Special Teams the Difference in Longview’s 56-35 Win Over Tyler Lee
TYLER -- The East Texas State Fair opened in Tyler on Friday, adjacent to Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, the site of Friday night's District 11-6A matchup between Longview and Tyler Lee.
The final two minutes of the first half, the most critical juncture of the night, brought with it a fitting description from Longview head coach John King.
“The circus was in town, not the fair," he said following the Lobos' 56-35 win.
Longview (4-1, 2-0) went into halftime with a 35-28 lead thanks to an 85-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown, and a 74-yard kickoff return for six, which sandwiched a 74-yard scoring pass from Lee on a flea flicker.
"That was crazy," King said. "One team would make a play and the other team would answer. It was just one of those nights where everybody was making big plays."
Longview used the plays on special teams to carry momentum into halftime, and the Lobos outscored Lee, 21-7, over the final two quarters.
“I thought the special teams were huge all night long," King said. "We had the blocked field goal, and then we get the kickoff return on a sky kick; the first one we’ve had in a long time. I thought our punts were good, the kick-coverage was good … the special teams were big for us.”
Longview quarterback Gaylon Wiley passed for three touchdowns and ran for another, Kendrevian White ran for 180 yards, and D'Crayvan Polk picked up 124 all-purpose yards and scored three times.
The Lobos defense, which allowed 402 first-half yards to Lee (2-3, 0-2), fenced in the Red Raiders following the break. Lee managed just 146 yards and five first downs after halftime.
"We made a few adjustments scheme-wise (at halftime), but our biggest deal was not fitting in the scheme — too much do-your-own stuff," King said of his defense. "We lost leverage a couple times and lost contain, didn’t fit runs good.”
Lee outgained Longview on the night, 548-523. Red Raiders junior quarterback Chance Amie passed for 219 yards and two touchdowns, and added 127 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.
“I knew they were good, I was sick to my stomach all week because I respect them," King said of Lee. "A lot of people don’t really know how good they are. It starts offensively with Amie and that huge offensive line. And they’ve got skill guys that they can get the ball to. They’re dangerous.”
Lee trailed Longview, 21-20, late in the first half and threatened to take the lead. But the Red Raiders were called for holding at the 1-yard line, which led to Lee attempting a 23-yard field goal.
Longview's Ke'undre Wilson, who previously blocked a Lee extra-point attempt, deflected Leonel Coreas' field gaol try, and Lobos teammate Kobe Davis scooped up the loose ball and raced 85 yards to the end zone.
Lee answered almost immediately, using a flea flicker, as Amie connected with Isaiah Davison for a 74-yard touchdown. Amie caught the two-point conversion from receiver Rhett Parker to tie the game at 28-28 with 1:49 remaining in the half.
However, Longview's A'Darius Carter fielded Lee's pooch kick and outran the Lee coverage team for a 74-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 35-28 Lobos lead.
Longview then scored on a three consecutive possessions in the second half to build its lead to 56-28. Polk scored on a 29-yard run, Wiley hooked up with Eric Timberlake for a 43-yard touchdown pass, and Polk's 2-yard scoring run 29 seconds in the fourth finished the scoring for Longview.
Lee scored the game's final touchdown moments later when Amie avoided the pressure, and on the run, fired a strike downfield to Keashun Davis for a 60-yard score.
Longview and Lee each scored twice in the game's opening quarter.
Wiley's 1-yard run gave the Lobos a 7-0 lead with 6:19 remaining in the first, but Lee sophomore Jordan Printers scored from 6 yards out to tie the game on the ensuing possession. Wiley connected with tight end Jaylin Brown for a 15-yard touchdown, but Longview's extra point attempt clanked off the left upright.
Lee took its only lead of the night on the next series with Amie crossing the goal line from a yard out. Coreas' PAT put the Red Raiders ahead, 14-13, with 38 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Longview regained the lead, 21-14, on Wiley's 36-yard touchdown pass to Polk, and Amie's 29-yard scoring run on the ensuing series cut Lee's deficit to 21-20 with 7:54 remaining until halftime.
The Lobos are sitting in a good spot with wins in their first two district games, heading into next week's home date with Rockwall (1-4, 1-1).
"We’re in a better position than some, but it’s gonna be like this every week, and we knew that coming in," King said. "I think it’s one of the toughest districts in the state. If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game each week, then you’re not gonna be able to win.”
Lee's season continues next Friday night at Mesquite Horn (3-2, 1-1).
Longview 56, Tyler Lee 35
At Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
Longview 13 22 14 7 -- 56
Tyler Lee 14 14 0 7 -- 35
LON--Gaylon Wiley 1 run (Chris Kessler kick), 6:19.
LEE--Jordan Printers 6 run (Leonel Coreas kick), 5:17.
LON--Jaylin Brown 15 pass from Wiley (kick failed), 1:45.
LEE--Amie 1 run (Coreas kick), :38.
LON--D'Crayvan Polk 36 pass from Wiley (Jessie Anderson pass from Wiley), 9:25.
LEE--Amie 29 run (kick failed), 7:54.
LON--Kobe Davis 85 blocked field goal return (Kessler kick), 2:09.
LEE--Isaiah Davison 74 pass from Amie (Amie pass from Rhett Parker), 1:49.
LON--A'Darius Carter 74 kickoff return (Kessler kick), 1:35.
LON--Polk 29 run (Kessler kick), 6:12.
LON--Eric Timberlake 43 pass from Wiley (Kessler kick), 2:24.
LON--Polk 2 run (Kessler kick), 11:31.
LEE--Keashun Davis 60 pass from Amie (Coreas kick), 10:40.
First Downs 22 18
Total Yards 523 548
Rushes-Yards 52-396 42-329
Passing Yards 127 219
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-9-1 6-17-1
Punts-Avg. 1-44.0 3-30.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 5-55 6-42
RUSHING--Longview, Kendrevian White 28-180, D'Crayvan Polk 10-88, Trajan Bush 4-59, Jessie Anderson 3-46, Gaylon Wiley 7-23. Lee, Chance Amie 13-127, LaDarius Wickware 10-87, Donerick McCray 14-81, Jordan Printers 4-32, Rhett Parker 1-2.
PASSING--Longview, Wiley 6-9-1--127. Lee, Amie 6-16-1--219, Kiave Glover 0-1-0--0.
RECEIVING--Longview, Eric Timberlake 2-56, Polk 1-36, Jaylin Brown 1-15, Kamden Perry 1-13, Bush 1-7. Lee, Isaiah Davison 3-90, Keashun Davis 1-60, Parker 1-54, Glover 1-15.