Longview Faces a Strong Running Game from North Little Rock
North Little Rock Wildcats (1-0)
Longview Lobos (0-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
NLR: Brad Bolding
Longview: John King
NLR: def. Lake Hamilton (Ark.) 42-7
Longview: lost 41-8 to Coppell
NLR: vs. Pine Bluff (Ark.)
Longview: vs. Marshall
North Little Rock
- RB Altee Tenpenny, Sr., 5-11, 210 (10 carries, 88 yards, 2 TDs vs. Lake Hamilton; committed to Alabama)
- DT Kenny Howard, Sr., 6-2, 290
- DT Gerald Watson, Sr., 6-1, 280
- DB Gary Vines, Sr., 6-0, 180
- RB/LB Alex Gosser, Sr., 5-11, 215
- DB Kavin Alexander, Sr.
- RB Tory White, Sr., 5-9, 175 (20 carries, 106 yards)
- DB Corey Bartley, Sr., 5-7, 155 (20 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 PBU)
- RB Ja'Mycal Hasty, Soph., 5-9, 185 (46-yard TD catch)
- LB DeMarkus Lathan, Sr., 5-9, 190 (9 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 fumble recovery)
- DB Stephan Maxey, Jr., 5-11, 185 (7 tackles, 1 for loss)
- WR Justinn Spady, Sr., 5-9, 155 (2 catches, 31 yards)
- DT Cornelius Williams, Sr., 5-10, 290 (9 tackles)
- LB Torean Sheppard, Sr., 5-10,190 (10 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
- DE Jalen Porter, Sr., 6-0, 210 (3 tackles, 1 for loss)
- DB Nakia Brown, Sr., 5-10, 180 (4 tackles, PAT return)
Just the facts
- North Little Rock running back Altee Tenpenny, who is committed to Alabama, is rated as the No. 1 player in Arkansas by multiple recruiting sources
- Tenpenny missed the 2011 season with an injury (rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore)
- Longview scored its only touchdown -- Ja'Mycal Hasty's 46-yard catch-and-run TD -- in last week's 41-8 loss to Coppell on the final play of the game
- Longview senior QB Bivins Caraway, who is committed to ULM, confirmed earlier this week that he tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season
- Longview coach John King said that junior Stephon Dunn will be Longview's starting quarterback vs. North Little Rock
- North Little Rock went 9-3 in 2011
Key matchup: North Little Rock's defensive front vs. Longview's offensive line. Longview's inability to keep Coppell's large and agile front line off quarterbacks Bivins Caraway and Stephon Dunn sabotaged any chances the Lobos had of sustaining drives. Tory White had a solid game, but a lot of his success came after contact. Coppell's defensive line got several shots on Caraway before he injured his knee early in the second quarter, and Dunn (2-for-5, 49 yards) never really had the chance to find a rhythm. Longview must get more push in the run game and keep Gerald Watson and Kenny Howard off Dunn if the Lobos hope to have a better offensive performance than they had a week ago.
- Longview coach John King on North Little Rock's running game: "They've got more than one good back (Altee Tenpenny). He's the best of the bunch, but there's not a big dropoff."
- King on North Little Rock's overall talent: "They've got eight, nine, maybe 10 Division I players. They're impressive."
- King on North Little Rock's 3-4 defensive front: "Every one of them that puts their hand down is almost 300 pounds. They've got a 250-pound defensive end and linebacker. They're very impressive. A bunch of them played last year, too."
- King on the possibility that Longview sophomore Dezmond Chumley (5-10, 175) could see snaps at quarterback behind junior starter Stephon Dunn: "There's a chance."
- King on backs Tory White and Ja'Mycal Hasty: "I thought Tory played well (against Coppell). He did a lot of good things and made some good runs. Ja'Mycal had a couple of good returns and made a big play at the end of the game. He made some mistakes, but that's part of being a sophomore."
Don't be surprised if: Longview plays with a lot of emotion coming off last week's sobering loss and the news about Caraway, one of the most respected players in the program. The Lobos still have the talent to be a factor in Class 5A, despite losing a 2,400-yard passer who is headed to the Division I FBS ranks next year. Longview will likely be smaller on both lines, but the Lobos usually are, and that rarely stops them from dictating what happens at the point of attack, albeit that's exactly what happened last week. Longview had some missed tackles against Coppell that really hurt the Lobos, such as the 90-yard hitch-route touchdown by Christian Smith that put the Cowboys ahead 28-0 early in the third quarter. Altee Tenpenny will hurt them the same way if the Lobos aren't surer tacklers this week. He's widely considered one of the best tailbacks in the country. The running game is North Little Rock's "bread and butter," King said, so Longview must be prepared to play another physical game up front, something they didn't appear ready to do last week. Longview may not be the favorite without its standout quarterback, but the Lobos will be ready from an X's and O's standpoint. King always makes sure of that.