PREVIEW: High-Powered Longview Tangles With Spring Westfield
CLASS 6A DIVISION II
No. 4 Longview Lobos (13-0)
Spring Westfield Mustangs (12-1)
2:30 p.m. Saturday
Waco ISD Stadium, Waco
- Longview: John King
- Westfeld: Matt Meekins
- Longview: def. Austin Vandegrift, 56-28
- Westfield: def. Mesquite Horn, 35-16
- Winner vs. Haltom or Amarillo Tascosa, 6A Division II state semifinal
Players to watch
- QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-2, 185 (153 of 220, 3,059 yards, 38 TDs, 1 INT; 46 carries, 408 yards, 7 TDs; 1 catch, 20 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (73 catches, 1,558 yards, 17 TDs)
- OT Marcus Williams, Sr., 6-6, 290 (committed to TCU)
- S Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (85 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 5 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, 1 defensive TD)
- DE Jaylon Allen, Sr., 6-0, 230 (35 tackles, 14 for loss, 7 sacks, 1 blocked punt)
- DE Sawyer Goram-Welch, Jr., 6-4, 270 (44 tackles, 11 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles)
- RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (165 carries, 1,271 yards, 11 TDs; 19 catches, 472 yards, 6 TDs)
- FB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (110 carries, 834 yards, 20 TDs; 12 catches, 163 yards, 2 TDs)
- S Jacob Johnson, Sr., 6-0, 175 (41 tackles, 2 INTs, 3 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Ja’Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (91 tackles, 12 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumble, 3 recoveries)
- LB Robert Pierce, Jr., 5-9, 190 (42 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 2 PBUs, 3 INTs, 1 fumble recovery, 3 blocked punts)
- RB Kaden Meredith, Soph., 5-9, 180 (70 carries, 626 yards, 11 TDs; 2 catches, 29 yards)
- WR Malachai Jones, Jr., 5-11, 170 (29 catches, 735 yards, 7 TDs)
- QB Ra’Quon Washington, Sr., 5-11, 185 (100 of 168, 1,807 yards, 18 TDs, 2 INTs; 94 carries, 392 yards, 8 Tds)
- RB Rayshawn James, Sr., 5-10, 175 (118 carries, 809 yards, 11 TDs; 20 catches, 276 yards, 1 TD)
- OT Cedric Claiborne, Sr., 6-3, 275
- CB Jaylen Stanford, Sr., 5-11, 175
- CB Tre Coburn, Sr., 5-10, 175
- LB Dyllon Peavy, Sr.
- S Ian Massey, Sr., 6-1, 200
- WR Nakeo Thomas, Sr. (26 catches, 330 yards, 1 TD)
Just the facts
- This is Longview's seventh state quarterfinal appearance since 2007. The Lobos are 4-2 in quarterfinals during that span.
- This is Westfield's fifth state quarterfinal appearance since 2011. The Mustangs are 1-3 in quarterfinals during that span.
- Longview is averaging 54 points and 521.6 yards per game -- 280.7 rushing and 240.9 passing.
- Lobos junior quarterback Haynes King is 30 of 43 for 645 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in the playoffs.
- The cumulative record of Longview's opponents is 93-56 (.624).
- Longview is allowing 18.4 points per game, has 26 sacks, and has forced 24 turnovers -- eight interceptions and 16 fumbles.
- Westfield is averaging 32.8 points and 325.5 yards per game -- 166.8 rushing and 158.7 passing.
- Mustangs junior receiver Malachai Jones is averaging 25.3 yards per catch.
- The cumulative record of Westfield's opponents is 72-71 (.503).
- Westfield is allowing 12.4 points per game, and has three shutouts on the season.
Key matchup: Longview passing attack vs. Westfield secondary. The Lobos are averaging 54 points and more than 500 yards per game this season, and in the playoffs, Longview is putting up 63 points per game. And while defense and special teams has certainly had a hand in putting points on the board, the ease with which Longview is moving the ball on offense has been remarkable. In their three playoff games, the Lobos are averaging right at nine yards per play. And big plays in the passing game have been the norm. Of quarterback Haynes King's 10 playoff touchdown passes, eight of them have covered at least 22 yards, and four have traveled at least 48 yards. King is averaging 21.5 yards per completion in the postseason. And the wealth has been spread around with receivers Kamden Perry, Kaden Kearbey, and Kyas Moore, tight end Jhailon Braden, and running back Keilyn Williams all getting into the act.
Simply stated, the Westfield defense must prevent back-breaking gains in the Longview passing game this week. The Mustangs might have the best secondary the Lobos have faced this season with the trio of cornerbacks Jaylen Stanford and Tre Coburn and safety Ian Massey leading the way. Longview receivers, and Perry (73 catches, 1,558 yards, 17 TD's) in particular, run great routes, so the Mustangs' defenders must be able to stay with them stride for stride. Most of the Lobos' big plays in the passing game have been the result of wide-open receivers, so if Westfield's defensive backs can provide tight coverage, some of those deep balls might fall harmlessly incomplete.
Don't be surprised if: The first half provides an accurate barometer of both teams as well as the trajectory of the game. Longview has scored at least 28 first-half points in each of its three playoff games, and if that's the case again Saturday, Westfield could be in trouble. The Mustangs come in averaging less than 33 points and 330 yards of offense per game, so it would be difficult for Westfield to come out on top in the event of a shootout. Westfield needs to limit Longview to least 14 points before halftime, or at the very least, be within 10 points at the half to have any chance. The Mustangs' offense must also protect the ball at all costs, and Longview's last two playoff opponents turned the ball over a combined eight times. Westfield cannot afford to give away possessions to a team as dynamic on offense as Longview.