TYLER -- Longview has leaned on its defense all season, and it came up big again Friday night in the Lobos' biggest game of the year.

The Lobos had a safety, forced two turnovers and racked up five sacks in a critical 28-19 road win over rival John Tyler at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Longview (7-1, 4-1 in District 11-6A) won its fourth-straight game and moved closer to securing homefield advantage in the first round of the Division II playoffs, which begin in three weeks.

The Lobos finish the regular season with games against Rockwall-Heath (6-2, 4-1) and Mesquite (1-7, 0-5).

“We’ve still got work to do if we want to get a home game for the first round of the playoffs," said Longview coach John King. "But it sure would be nice.”

In addition to the stellar play on defense, Longview also came up big on special teams with a blocked PAT that was returned for two points and blocked field goal in the fourth quarter.

“The defense has played well all year long," King said. "The kids give you great effort. The effort and the togetherness they have over there is why we play good defense.”

Senior cornerback Jalen Carr was the star Friday night. He blocked both kicks, recorded a sack, and his sixth interception of the season set up Longview's final touchdown on the first play of the fourth.

“The pick he made on our sideline at the end of the third quarter was big-time," King said of Carr. "He’s gonna give you what he’s got every down. If he gets beat he’s got a short memory. He’ll go in there and compete and contest balls. He executes his assignment, he loves playing the game of football, and you can see it in his play.”

Keilyn Williams ran for 69 yards and two touchdowns, while Jaquan Johnson led the team with 70 yards on 14 carries. Sophomore quarterback Haynes King passed for 122 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown to A'Darius Carter.

“I thought we ran the ball well at times, and of course we had negative plays at times," King said. "But John Tyler does that, they’re pretty good up front. We ran the ball well enough to maintain possession and convert to get a fresh set of sticks and keep the chains moving.”

Chris Kessler's 47-yard field goal gave Longview a 21-13 lead midway through the quarter. Carr's interception of John Tyler quarterback K'Lon Warren set the Lobos up at the JT 31-yard line. Williams' 18-yard touchdown run three plays later extended the lead to nine points.

Warren was 14 of 24 passing for 236 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked five times, killing several John Tyler drives.

“I thought they were disruptive at times," King said of his defensive front. "We lost contain, but they’ve got a great athlete at quarterback. Defensively I thought we played good, made some key stops, and got key turnovers when it counted.”

John Tyler's Michael Givens-Washington caught six passes for 99 yards, Ke'Andre Street had five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, and Tre Allison had a pair of scoring runs.

Longview had to punt after its opening possession of the game, but on the first play of John Tyler's ensuing series, JC Blakemore forced a John Tyler fumble which was recovered by Lions running back Cameron Grant in the end zone for a Longview safety.

Jackson returned the free kick 33 yards, then King found Carter for the 40-yard touchdown to give Longview a 9-0 lead with 8:54 showing on the first-quarter clock.

But John Tyler answered on its next drive. Grant's 41-yard run inside the Longview 5 set up the first of Allison's touchdowns -- a 1-yarder.

Allison then intercepted King, but John Tyler gave it right back with a fumble at its own 40. Completions to Jaylin Brown and Jackson moved the ball deep into Lions territory, and Williams' 1-yard touchdown run pushed the Lobos' lead to 16-7 with 10:26 until halftime.

Later in the half, John Tyler moved closer with a 4-yard touchdown run by Allison. But Carr blocked the extra-point attempt, and Ja'Vontae Writt returned it all the way to the other end zone to give Longview an 18-13 lead it carried into halftime.

John Tyler travels to Mesquite Horn (8-1, 5-0) next Friday night before ending the regular season Nov. 10 against Tyler Lee (4-4, 1-4).

Longview 28, John Tyler 19

At CHRISTUS TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler

Longview            9      9      3      7    --    28
John Tyler           7      6      0      6    --    19

First Quarter
LON--Safety, JC Blakemore tackles Cameron Grant in end zone, 9:47.
LON--A'Darius Carter 40 pass from Haynes King (Chris Kessler kick), 8:54.
JT--Tre Allison 1 run (Frankie Sanchez kick), 5:05.
Second Quarter
LON--Keilyn Williams 1 run (Kessler kick), 10:26.
JT--Allison 4 run (kick failed), 4:39.
LON--Ja'Vontae Writt blocked PAT return, 4:39.
Third Quarter
LON--FG Kessler 47, 6:15.
Fourth Quarter
LON--Williams 18 run (Kessler kick), 11:53.
JT--Ke'Andre Street 26 pass from K'Lon Warren (kick failed), 10:31.

                                        LON                     JT
First Downs                          16                    15
Total Yards                          284                  336
Rushes-Yards                42-162             29-100
Passing Yards                     122                  236
Comp.-Att.-Int.               7-18-1           14-24-1
Punts-Avg.                     5-38.4              2-35.5
Fumbles-Lost                      0-0                   3-1
Penalties-Yards                  5-32                 6-41

RUSHING--Longview, Jaquan Jackson 14-70, Keilyn Williams 21-69, Haynes King 5-23, Paul Hutchins 1-0. John Tyler, Kitan Crawford 5-41, Cameron Grant 4-35, K'Lon Warren 16-16, Tre Allison 4-8.
PASSING--Longview, King 7-18-1--122. John Tyler, Warren 14-24-1--236.
RECEIVING--Longview, Jaylin Brown 3-60, A'Darius Carter 1-40, Jackson 1-14, Kamden Perry 1-4, Williams 1-4. John Tyler, Michael Givens-Washington 6-99, Ke'Andre Street 5-85, Devlen Woods 2-48, Jaivon Williams 1-3.

More From East Texas Sports Network