tradition (where they simply reload each season).

"If we do our job on defense, take care of what we need to do on offense, don't turn the ball over and be solid in the kicking game, we have a chance to be successful."

TWITTER: @CParryETFS

 

Longview Lobos at Robert E. Lee Red Raiders

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium

Radio: ESPN East Texas 92.1-FM, Tyler

Records: Longview 3-1 (1-0 in District 11-6A); Robert E. Lee 2-2 (0-1 in District 11-6A)

Last Week's Results: Longview 47, Mesquite Horn 7; Rockwall-Heath 34, Robert E. Lee 7

Last Year: Did not play

All-Time Series: Lobos lead 40-14-2

Players to Watch: Longview - RB Kendrevian White, RB D'Crayvan Polk, S Traveion Webster, LB Ja'Quavian Faggans. Lee - WR/LB Rhett Parker, RB Donerick McCray, DL Nathan Niedrauer, CB Marquis Gray

Quick Slant: Historically this is a slam dunk for the visitors. Robert E. Lee has not defeated Longview in 13 years and their past two meetings (2013, 2014) were runaway victories for the Lobos (52-6, 63-7). The good news for REL is the majority of players on the roster did not play in those games. Lee coach Clayton George has instilled a purpose of each week focusing solely on what REL needs to do and not concentrating on the opponent's record, tradition or historical success against REL before he arrived. The Lobos love to run the football on offense and force turnovers on defense, two things REL struggled with last week in their district-opening loss to Rockwall-Heath. The Red Raiders allowed a season-high 317 yards rushing and turned it over four times. Longview experienced its own turnover woes last week in a win over Mesquite Horn with four second-half turnovers turning what had been a comfortable evening into an eventual 10-point win.

Quotable: "This will be my kind of game; I like getting down and dirty. Longview is old-school smash mouth. It's going to be tough. I think read that three out of five guys are 300 pounds on their O-line. It's just about doing your job every play. You have to fit your gap." - REL junior DL Nathan Niedrauer

Stadium Address: 700 Fair Park Drive, Tyler

Next Up: Rockwall at Longview, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30; Lee at Mesquite Horn, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

 

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