Longview’s Laurent Johnson + Travin Howard Spearhead Defense’s Dismantling of Rowlett, 46-21
DALLAS -- Longview's 4-2-5 defense allows the Lobos to put as many athletic playmakers on the back end of the field as possible. Saturday against Rowlett, they showed why that approach works so well.
Senior safeties Laurent Johnson and Travin Howard terrorized Rowlett, accounting for five of the Lobos' six takeaways and two defensive touchdowns to fuel a 46-21 Class 5A Division II Region II bi-district playoff win at John E. Kincaide Stadium.
Johnson finished with a game-high 18 tackles, one forced a fumble, an interception, and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 18 yards for a touchdown off an Omar French strip sack. That touchdown gave Longview a 36-14 lead with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter. Longview led by at least three scores the rest of the game.
Howard, who entered the game with a team-leading five interceptions, picked off two more, the first of which he returned 43 yards for a 14-7 advantage less than 20 seconds into the second quarter. Howard, who had seven tackles Saturday, has three interception return touchdowns and two punt return scores this season.
"Just great defensive effort," said Longview head coach John King. "I thought they settled down after the first quarter when we switched our scheme from a four-man to a three-man line. We just got an extra guy in the throwing lanes and put a little more pressure on them with some different blitzes. Both safeties, Laurent and Travin Howard, had a heck of a game. Just making plays after plays. It happens every week. I think that's a combination of great athletic ability, football awareness, and being coached the right way."
Longview (10-1) faces McKinney Boyd (7-4) in a 5A D-II Region II area playoff at 4 p.m. Saturday in Dallas at Lake Highlands' Wildcat-Ram Stadium. Boyd beat Richardson Pearce 24-9 in the first round.
Johnson and Howard led a defensive unit that held the spread-schemed Eagles (4-7) to 48 yards on 29 rushes. Rowlett sophomore quarterback Logan Bonner completed 26 of 37 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Senior defensive line standout Zaycoven Henderson had two tackles for loss and frequently disrupted Rowlett's offensive front. Junior linebacker Jaylon Jackson recorded 13 tackles, recovered a fumble, and had a couple of big hits, while senior end DeRodrick Alexander had one sack and two tackles for loss.
Longview's defense came through in a game in which the Lobo running game did not perform to King's standards. Rowlett defensive linemen Cedric Johnson and Charles Omenihu combined for four tackles for loss, while Johnson recovered a fumble and Omenihu notched a sack.
Longview finished with 156 yards on 36 rushes.
"I'm highly disappointed in the way we ran the football," King said. "We knew we were going to have some different looks that were gonna give us trouble. We knew they were gonna load the box and get an extra guy. They have a good scheme and did a great job with it. We didn't do as good of a job as I hoped we could do. I felt like coming in we might be a little better at that. We'll have to play better. We're gonna see it again. No. 1 hopefully we have a better plan, and No. 2 I hope our kids do a better job of picking it up."
Junior JaMycal Hasty ran 22 times for 96 yards and a touchdown, a five-yarder halfway through the first quarter for the game's first score.
Junior quarterback Dezmond Chumley played well despite facing frequent pressure and getting a little banged up early in the contest. Chumley completed 11 of 18 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns -- a 27-yarder to senior Jordan Whitaker, a 66-yard to senior Dorian Leonard, and a 22-yarder to senior Stephon Anthony. The 66-yard strike to the Texas-bound Leonard helped the Lobos separate entering halftime as it gave Longview a 28-14 lead with 1:02 left in the second.
"He threw the ball with pressure on him and made some key throws. Some of them were third-and-longs and fourth-and-longs that he made key throws on to extend drives and get points. I was real proud of how he played, particularly after coming out of the game early. He got hit and got bruised up a little bit, but he came back in and made some key throws."
Leonard led the Lobos with four catches for 88 yards. Anthony caught three passes for 54 yards.
Rowlett's Tyler Hogan caught a game-high 10 passes for 114 yards. His 22-yard scoring reception with 3:44 left marked the game's final touchdown. Fellow receiver Andrew Harrison caught seven passes for 75 yards, including a 22-yard catch-and-run touchdown that tied the game 7-7 late in the first.
Howard's 43-yard pick-six came two minutes later and Longview never trailed again. Rowlett cut its deficit to 21-14 on Anthony Wagner's two-yard touchdown with 2:49 until halftime, but the Lobos answered with the home-run ball to Leonard.
Class 5A Division II Region II
Longview 46, Rowlett 21
John E. Kincaide Stadium, Dallas
Rowlett -- 7 7 0 7 -- 21
Longview -- 7 21 8 10 -- 46
LON -- JaMycal Hasty 5 run (Andres Perez kick) -- 5:58
ROW -- Andrew Harrison 22 pass from Logan Bonner (Aspen Hulme kick) -- 1:50
LON -- Travin Howard 43 interception return (Perez kick) -- 11:42
LON -- Jordan Whitaker 27 pass from Chumley (Perez kick) -- 6:15
ROW -- Anthony Wagner 2 run (Hulme kick) -- 2:49
LON -- Dorian Leonard 66 pass from Chumley (Perez kick) -- 1:02
LON -- Lauren Johnson 18 fumble return (Shaun Lloyd run) -- 4:31
LON -- Perez 28 field goal -- 7:51
LON -- Stephon Anthony 22 pass from Chumley (Perez kick) -- 7:16
ROW -- Tyler Hogan 26 pass from Bonner (Hulme kick) -- 3:44
First downs 19 16
Total yards 304 368
Rushes-Yards 29-48 36-156
Pass yards 256 224
Comp.-Att.-Int. 26-37-3 11-18-0
Penalties-Yards 4-30 9-72
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 1-1
Punts-Avg. 2-48.5 3-43.7
RUSHING -- Rowlett: Anthony Wagner 20-62, Kobe Morrow 2-3, Logan Bonner 6-(-17). Longview: JaMycal Hasty 22-96, L'darrius Peterson 5-27, Deointe Wall 3-16, Dezmond Chumley 4-12, Jeremy Powell 2-5.
PASSING -- Rowlett: Logan Bonner 26-37-3 256. Longview: Dezmond Chumley 11-18-0 224.
RECEIVING -- Rowlett: Tyler Hogan 10-114, Andrew Harrison 7-75, James Motes 4-32, Anthony Wagner 4-18, Kevin Okolo 1-18. Longview: Dorian Leonard 4-88, Stephon Anthony 3-54, Chris Pellum 1-39, Jordan Whitaker 1-27, Melvin Gouldsby 1-11, JaMycal Hasty 1-5.
-- Rowlett stats courtesy the Dallas Morning News