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DeSoto, Longview square off for 11-5A crown

10/31/2011

DeSoto players hadn’t even had time to walk off the field after Friday’s 41-16 win over Mesquite before talk turned to Longview.

The Lobos host DeSoto for the District 11-5A title 7 p.m. Thursday. The game was moved up a night from the original schedule so it can be televised by Fox Sports Southwest.

In a way, Longview has been in the back of the Eagles' minds all season.

The 2010 District 11-5A race came down to the Week 10 Longview-DeSoto game. The Lobos won, 38-35, on DeSoto's home turf. Technically, both shared the District 11-5A title with a 4-1 record, but the Lobos were considered the No. 1 playoff seed based on head-to-head result.

This time, both teams go into Thursday’s showdown with 4-0 district records.

Compared to last year’s team, DeSoto (9-0), No. 4 in ESPNDallas.com's 5A area rankings, is a better defensive club. Opponents are averaging 14.8 points against the Eagles this year compared to 30.5 at this point of the 2010 season.

With experienced defenders like end Michael Richardson (Texas A&M commit), cornerback Bryson Echols (Texas commit) and linebacker Alex Lyons, defensive improvement hasn’t exactly come as a shock. As a result, things are easier for the offense, which scored 29, 35 and 48 points in the Eagles' three losses last year.

The Eagles defense will try to control Longview quarterback Bivins Caraway and a deep running back corps led by J’haston Faggans.

The only loss separating Longview (8-1) from an unbeaten season came courtesy of Allen, 42-23, in Week 2.

Longview, attempting to win its eighth consecutive district championship, is excellent on special teams. In last week’s 45-19 win over Tyler Lee, the Lobos blocked three kicks and for the second consecutive week returned a punt for a touchdown.