PREVIEW: Longview Could Get Challenged By Copperas Cove
CLASS 6A DIVISION II
Region II Bi-District Playoff
Copperas Cove Bulldawgs (7-3)
No. 4 Longview Lobos (10-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Lobo Stadium, Longview
- Copperas Cove: Jack Alvarez
- Longview: John King
- Copperas Cove: def. Temple, 22-18
- Longview: def. Mesquite, 55-24
- Winner vs. Prosper or Garland Naaman Forest, 6A Division II area playoff
Players to watch
- RB Shontez Simmons, Sr., 5-10, 185 (157 carries, 1,455 yards, 14 TDs; 4 catches, 34 yards)
- DE Jaylan Brown, Sr., 6-3, 205 (59 tackles, 29 for loss, 8 sacks, 3 QB pressures, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 2 blocked punts)
- QB Easton Simpson, Sr., 5-9, 172 (119 of 198, 1,755 yards, 18 TDs, 6 INTs)
- WR Quinton Lewis, Sr., 6-2, 188 (41 catches, 601 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB Micah Cox, Jr., 5-7, 143 (118 carries, 817 yards, 9 TDs; 10 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD)
- CB Tommy Connell, Sr., 5-10, 145 (9 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 INTs, 4 PBUs, 1 fumble recovery)
- LB Luis George, Sr., 6-2, 182 (46 tackles, 15 for loss, 3 sacks)
- WR Jahmeel Rice, Jr., 6-3, 185 (31 catches, 496 yards, 7 TDs)
- QB Haynes King, Jr., 6-2, 185 (123 of 177, 2,414 yards, 28 TDs, 1 INT; 20 carries, 235 yards, 3 TDs; 1 catch, 20 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Kamden Perry, Sr., 6-0, 180 (57 catches, 1,235 yards, 15 TDs)
- RB Keilyn Williams, Sr., 5-5, 145 (125 carries, 974 yards, 8 TDs; 13 catches, 322 yards, 2 TDs)
- S Jephaniah Lister, Sr., 5-9, 155 (66 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 sack, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Ja'Vontae Writt, Sr., 5-9, 190 (74 tackles, 13 for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- FB Jessie Anderson, Sr., 5-11, 225 (82 carries, 641 yards, 15 TDs; 10 catches, 160 yards, 2 TDs)
- DE Jaylon Allen, Sr., 6-0, 225 (26 tackles, 16 for loss, 5 sacks, 1 blocked punt)
- LB Tyshawn Taylor, Jr., 5-9, 195 (72 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
Just the facts
- Copperas Cove is averaging 34.5 points and 445.6 yards per game -- 264.7 rushing and 180.9 passing.
- The cumulative record of Copperas Cove's opponents is 40-49 (.449).
- Bulldawgs senior running back Shontez Simmons is averaging 9.3 yards per carry.
- Copperas Cove is allowing 26.7 points per game, has 20 sacks, and has forced 19 turnovers -- 11 interceptions and eight fumbles.
- Longview is averaging 51.3 points and 527.6 yards per game -- 278.9 rushing and 248.7 passing.
- The cumulative record of Longview's opponents is 56-42 (.571).
- The Lobos have won their last five games by at least 31 points.
- Longview is allowing 17.2 points per game, has 19 sacks, and has forced 17 turnovers -- five interceptions and 12 fumbles.
Key matchup: Longview passing attack vs. Copperas Cove secondary. No team has been able to stop the Lobos' offense this season. Coming into Friday's playoff opener, Longview is posting an average of more than 51 points and 527 yards per game, and has outscored the opposition by an average of 34.1 points. Longview is not only explosive, but incredibly balanced, averaging almost 280 yards rushing and 250 passing. Lobos junior quarterback Haynes King's production and efficiency as been something to behold in 2018. King is completing 69.4 percent of his passes, and has 28 touchdowns to only one interception in 177 attempts. Since taking over as starter midway through the 2017 regular season, Longview is 20-1; the only loss coming by two points in the state semifinals to Waco Midway. Senior receiver Kamden Perry is putting together an all-state caliber season with a school-record 1,235 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.
Copperas Cove ranked first in District 12-6A in total defense, limiting opponents to less than 250 yards per game. The Bullldawgs specialize in stopping the run, but they'll be tested both on the ground and through the air by Longview. Playing well against the run will certainly be a priority, but Copperas Cove defensive backs cannot afford to let the game to get away from them by losing one-on-one battles to receivers deep downfield. If the Bulldawgs can contain Longview on the ground and prevent the big play in the passing game, Friday's game could go down to the wire.
Don't be surprised if: The game is close heading into the second half. Longview got a taste of what this week might be like in its regular-season finale against Mesquite last Friday night. The Lobos trailed for much of the opening half before pulling away with a dominant final two quarters. Copperas Cove's offense will present the Lobos' defense with a few more challenges than Mesquite, especially on the ground. Bulldawgs senior running back Shontez Simmons is closing in on a 1,500-yard season, while junior Micah Cox serves as great compliment to Simmons out of the backfield. However, the Lobos have the X-factor in senior fullback Jessie Anderson, whose punishing style of running could pay big dividends after halftime against a tired defense.