PREVIEW: Longview Begins 11-6A Against High-Powered Rockwall
No. 6 Longview Lobos (4-0)
Rockwall Yellowjackets (2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, Rockwall
- Longview: John King
- Rockwall: Rodney Webb
- Longview: def. Ruston (La.), 56-28
- Rockwall: def. Arlington Martin, 73-32
- Longview: idle
- Rockwall: at Mesquite Horn, Oct. 5
Players to watch
- QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-3, 185 (52 of 74, 1,046 yards, 11 TDs; 11 carries, 165 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (27 catches, 517 yards, 5 TDs)
- DB Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (33 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- DL Sawyer Goram-Welch, Jr., 6-4, 270 (13 tackles, 4 for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
- RB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (30 carries, 211 yards, 5 TDs; 7 catches, 136 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (56 carries, 361 yards, 3 TDs; 4 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Ja'Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (33 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- OL Marcus Williams, Sr., 6-6, 290 (committed to TCU)
- QB Jacob Clark, Sr., 6-5, 210 (61 of 98, 925 yards, 9 TDs 2 INTs; 23 carries, 22 yards, 5 TDs; committed to Minnesota)
- WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jr., 6-1, 188 (26 catches, 441 yards, 5 TDs; 6 carries, 81 yards, 3 TDs)
- DB Anfernee Orji, Sr., 6-1, 200 (17 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure, 2 INTs, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery; committed to Vanderbilt)
- DB Elijah Coleman, Sr., 6-1, 165 (8 tackles, 1 QB pressure, 1 INT, 1 PBU)
- RB Zach Henry, Jr., 5-10, 190 (52 carries, 263 yards, 2 TDs; 6 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD)
- LB Riley Pevler, Sr., 6-1, 207 (27 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 QB pressures, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery)
- DT Derek Harris, Jr., 5-8, 241 (8 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures)
- DL X'zavier Jones, Sr., 6-2, 230 (6 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack)
Just the facts
- This is the ninth meeting between Longview and Rockwall. Longview leads the all-time series, 7-1.
- John King is 78-6 in district games since taking over as Longview head coach in 2004.
- Longview is averaging 48 points and 528.5 yards per game -- 257 rushing and 271.5 passing.
- Seven different Longview players have scored the Lobos' 26 total offensive touchdowns.
- Longview is allowing 20.8 points per game, and has forced 10 turnovers -- six fumbles and four interceptions.
- Rockwall is averaging 54.7 points and 517 yards per game -- 190.7 rushing and 326.3 passing.
- Yellowjackets senior receiver Jaxon-Smith Nijgba has accounted for eight touchdowns on 32 offensive touches.
- Rockwall's loss came in its season opener to two-time defending 5A Division I state champion Highland Park, 49-42.
Key matchup: Rockwall passing attack vs. Longview secondary. Rockwall could have the most explosive offense Longview will face all season. In last week's win over Arlington Martin, Rockwall put up an incredible 73 points and 542 yards of offense. And while the Yellowjackets posted a season-high 270 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, it's a passing game led by dynamic quarterback Jacob Clark and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba that sets the tone. Clark, who is committed to Minnesota, is averaging 308 yards and three touchdowns passing in three games. Meanwhile Smith-Njigba, who holds offers from several major FBS programs including Arizona State, Arkansas, Nebraska, Ohio State, TCU, and Texas Tech, averages a touchdown every four touches. He's also posting a yards-per-catch average of almost 17.
Longview's defense has faced just one pass-first operation in its first four games, and that was in its Week 2 rout of rival Marshall. In that game, the Lobos limited Mavericks quarterback JJ Green, who finished just 12 of 31 for 183 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Additionally, the Mavs' trio of Division I recruits at receiver was effectively shut down. It will take another solid effort from Longview's five-man secondary to duplicate that performance against pass-happy Rockwall on Friday night.
Don't be surprised if: Longview continues to place a strong emphasis on its running game this week. Despite the gaudy numbers put up so far from quarterback Haynes King and receiver Kamden Perry, the Lobos still possess a run-first mentality on offense, and they have the personnel to exploit that strength. Speedster Keilyn Williams is averaging more than six yards per carry, bruiser Jessie Anderson leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five, while sophomore Kaden Meredith has emerged a strong third option out of the backfield. In last week's win over Ruston (La.), he tallied a team-best 112 yards and a touchdown on only four carries. A strong running game will help keep the time of possession in Longview's favor, decreasing the opportunities for Rockwall's explosive offense to make big plays.