Wildcats

Temple quarterback Vance Willis looks for room to run against the Longview defense in the Wildcats’ 41-10 loss Friday night.

LONGVIEW — Going up against defending state champion Longview on the Lobos’ home turf Friday night, Temple committed zero turnovers and had 66 fewer penalty yards than the host team. And Wildcats star wide receiver Quentin Johnston produced his best game in more than a month, with a touchdown among his three catches of 40-plus yards.

The fact that Longview still won in runaway fashion despite those things is a testament to how strong a team the Lobos have.

Kaden Meredith rushed for 248 yards with a 67-yard touchdown, Haynes King passed for four first-half TDs and ran for one and Longview’s dominant defense limited Temple to 218 yards overall and zero points after halftime as the Lobos pulled away to beat the Wildcats 41-10 in a Class 6A Division II bi-district playoff game at chilly Lobo Stadium.

Longview’s 27th consecutive victory sent District 12-6A co-champion Temple to a second consecutive first-round postseason loss and 8-3 record.

“You don’t win 27 games in a row on accident. They’re as good as advertised,” Wildcats coach Scott Stewart said of Longview (11-0), which advanced to play Dallas Jesuit (7-4) in the area round. “On film you can size up pad level, intensity and execution. I could tell on film they were big, then you get out here and their defensive linemen can eat corn off the top of our offensive linemen’s heads.”

Longview rushed for 312 yards, Texas A&M commitment King passed for 222, and a fast, aggressive Lobos defense that had allowed 8.5 points per game permitted just 67 yards in the second half while shutting out a Temple squad that entered averaging 48.1 points per game.

“We had a lot of respect for Temple with its athleticism, running game and physicality,” Longview coach John King said. “Our kids played well. We did some great things in the first half on offense, and defensively settled in to what Temple was trying to attack us with. We gave up a few big plays, but for the most part we controlled their running game.”

The Wildcats averaged 372 yards rushing in their last five district games. But against Longview’s swarming defense, Temple’s 33 carries netted just 79 yards. Sophomore Samari Howard rushed for 44 yards but senior 1,000-yard rusher Anthony Jackson totaled only 21.

“It’s high-risk, high-reward. They’re super-aggressive. I don’t remember seeing a defense that fast,” Stewart said. “I don’t fault our scheme. They were better than us up front on both sides. We’ve got to figure out a way to use this as a learning experience.”

On the first possession, Longview’s Kyas Moore hauled in Haynes King’s long pass and cruised to a 78-yard touchdown. But DaMarco Williams blocked the extra point, then Devan Williams returned the kickoff 40 yards.

From Longview’s 44-yard line, the Texas-committed Johnston caught Vance Willis’ pass near the 10 and carried his defender across the goal line for his 24th career touchdown but first since Oct. 11. Aaron Wagaman’s extra point gave Temple a 7-6 lead with only 50 seconds gone.

“Coming in we were trying to block out all the noise with the hyped crowd,” said Johnston, who made three receptions for 128 yards. “We tried to go deep and executed the best we could.”

However, Longview seized control for good by scoring the first half’s last four touchdowns. Haynes King threw to Austin Pencheon and Jhailon Braden for TDs of 3 and 23 yards, respectively, for a 20-7 lead early in the second. King’s 8-yard scoring run and 4-yard TD toss to Braden made it 34-7 before Temple’s Adrian Guzman kicked a 43-yard field goal as first-half time expired.

Meredith, Longview’s junior running back, was outstanding. He rushed for 138 first-half yards, then his 110-yard second half was highlighted by a 67-yard TD burst along the right sideline 2 minutes into the third.

“He’s great for our style of offense,” John King said. “He’s physical and has breakaway speed. He’s hard to bring down.”

Three-year starter Haynes King, the coach’s son, commended the Lobos’ feisty defenders.

“The defense gives us that lift,” he said. “We have to go against them every day. Iron sharpens iron.”

LONGVIEW 41, TEMPLE 10

Temple 7 3 0 0 — 10

Longview 13 21 7 0 — 41

Lon — Kyas Moore 78 pass from Haynes King (kick blocked)

Tem — Quentin Johnston 44 pass from Vance Willis (Aaron Wagaman kick)

Lon — Austin Pencheon 3 pass from King (Antonio Onofre kick)

Lon — Jhailon Braden 23 pass from King (Onofre kick)

Lon — King 8 run (Onofre kick)

Lon — Braden 4 pass from King (Onofre kick)

Tem — Adrian Guzman 43 field goal

Lon — Kaden Meredith 67 run (Onofre kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

Tem Lon

First downs 10 17

Rushes-yards 33-79 37-312

Passing yards 139 222

Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-12-0 11-15-0

Punts-average 7-32 2-43.5

Fumbles-lost 0 1-0

Penalties-yards 5-25 12-91

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Temple: Samari Howard 12-44, Anthony Jackson 10-21, Willis 11-14; Longview: Meredith 24-248, King 5-27, Jaharious Jones 3-24, Moore 1-7, Kevin Jones 1-6, Xavier Jimmerson 2-2, team 1-(-2).

PASSING — Temple: Willis 4-8-0-96, Howard 1-4-0-43; Longview: King 11-15-0-222.

RECEIVING — Temple: Johnston 3-128, AJ McDuffy 1-11, Howard 1-0; Longview: Moore 2-98, Jalen Hale 3-57, Meredith 2-40, Braden 2-27, Pencheon 1-3, Phillip Washington 1-(-3).