Written by Corbett Smith
Turnovers doom Mesquite Horn
SHREVEPORT, La. - Mesquite Horn coach Rodney Webb spoke of the unwritten rules in the playoffs.
"There are some cardinal rules of football that cannot be broken if you expect to win," Webb said. "And the turnover rule is probably the No. 1 cardinal rule."
Horn broke the rule again and again Saturday in a 28-14 loss to Longview in the Class 5A Division II Region II final at Shreveport's Independence Stadium.
Three interceptions and two fumbles led to 14 points, as Longview overcame an early 14-0 deficit.
The game was a rematch of a 13-8 Longview win in District 11-5A on Oct. 15.
"They're a good defense," Horn quarterback Collin Strahan said. "They play good every game, probably one of the best defenses in the East Texas area and the best one in our district, by far."
Early on, Horn took advantage of Longview's safety alignment to score on two long touchdown passes, a 75-yard catch by Jakeem Grant and a 34-yard catch by JaCorey Shepherd.
But Longview made adjustments, rolling the safety back toward the middle of the field.
With the score at 14-7, Strahan tried to hit Shepherd again on a deep post route. But the pass was deflected by Brian Tomlinson and intercepted by the safety, Jordan Burton. The turnover eventually led to a 30-yard touchdown run by Longview quarterback LaDarrin Robertson.
Robertson, the primary ball carrier for Longview after the team lost running back J'Haston Faggans to a season-ending ankle injury in last week's win over Tomball, rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
Longview scored a go-ahead touchdown after another Strahan interception. DeMarkus Lathan intercepted a Strahan pass and returned it to the Horn 8. Longview scored two plays later, with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter.
"Offensively, we moved it when we needed to," Longview coach John King said.
Longview advances to face Denton Guyer, 2 p.m. Saturday at SMU's Ford Stadium in the Class 5A Division II semifinals. It will be the third straight year those teams meet in the playoffs.