Longview was like the fire department on Friday night in a 52-6 win over Robert E. Lee at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Every time Robert E. Lee produced even a flicker of a flame, the Lobos immediately and purposefully turned a hose on it.
Here are a few examples:
Lee spark: In the final minutes of the half, Lee junior quarterback Christian Diosdado scrambled out of the pocket and looked about to go out of bounds, causing the Longview tackler to pull off. Instead, Diosdado turned upfield and tightroped the sideline for a 30-yard gain to the Lobo 48.
Longview response: The Lobos blitzed in on the next two plays for back-to-back sacks on Diosdado to make it third and 29 and prompt Lee to let the clock run out for halftime.
Lee spark: Red Raiders senior Nicola Willis bursts through the middle late in the fourth quarter for a 21-yard gain on first down.
Longview response: Lobos drop Willis for a 2-yard loss on first down and three-yard loss in second down. REL takes advantage of a roughing the punter penalty to continue the drive, but Longview’s Jhavaurian Moore refuses to allow REL to get a late consolation touchdown, intercepting Diosdado at the 2.
Lee flame: REL produces its biggest play from scrimmage since its Sept. 21 win over Texas High when senior punter Lumi Kaba, once a quarterback as youngster, connects with Bryce Stewart for a 51-yard catch and run touchdown off a fake punt. The REL sideline erupts in celebration causing the Red Raiders to gladly take a 5-yard penalty on its extra point for delay of game.
Longview response: Its shutout snapped and lead cut to 14-6 with 9:12 to go in the first half, the Lobos block the extra point. Longview then drives 74 yards in 10 plays to make it 21-6. Longview then recovers an onside kick and scores again to make it 28-6.
This put down the fire for good.
Final score: Longview 52, Robert E. Lee 6
Turning point: The Red Raiders finally surrender points with 39 seconds to go in the first quarter, but then fumble on the ensuing kickoff with Longview immediately turning its good fortune into a 36-yard scoring hookup between Dezmond Chumley and a running wide open Justinn Spady. The extra point means Longview had scored 14 points in 13 seconds.
The game was over when: Lee was unwise to Longview’s onside kick. The Lobos recovered and again went for the big pass play, this time covering 43 yards, which set up a 3-yard TD run by Damian Russell to make it 28-6 with 3:30 remaining in the half.
Key stat: The Red Raiders passed for 68 yards, 51 of it coming on that fake punt.
Plus signs: For a second-straight game, REL produced a big play on a fake punt. This time it put a touchdown on the board.
Warning signs: The Red Raiders went another game without a takeaway while turning it over twice themselves. Lee has not forced a single turnover in five district games.
What this loss means: The Red Raiders are eliminated from playoff contention and will try and snap a 10-game district losing streak next week in their season finale.
Coach Darrell Piske’s thoughts: “I heard someone was talking about me on some message board that they didn’t like it because I wasn’t taking losing very well. I took that as a compliment. For a lot of these guys these will be their last football practices ever, but for our young groups, it has to come down to pride. They have to say, “I am fixing this. It’s not going to be the same (thing) next year. We are going to work our tails off and do what we need to do in the weight room, track, offseason and all of that stuff and get it fixed.”
What’s next: Lee at Rockwall-Heath as the Red Raiders aim to spoil Heath’s playoff hopes.