Marshall + Longview Continue State’s Third-Longest Rivalry Friday Night
Marshall Mavericks (3-2, 1-1)
Longview Lobos (3-2, 2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- Marshall: Clint Harper
- Longview: John King
- Marshall: at Greenville, Oct. 17
- Longview: at Texas High, Oct. 17
- OT Chett Munden, Sr., 6-6, 305 (committed to North Texas)
- QB Justin Hart, Jr., 6-0, 160 (76 of 111, 931 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs)
- ATH Cameron Haller, Soph., 5-10, 185 (48 carries, 444 yards, 9 TDs)
- OL Tyler Hodges, Sr., 6-1, 285
- WR John Love, Sr., 5-11, 185 (22 catches, 219 yards, 4 TDs; 15 carries, 158 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Deondre Osborne, Jr., 5-9, 215 (38 carries, 264 yards, 2 TDs; 7 catches, 37 yards, TD)
- DE Trey Valentine, Sr., 6-3, 230
- DT Antonio Washington, Jr., 6-1, 250
- OL Broderick Washington, Sr., 6-3, 290 (committed to Texas Tech)
- QB Dezmond Chumley, Sr., 6-1, 190 (33 of 59, 670 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 25 carries, 38 yards, 4 TDs)
- RB Tylan Miller, Jr., 5-9, 205 (59 carries, 388 yards, 3 TDs; 4 catches, 114 yards, TD)
- FB Marquies Hunter, Sr., 5-11, 240 (35 carries, 256 yards, 5 TDs; 6 catches, 54 yards)
- WR Antonio Carter, Sr., 6-2, 180 (14 catches, 222 yards, 3 TDs)
- LB Jaylon Jackson, Sr., 6-0, 210
- FS Khalil Williams, Sr., 6-0, 170 (2 INTs, defensive TD)
- DE Kybrin Sheridan, Jr., 6-0, 200
Just the facts
- Friday marks the 104th all-time meeting between Marshall and Longview. In a series that dates back to 1909, Longview leads the series, 57-41-5.
- Longview has won 13 consecutive games against Marshall, whose last win in the series came in 2000.
- Marshall is averaging 39.8 points per game, while allowing 26.2.
- Marshall's last winning season came in 2010.
- In its three wins this year, Marshall is averaging 53 points per game. In losses, the Mavericks have scored 20 on average.
- Longview is averaging 36 points and 401.4 yards per game -- 240 rushing and 161.4 passing.
- Longview's average margin of victory over Marshall since 2001 is 23.7 points.
- Longview has outscored its first two district opponents by a combined score of 122-20.
Key matchup: Longview rushing attack vs. Marshall defensive front. While Longview's passing game has certainly made strides over the last couple of weeks, the Lobos' M.O. is and seemingly always has been a powerful ground game. Despite not having the services of starting running back and Baylor commit JaMycal Hasty, who is recovering from an off-season back injury, Longview's rushing prowess is as pronounced as ever. Hasty's replacement, junior Tylan Miller, has been effective as the Lobos' featured back. In four games, Miller has rushed for 388 yards and three touchdowns with an average of 6.6 yards per carry. Longview senior fullback Marquies Hunter has been a solid compliment to Miller, with 256 yards and a team-best five touchdowns on only 35 carries. Dezmien Dennis, D'Crayvan Polk and Traveion Webster have performed well in spot duty, combining for 460 yards and four touchdowns. As the numbers suggest, Longview is at its best when its ground game is pounding away at opposing defensive fronts, setting up big gains in the play-action passing game. And with the steady progress the Lobos' aerial attack has made of late, slowing down Longview's running game becomes even more of a focus for defenses.
The strength of Marshall's defense so far this season has been its work against the run. The Mavericks are only allowing 138 rushing yards per game, but that number is skewed; Marshall gave up 290 yards on the ground in a 45-21 loss to Bossier City (La.) Parkway on Sept. 13. In the other four games, Marshall's defense is surrendering only 100 yards on average. And in the Mavs' three wins, they've limited opponents to just 81 rushing yards per game. The work of defensive linemen Trey Valentine and Antonio Washington have been key in turning around a defense that allowed 45.5 points per game a season ago. In fact, Marshall gave up at least 40 points in nine of its 11 games in 2013, while Parkway is the only team to top the 40-point plateau on the Mavs this season. Obviously, Friday's game against Longview will present Marshall's defense with its stiffest test since the Week 3 loss to Parkway. But if the Mavs' run defense can contain Longview's ground game enough to render the Lobos' passing attack ineffective, Marshall stands an excellent chance of keeping the game competitive into the fourth quarter where anything can happen.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game is decided late in the second half. Even when Longview has cleary had the better team in recent years, that has not always resulted in blowout victories. Marshall is fielding its best team in at least five seasons, and in rivalry games like this one, the level of talent on each team is not always the deciding factor. While Longview has dominated its first two 15-5A opponents, neither Pine Tree or Greenville will present the type of offensive challenges Marshall will this week. Mavericks junior quarterback Justin Hart is coming off his best game of the season -- a 338-yard, five-touchdown effort against Pine Tree. Sophomore Cameron Haller and junior Deondre Osborne give Marshall a dynamic rushing combination in the backfield, the receiving corps that features senior John Love, senior Deonte Jordan and junior Jaquavian Dabbs provide Marshall with ample weapons downfield, and the offensive line is solid with seniors Chett Munden (North Texas commit) and Tyler Hodges providing protection and opening up running lanes up front. Marshall felt like it let its district opener against Hallsville slip away two weeks ago. The Mavs outgained Hallsville, 335-178, but came up two points short in a 21-19 loss. Win or lose, an impressive performance against Longview on Friday night could give second-year coach Clint Harper's squad a ton of confidence down the stretch.