Longview Overpowers Wylie, 35-14, to Reach First State Quarterfinal Since 2010
ARLINGTON -- Tylan Miller entered this season with big expectations for himself after breaking through with a standout junior campaign in 2014. But nagging injuries have stymied his production as a senior.
Consider him back in the fold.
Miller rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns, carrying the Longview Lobos to a 35-14 win over Wylie in their Class 5A Division I, Region II semifinal Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
The win advanced Longview (11-2) to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. The Lobos will meet Mansfield Lake Ridge (13-0) at 9 p.m. next Saturday back at AT&T Stadium.
"This is the 10th team in Longview history to make it four rounds deep," said Longview coach John King. "That's 107 years of football, and that tells you how special this team is."
Miller, who ran for 1,444 yards as a junior, missed three games earlier this season to injury. But he came through in a big way Saturday with his most productive game since a 185-yard effort against John Tyler in Week 2.
"I think I showed up pretty good for my team, and it was a big game for us," said Miller, who carried the ball 26 times and added a 30-yard reception. "We got it done, we're trying to move on and go to the next round."
Longview's massive size advantage with its offensive line paved the way for 306 Lobos rushing yards. Braylynn Anthony had 49 yards on eight carries, and D'Crayvan Polk added 38 yards and two touchdowns on five attempts.
"They're moving everybody out of the way," Miller said of his offensive line. "I like what they're doing right now."
Longview's defense, meanwhile, frustrated Wylie's passing offense all night. Pirates (8-5) quarterback Emilio Ames completed just 6 of 22 passes for 151 yards, but did connect on a pair of touchdowns to Jordan Whaley.
"We got our hands on a ton of balls," King said of his defense. "We had a bust early on, they motioned out of the empty and we busted the coverage. But after that, I thought we were sound in everything we did. The defensive line, out of a three-man look, provided a lot of pressure."
Longview took to the air in the first half, as senior quarterback Michael Ross hit on a couple of big passing plays to set up touchdowns. He finished 6 of 7 -- the one incompletion a dropped pass -- for 132 yards.
That after Ross completed only four passes in Longview's two previous playoff wins.
"How 'bout that passing game, huh?," King said. "We can throw the football, we just haven't had to."
Following a scoreless first quarter, Longview found paydirt early in the second. The Lobos drove 53 yards in nine plays -- all on the ground -- and took a 7-0 lead on Polk's 3-yard touchdown run just 15 seconds into the period.
Following a Wylie three-and-out, the Lobos regained possession at their own 23, and quickly moved upfield.
Ross found Miller down the sideline for 30 yards to the Wylie 42 on third-and-5, and later hit Chris Braggs for 45 yards down to the 1. That set up the first of Miller's scoring runs, which came on the next play, giving the Lobos a 14-0 lead with 6:59 remaining until halftime.
Wylie scored on its ensuing possession, using a tipped pass off of Longview safety Traveion Webster, which fell into the hands of Kollier Knight for a 61-yard gain to the Lobos' 25. Two plays later, Ames' 13-yard touchdown pass to Whaley cut the Longview lead to 14-7.
Longview recovered an onside kick at its own 36, and Ross completed a 34-yard pass to Jon Sorey down to the Pirates' 20-yard line. Two plays later, Miller went untouched into the end zone from 14 yards, pushing the Lobos' lead to 21-7 with 1:16 remaining in the half.
The Lobos scored on their opening drive of the third quarter, after once again recovering a Wylie onside kick attempt. A 13-yard completion to Sorey gave Longview a first down at the Pirates' 15, and Miller's third scoring run -- a 6-yarder -- gave the Lobos a 28-7 lead early in the third.
"We've got a stable full of running backs, and tonight was (Miller's) night," King said. "I thought the other running backs ran well when they had the opportunities, but Tylan is what we needed tonight with what (Wylie's defense) played."
Ames connected with Whaley again for a 31-yard score on the following series to trim the lead to 28-14, but Longview put the game away with a 6-yard touchdown run from Polk to cap the Lobos' first drive of the fourth quarter.
Longview is now 1-0 at AT&T Stadium, and will be heading back to Arlington again next week.
"We got here about three-and-a-half hours before the kickoff, came out and watched Marshall for about 30 minutes," King said. "'Get your phones out, and take pictures, then let's go play football.' I think our coaches did an excellent job of preparing them for what that was going to be like."
Longview 35, Wylie 14
Class 5A Division I Region II Semifinal
At AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Longview 0 21 7 7 -- 35
Wylie 0 7 7 0 -- 14
LON--D'Crayvan Polk 3 run (Cody Jenkins kick), 11:45.
LON--Tylan Miller 1 run (Jenkins kick), 6:59.
WYL--Jordan Whaley 13 pass from Emilio Ames (Brandon Cunningham kick), 4:25.
LON--Miller 14 run (Jenkins kick), 1:16.
LON--Miller 6 run (Jenkins kick), 8:16.
WYL--Whaley 31 pass from Ames (Cunningham kick), 6:09.
LON--Polk 6 run (Jenkins kick), 7:17.
First Downs 20 12
Total Yards 438 216
Rushes-Yards 53-306 23-65
Passing Yards 132 151
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-7-0 6-26-0
Punts-Avg. 1-30.0 4-34.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-123 3-17
RUSHING--Longview, Tylan Miller 25-174, Braylynn Anthony 8-49, D'Crayvan Polk 5-38, Kendrevian White 6-24, Austin Moore 5-13, Michael Ross 2-9, Brycelon Pruitt 1-1, Gaylon Wiley 1-(-2). Wylie, Eli Smith 8-29, Emilio Ames 6-17, David Addo 2-13, Kolten Okerstrom 4-7, Parker Hawkins 2-6, Dru Thomas 1-(-7).
PASSING--Longview, Ross 6-7-0--132. Wylie, Ames 6-22-0--151, Hawkins 0-4-0--0.
RECEIVING--Longview, Chris Braggs 2-51, Jon Sorey 2-47, Miller 1-30, Anthony 1-4. Wylie, Kollier Knight 2-68, Jordan Whaley 2-44, Justin Pegues 1-32, Thomas 1-7.