Saturday’s “Battle on the Border” Nightcap Features Longview Against Mississippi Power Olive Branch [VIDEO]
Longview Lobos (1-1)
Olive Branch Conquistadors (3-0)
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Independence Stadium, Shreveport
- Longview: John King
- Olive Branch: Scott Samsel
- Longview: won 26-14 at Marshall
- Olive Branch: won 24-13 vs. Charleston (Miss.)
- Longview: vs. Lufkin
- Olive Branch: vs. Tunica (Miss.) Rosa Fort
- RB JaMycal Hasty, Jr., 5-9, 181 (42 carries, 363 yards, 2 TDs; 3 catches, 68 yards)
- WR Dorian Leonard, Sr., 6-4, 200 (committed to Texas; 10 catches, 169 yards, 1 TD)
- QB Dezmond Chumley, Jr., 6-0, 188 (20 of 40, 321 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs)
- FS Stephan Maxey, Sr., 5-11, 185 (18 tackles, 1 recovery, 1 def. TD)
- FS Laurent Johnson, Sr., 5-8, 160 (18 tackles, 1 INT)
- DT Omar French, Jr., 6-0, 202 (12 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- DE Decord Flanagan, Sr., 5-10, 200 (10 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- SS Travin Howard, Sr., 6-0, 179 (13 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 1 punt block, 2 PBUs)
- TE Jordan Whitaker, Sr., 6-4, 190 (4 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD)
- OT Broderick Washington, Jr., 6-2, 280
- DL DeRodrick Alexander, Sr., 6-1, 240 (9 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 sacks)
- S Alfred Dickens, Sr., 6-0, 195 (committed to Ole Miss; 21 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Fred Walls, Jr., 6-2, 220 (26 tackles)
- RB/WR Dontavis Bruce, Jr. (21 carries, 284 yards, 2 TDs; 13 catches, 176 yards, 1 TD; 28.1 yards per KO return, 37.0 yards per punt return)
- LB Devontae Davis, Sr., 6-1, 215 (25 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 2 recoveries)
- RB Marcus Leflore, Sr., 6-0, 190 (23 carries, 198 yards, 3 TDs; 5 catches, 75 yards)
- DL Darrion Abston, Sr., 6-2, 260 (17 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks, 7 QB pressures)
- OL Chase Johnson, Sr., 6-4, 260 (committed to Memphis)
- RB Lorensen Burton, Jr., 5-10, 165 (8 touches, 111 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Warren DeWalt, Sr., 6-2, 170 (7 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD)
- DE Chris Matthews, Sr., 6-5, 215 (offers from Auburn, Memphis)
Just the facts
- Olive Branch is ranked No. 3 in the latest Class 6A poll conducted by the Mississippi Public Broadcasting. That’s the state’s largest classification.
- The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported this week that Olive Branch standout junior quarterback Ross Trail is ineligible to play in Saturday’s game.
- Trail, who holds offers from Louisville and Memphis, has played in Olive Branch’s first three games of the season thanks to an injunction on the case. His eligibility has been in question since moving from Wynne, Ark., during the offseason. Trail threw for 442 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 66 yards and three scores in Olive Branch’s first three games of the season.
- Olive Branch senior safety Alfred Dickens, who is committed to Ole Miss, holds offers from the Rebels, Florida State, Memphis, and Mississippi State, according to 247Sports.com.
- Olive Branch junior linebacker Fred Walls holds an offer from Ole Miss.
- Junior Dontavis Bruce set an Olive Branch single-game school record with 378 all-purpose yards in the Conquistadors’ season-opening 38-22 win against perennial Memphis power Ridgeway. Bruce had 157 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards, and 104 return yards.
- Olive Branch senior tailback Marcuse Leflore’s 95-yard touchdown run last week against Charleston, Miss., set a school record for longest run.
- Longview junior tailback JaMycal Hasty holds six offers: Baylor, Houston, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.
- Texas-bound Longview senior receiver Dorian Leonard holds additional offers from Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego State, and Texas Tech.
- Longview senior defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson remains out with a Jones fracture in his foot, but is expected to return by early to mid-October. The 6-foot-2, 293-pounder holds 17 offers: Baylor, Florida, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, SMU, South Carolina, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Washington, and Washington State.
- Longview held its first two opponents to 245.0 yards per game: 131.5 rushing, 113.5 passing.
- Olive Branch averages 416.7 total yards per game: 241.7 rushing, 175.0 passing.
- Olive Branch’s enrollment is 1,176, which would be a small Class 4A school in Texas. Longview’s enrollment is 2,154.
- Olive Branch lost in the Mississippi 6A quarterfinals last year to finish 11-2.
Key matchup: Olive Branch offensive line vs. Longview defensive front. Longview has, for the most part, contained its first two opponents on the ground. Coppell’s size and dedication to the running game eventually wore down Longview during the Cowboys’ fourth-quarter comeback, resulting in a respectable 41-rush, 178-yard performance. But Longview made the Cowboys work for those yards, then shut down Marshall’s ground game, limiting the rival Mavericks to 85 yards on 27 carries a week ago.
The style Longview will see Saturday night when the Lobos line up across from perennial Mississippi power Olive Branch will be somewhat similar to that of Marshall: a spread attack that tries to stay balanced. Olive Branch’s 3-0 start has seen the Conquistadors average 29.3 rushes to 20.0 pass attempts per game. With starting quarterback Ross Trail ineligible for the game, it’s likely that Olive Branch will rely more on its running game against Longview.
Memphis-bound lineman Chase Johnson and the Olive Branch front must give the Conquistadors a chance to establish the run game early against a Longview defensive front that will be undersized without centerpiece Zaycoven Henderson (foot injury), but remains athletic and plays with a high motor. Omar French and Decord Flanagan have started the season strong, while DeRodrick Alexander, the lone veteran from last year’s front four, has also played at a high level.
Taking pressure of its starting quarterback — who could be freshman Mario Nolan-Dillard, sophomore Brady Burse, or senior Alfred Dickens, an Ole Miss DB recruit — will be a huge priority for Olive Branch against a Longview defense that has forced four turnovers, blocked a punt, and scored once in its first two games. The best way to do that is to get the Conquistadors’ running game going.
Don’t be surprised if: The team that wins the line of scrimmage wins the game. Yes, we know that sounds obvious, and perhaps too simple. But ask Longview head coach John King what the pivotal matchups are entering any game, and he’ll almost always reply “In the trenches.”
Saturday’s “Battle on the Border” nightcap is no different. If Longview can establish ultra-talented junior tailback JaMycal Hasty behind the Lobos’ burly offensive line, Olive Branch’s athlete-heavy spread offense won’t get as many chances to make big plays.
Here’s another pretty obvious statement that Longview fans will surely echo: when Longview runs the ball well, the Lobos are very difficult to beat. If Longview plays the way it did in the first three quarters against Coppell, the Lobos will probably beat one of the highest-ranked teams in Mississippi’s largest classification. But if Longview makes the kind of mistakes — turnovers, penalties, etc. — that the Lobos made in the fourth quarter against Longview, then again in moments against Marshall, the Conquistadors will likely make the seven-hour trip back to the south Memphis suburbs able to say that they have conquered a Texas 5A power.