Longview’s Defensive Front Is In For Challenge From C.E. Byrd
Longview Lobos (2-0)
Shreveport C.E. Byrd Yellow Jackets (1-0)
8 p.m. Saturday
Independence Stadium, Shreveport
- Longview: John King
- Byrd: Mike Suggs
- Longview: defeated John Tyler, 31-14
- Byrd: defeated Lake Charles (La.) Barbe, 53-14
- Longview: idle
- Byrd: vs. Shreveport Calvary Baptist, Sept. 17
- DB Traveion Webster, Jr., 6-0, 195
- RB Tylan Miller, Sr., 5-8, 195
- OL Tim Clay, Sr., 6-6, 385
- DL Kybrian Sheridan, Sr., 5-11, 210
- QB Michael Ross, Sr., 5-10, 175
- DB Keenan Madden, Sr., 6-1, 200
- OL Kendall Starling, Jr., 6-2, 325
- DB Ameron Dean, Sr., 5-10, 170
- WR Jon Sorey, Sr., 5-11, 170
- RB Austin Moore, Sr., 5-9, 235
- QB Deuce Caston, Sr., 5-8, 175
- RB Tysen Hardman, Sr., 5-7, 168
- WR Joey Jernigan, Sr., 6-2, 166
- WR/DB/KR Jalin Thomas, Sr.
- LB Noah Scruggs, Sr.
Just the facts
- Byrd and Longview have met six times dating back to 1928, but the teams have not competed since the 1961 season. Byrd has a perfect 6-0 record against the Lobos.
- Longview is no stranger to Louisiana competition. The team is 23-16-1 all-time against Louisiana teams.
- The Lobos snapped a two-game losing skid in last year's Battle on the Border. They defeated a strong Monroe (La.) Neville team, 19-13.
- Make an effort to get to the stadium on time for the scheduled 8 p.m. kick, but don't panic if you run behind schedule. Longview-Byrd follows three other football games at Independence Stadium with 40-minute warmup sessions between games.
- Longview is one of three East Texas teams participating in the Battle on the Border. Lufkin will play West Monroe at 8:30 p.m. Friday evening and Gladewater will play Shreveport Parkway at 11 a.m. Saturday inside Independence Stadium.
- Aside from the Gladewater game, Longview's game follows a head-to-head meeting between Louisiana powers Warren Easton and Evangel Christian in addition to Neville versus Maumelle from Arkansas.
- The Lobos' defense held Lufkin and John Tyler to an average of 17 points and both teams to less than 300 total yards.
- Byrd rushed for 312 yards on 41 carries in its season-opening 53-14 beat down of Lake Charles (La.) Barbe.
- Longview is looking for its first 3-0 start since 2009.
Key matchup: Longview's defense against Byrd's Georgia Tech inspired triple option rushing attack.
The Lobos have held their own against perennially strong Lufkin and John Tyler programs, but they have not been attacked in the Yellow Jackets' fashion. Byrd uses the triple option, and it's not nearly as straight forward as the spread running wise. While the playing style limits the passing game to a degree, the ball can move in a lot of directions between designed handoffs to the running backs in addition to pitches from quarterback Deuce Caston.
Longview must play extremely disciplined up front to counter Byrd's offense. The unit will have to take away the pitch options in the option game and push Caston back toward the middle of the field. That could sacrifice small positive yardage for Byrd, but it reduces the chance of a big play down the sidelines. The Lobos will have to be patient and bank on Byrd making mistakes for negative yards and then win third down.
Fortunately, the Lobos have a strong secondary to back up the front if anything gets behind the.
Offensively, Longview's running game is its own strength. Tylan Miller leads a set of running backs that performed very well last week.
Byrd will probably be without key linebacker Cameron Jones. He suffered a concussion last week.
Don't be surprised if: A special teams play or turnover decides the game. Both teams prefer to run, and that will work the clock. Possessions should be limited. The two teams will have to make the most of their time with the ball. Byrd's Jalin Thomas recorded a 78-yard punt return touchdown last week. Longview blocked a game-tying PAT attempt against Lufkin to win that game.