Keilyn Williams + Defense Ignite Longview’s Season-Opening Win Over Lufkin
LONGVIEW -- Keilyn Williams began the 2017 season with a bang for Longview by returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, and a ferocious pass rush allowed the Lobos to open the year victoriously.
Longview scored 21 consecutive points in the third and fourth quarters to pull away from Lufkin, 35-16, Friday night at Lobo Stadium in the ETSN.fm/Dairy Queen Game of the Week.
“We played well," said Longview head coach John King. "It wasn’t pretty, and that was first-game jitters and inexperience, but we were able to beat a good football team tonight. Lufkin’s got a lot of talent and they’re well-coached, and our kids made some key plays.”
The Lobos extended their lead in the all-time series with Lufkin, 39-37-4, by winning the 80th installment.
Longview's defense, after a rough sequence to begin the first and second halves, bottled up Lufkin's offense, and in particular Panthers junior quarterback Kewone Thomas.
"We didn’t start off real well but we made an adjustment," King said of his defense. "We went from even to odd front, and our defensive line was a little bit disruptive. They played well most of the night. For three-and-a half quarters to hold Lufkin to 10 points with the talent they’ve got on the field is pretty dang good.”
The Lobos racked up eight sacks -- four in each half -- and allowed 346 yards on 80 plays from scrimmage, an average of only 4.3 yards per snap.
Williams also made a crucial play on offense in the third quarter.
With Longview clinging to a 14-10 lead, Williams broke free for a 58-yard run to the Lufkin 3-yard line, setting up Lobos quarterback A'Darius Carter's 3-yard touchdown run that pushed Longview's lead to two scores.
“Really, I’m not surprised," King said of Williams' performance. "That’s kinda what Keilyn does, he’s a little mighty mouse and he’s tough to bring down. (On the kickoff return), he got a crease and hit it, I didn’t know if he had the footspeed to outrun the kicker but he did. He’s not exactly open-field fast but he’s extremely quick and strong for his size.”
Lobos junior running back Jessie Anderson led the offense with 122 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Longview used three quarterbacks, beginning with senior Jordan Lawson, who played the first three series. Carter played into the fourth quarter, and the final snaps belonged to sophomore Haynes King, the son of John King.
“I was pleased with all three of them, I saw great things out of all of them. I think the people around them have to play better," Coach King said.
Haynes King's first pass -- and only throw of the night -- was good for a 48-yard touchdown to junior receiver Kamden Perry, which upped Longview's lead to 35-10 midway through the fourth.
“That’s the first time I’ve given him five on the field," King said of his son's touchdown. "Normally it’s a butt-chewing, but I gave him a high five on that one.”
Carter was 4-of-4 through the air for 53 yards, and added 24 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
"A.C. came in and gave us an added dimension, and he’s a load," Coach King said. "You saw us run a lot of quarterback power stuff with him because that’s what he can do. And he throws the ball pretty well, too.
Lufkin got a strong performance from senior running back Isaiah Phillips, who put up 165 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas was 16-of-33 for 157 yards with an interception.
Sophomore receiver Ja'Lynn Polk caught five passes for a team-best 77 yards, while Houston commit Malik Jackson had seven catches for 42 yards.
Following Williams' kickoff return to begin the game, Lufkin responded with a 10-play scoring drive capped by a Phillips 24-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:27 remaining in the first quarter.
The next score didn't come until late in the second quarter, following a Jalen Carr interception of Thomas.
Longview marched 66 yards in 11 plays, and took a 14-7 lead on Carter's 4-yard run with 1:56 remaining in the half.
On the first drive of the second half, Lufkin drove 75 yards in 18 plays, but was stopped on third-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Rodrigo Molina's 19-yard field goal cut the Panthers' deficit to 14-10 with 4:26 to play in the third.
“I was pleased with that drive and that stop; we bent but didn’t break and had a key stop (on third down)," Coach King said.
Phillips' second touchdown of the game came with 1:34 remaining in the game, and put an end to Longview's run of 21 straight points.
Both teams return to the field next Friday night in rivalry games. Longview plays host to Marshall (0-1), while Lufkin entertains Nacogdoches (0-1).
Longview 35, Lufkin 16
At Lobo Stadium, Longview
Lufkin 7 0 3 6 — 16
Longview 7 7 14 7 — 35
LON—Keilyn Williams 98 kickoff return (Chris Kessler kick), 11:46.
LUF—Isaiah Phillips 24 run (Rodrigo Molina kick), 8:27.
LON—A’Darius Carter 4 run (Kessler kick), 1:56.
LUF—FG Molina 19, 4:26.
LON—Carter 3 run (Kessler kick), 2:15.
LON—Jessie Anderson 33 run (Kessler kick), :00.
LON—Kamden Perry 48 pass from Haynes King (Kessler kick), 5:12.
LUF—Phillips 3 run (run failed), 1:34.
First Downs 24 16
Total Yards 346 367
Rushes-Yards 47-189 30-242
Passing Yards 157 125
Comp.-Att.-Int. 16-33-1 11-17-0
Punts-Avg. 2-34.5 2-39.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-38 8-60
RUSHING — Lufkin, Isaiah Phillips 26-165, Tre' Grant 9-36, Kewone Thomas 12-(-12). Longview, Jessie Anderson 15-122, Keilyn Williams 2-63, A'Darius Carter 4-24, Jaquan Edwards 3-11, Nigel Foster 2-10, Paul Hutchins 2-7, Jordan Lawson 1-7, Haynes King 1-(-2).
PASSING — Lufkin, Thomas 16-33-1--157. Longview, Carter 4-4-0--53, King 1-1-0--48, Lawson 6-12-0--24.
RECEIVING — Lufkin, Malik Jackson 7-42, Ja'Lynn Polk 5-77, Breylon Garcia 2-19, Jamal Warren 1-12, Riley Holt 1-7. Longview, Kamden Perry 4-73, Jacob Johnson 3-9, Jaylin Brown 2-43, Kendle Johnson 1-4, Williams 1-(-4).