CLASS 6A DIVISION II
Region II Semifinal

No. 4 Longview Lobos (12-0)

vs.

Austin Vandegrift Vipers (12-0)

6 p.m. Saturday
McLane Stadium, Waco

Coaches

  • Longview: John King
  • Vandegrift: Drew Sanders

Last week

Next week

  • Winner vs. Mesquite Horn or Spring Westfield, 6A Division II, Region II final

Players to watch

Longview

  • QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-2, 185 (140 of 204, 2,811 yards, 35 TDs, 1 INT; 30 carries, 315 yards, 5 TDs; 1 catch, 20 yards, 1 TD)
  • WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (65 catches, 1,418 yards, 16 TDs)
  • OT Marcus Williams, Sr., 6-6, 290 (committed to TCU)
  • S Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (81 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 5 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
  • DE Jaylon Allen, Sr., 6-0, 230 (35 tackles, 14 for loss, 7 sacks, 1 blocked punt)
  • DT Sawyer Goram-Welch, Jr., 6-4, 270 (44 tackles, 10 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles)
  • RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (148 carries, 1,136 yards, 10 TDs; 17 catches, 443 yards, 5 TDs)
  • FB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (100 carries, 782 yards, 18 TDs; 11 catches, 161 yards, 2 TDs)
  • S Jacob Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 175 (41 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
  • LB Ja’Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (91 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
  • LB Robert Pierce, Jr., 5-9, 190 (42 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 3 INTs, 2 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery, 2 blocked punts)
  • RB Kaden Meredith, Soph., 5-9, 180 (67 carries, 600 yards, 11 TDs; 2 catches, 29 yards)

Vandegrift

  • QB Dru Dawson, Jr., 5-11, 180 (173 of 252, 2,231 yards, 22 TDs, 3 INTs; 100 carries, 426 yards, 5 TDs)
  • LB Spencer Jones, Sr., 6-1, 220 (110 tackles, 12 for loss, 1 sack, 7 QB pressures, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble; committed to Army)
  • SS Jivon Parker, Jr., 5-8, 150 (97 tackles, 22 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 PBU, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • RB Isaiah Smallwood, Sr., 6-0, 215 (274 carries, 1,268 yards, 16 TDs; 6 catches, 51 yards, 1 TD)
  • CB Reese Watson, Sr., 6-2, 165 (56 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 5 INTs, 14 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
  • DE Trevor Harrison, Jr. (36 tackles, 14 for loss, 8 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
  • WR Trey Mongauzy, Jr., 5-11, 175 (63 catches, 861 yards, 10 TDs)
  • FS Drew Nelson, Sr., 5-10, 160 (44 tackles, 4 INTs, 6 PBUs)
  • LB Jax McCauley, Jr., 6-0, 219 (125 tackles, 13 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 3 PBUs)
  • WR Ryan Merrifield, Sr., 6-0, 170 (48 catches, 715 yards, 4 TDs)
  • S Tyler Mongauzy, Jr., 5-11, 175 (104 tackles, 9 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure, 5 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries)
  • RB Brendan Bennett, Sr., 6-1, 191 (83 carries, 423 yards, 2 TDs; 28 catches, 324 yards, 4 TDs)

Just the facts

  • Longview is averaging 53.8 points and 518.9 yards per game – 278.6 rushing and 240.3 passing
  • Lobos junior quarterback Haynes King is averaging 20.1 yards per completion
  • Longview is 6-4 in regional semifinal playoff games under coach John King
  • The Lobos haven’t had consecutive 13-win seasons since 2008-09
  • The cumulative record of Longview’s opponents is 80-53 (.602).
  • Longview is allowing 17.6 points per game, has 25 sacks, and has forced 21 turnovers – seven interceptions and 14 fumbles
  • Vandegrift is averaging 31.4 points and 387.8 yards per game – 193 rushing and 194.8 passing
  • Vipers senior running back Isaiah Smallwood is averaging 22.8 carries per game
  • The Vipers’ first season of football was in 2010
  • Vandegrift’s 12 wins are tied with the 2014 team for the most in program history
  • The cumulative record of Vandegrift’s opponents is 69-60 (.535)
  • Vandegrift is allowing 13.8 points per game, has 34 sacks, and has forced 23 turnovers – 13 interceptions and 10 fumbles
Longview QB Haynes King. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Longview passing attack vs. Vandegrift secondary. While the Lobos average a healthy 278.6 rushing yards per game, it's the passing game that's been able to separate Longview from the competition this season. Longview is outscoring opponents by an average of 36.2 points per game, and that number has ballooned to 47 in the playoffs. Junior quarterback Haynes King has set school recordw for single-season passing yards and touchdowns already, and he's been almost perfect in terms of protecting the football with just one interception in 204 attempts. Most of the action in the passing game goes to Kamden Perry, who has accounted for roughly half of Longview's receiving yardage and 16 of the 36 passing touchdowns. However, King has targeted running backs Keilyn Williams and Jessie Anderson to the tune of 28 catches, 604 yards, and seven touchdowns. In all, 12 Lobos have caught touchdowns this season.

Longview WR Kamden Perry. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

There's no doubt Vandegrift has a tough defense, evidenced by its scoring average of 13.8 points per game. It's that Vipers defense that's allowed them to win so many close games this season. Five of Vandegrift's 12 games on the year have been decided by nine points or less, and two of them have been settled in overtime, including last week's two-OT thriller vs. Klein Collins. Only three opponents have scored at least 20 points on the Vipers in 2018, so it doesn't seem likely Longview will reach its season average of 53 points on Saturday night. However, it's hard to imagine Longview being shut down entirely by any defense, which will put at lot of pressure on Vandegrift's defense to keep the game within reach for its less explosive offense. Big plays have decimated Longview's first two playoff opponents, as the Lobos have averaged 8.7 yards per play in the playoffs. King, incidentally, is averaging 23.4 yards per completion in the postseason.

Don't be surprised if: Vandegrift tries to establish its running game early against Longview. The Vipers' offense, while productive, is nowhere near as explosive at this week's opponent. Expect Vandegrift to avoid engaging in a shootout with the Lobos, but instead enacting an approach designed to shorten the game. The Vipers average almost the same amount of rushing yards as passing, but the longer Vandegrift possesses the ball, the fewer opportunities Longview's dynamic offense will have to create separation. Vipers running back Isaiah Smallwood is closing in on 1,300 yards on the year, while quarterback Dru Dawson has 100 rushing attempts this season. The Vipers will need to lean on that one-two combination on the ground in order to dictate tempo and dominate time of possession.