Longtime Rivals Longview + Marshall Collide In Battle Of 15-5A Unbeatens
No. 9 Longview Lobos (4-1, 2-0)
Marshall Mavericks (5-0, 2-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Maverick Stadium, Marshall
- Longview: John King
- Marshall: Clint Harper
- Longview: vs. Texas High, Oct. 16
- Marshall: vs. Greenville, Oct. 16
- RB Tylan Miller, Sr., 5-7, 190 (78 carries, 492 yards, 6 TDs; 8 catches, 76 yards)
- QB Michael Ross, Sr., 5-10, 175 (38 of 81, 658 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs; 24 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD)
- OL Tim Clay, Sr., 6-6, 350
- DL Kybrin Sheridan, Sr., 6-0, 210
- DB Traveion Webster, Jr., 6-0, 200
- DB Keenan Madden, Sr., 6-2, 200
- DB Ameron Dean, Sr., 5-10, 170
- OL Kendall Starling, Jr., 6-2, 310
- QB/ATH Cam Haller, Jr., 5-10, 200 (7 of 8, 183 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; 84 carries, 790 yards, 18 TDs)
- DL Antonio Washington, Sr., 6-2, 280 (33 tackles, 18.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble)
- LB/DB Micahh Smith, Sr., 6-1, 200 (45 tackles, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- RB Chavis Mills, Sr., 5-7, 185 (63 carries, 535 yards, 8 TDs; 6 catches, 48 yards)
- QB Justin Hart, Sr., 6-0, 160 (44 of 63, 744 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT; 8 carries, 28 yards)
- WR Jaquavian Dabbs, Sr., 6-0, 170 (22 catches, 394 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Trel Patton, Sr., 5-9, 160 (15 catches, 370 yards, 4 TDs)
- DB Corteze Hurd, Soph., 6-1, 170 (19 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 PBUs)
Just the facts
- This is the 105th meeting between Longview and Marshall. Longview leads the all-time series, 58-41-5.
- This is the first time Longview and Marshall have met while both were undefeated in district since 2009.
- Longview is averaging 35.8 points and 427 yards per game -- 280,8 rushing and 146.2 passing.
- The Lobos are allowing 12.4 points and 242.8 yards per game -- 178.4 rushing and 64.4 passing.
- Longview is 62-3 in district games under coach John King.
- Marshall is averaging 52.8 points and 473.4 points per game -- 288 rushing and 185.4 passing.
- The Mavericks are allowing 19.4 points per game, after yielding an average of 31.3 in 2014.
- Marshall is 8-6 in district games under coach Clint Harper.
Key matchup: Marshall rushing attack vs. Longview defensive front. Quite simply, the outcome of Friday's game will come down to whether or not the Mavs can run the ball on Longview. So far this season, no one has been able to stop Marshall's powerful ground attack, which comes into this week's showdown averaging 288 yards per game. The Mavs' ground game is one of the biggest reasons the Marshall offense is averaging more than 50 points per game. When it's not running back Chavis Mills taking handoffs and sprinting forward, it's the dynamically talented Cam Haller doing most of the damage. Haller, who lines up at quarterback but is primarily a runner, comes into this week's contest with an astounding 18 rushing touchdowns in only five games, while averaging a robust 9.4 yards per carry. Mills is almost as explosive with eight rushing touchdowns and a yards-per-attempt average of 8.5. If Marshall is able to control the pace of the game with its rushing attack, the Mavs figure to be in good shape.
Priority No. 1 for Longview's defense will be to limit Marshall's big plays in the running game, and force the Mavs into the air. So far, Marshall has been extremely efficient with its passing attack. Haller and Justin Hart have combined to complete 51 of 71 attempts (72 percent) for 927 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception. Marshall is averaging more than 18 yards per completion, while scoring through the air one out of every six completions.
However, most of Marshall's damage in the passing game has come long after the Mavs have established dominance on the ground. If Longview can force Marshall out of its comfort zone by stringing together stops on the ground, the Mavs' objective of remaining unbeaten in district becomes decidedly more difficult. On the year, the Lobos only allow 178 rushing yards per game, which is a respectable figure in today's day and age of uptempo offenses that spread opposing defenses all over the field.
Don't be surprised if: A shootout materializes on Friday night. Marshall's offensive success through five weeks has been well-documented, and it seems unlikely any defense would be able to completely shut down the Mavs' high-powered attack. But lost in Marshall's offensive prowess is how much better Longview's offense has performed since the beginning of district play. Longview sputtered offensively through the season's first three weeks, but the Lobos have scored a total of 112 points in 15-5A wins the last two Fridays against Pine Tree and Greenville. Obviously, Marshall's defense should provide Longview with a much tougher test this week, but don't be shocked if Longview is able to match Marshall score for score.