by Sam Dunn
For the first time, the Great American Rivalry Series—alongside the United States Air Force —visited Longview, Texas to provide national prestige as the Longview Lobos and the Marshall Mavericks met for the 99th time in this historic gridiron matchup. With these two teams first butting heads in 1909, Longview-Marshall is the longest running rivalry in East Texas and the third longest in the entire state. Longview holds the lead in the series 52-41-5 and went into the night with an 8-game winning streak over the Mavericks. Adding to the excitement, this was a big district matchup for both teams.
On a cool East Texas night, the crowd came early and excited. Texas Football Magazine has named this the number one rivalry in Texas in an article that said, “No matter which way you slice the bread, the rivalry between Longview and Marshall perfectly typifies Texas football.” Over 10,000 fans gathered for this annual rivalry.
In a quarter’s worth of time, the Longview Lobo defense played its worst on Friday. But in a quarter and change worth of time later, they more than made up for it as Longview forced five turnovers from Marshall in the first 12 minutes and 39 seconds of the second half. No. 3-ranked Longview took advantage of Marshall’s mishaps to score 24 points and run away with a 47-30 victory.
The most exciting of the turnovers was LaDarius Brooks’ interception of a deflected Brandon Fitzgerald pass, returning it 32 yards to the Marshall 23-yard line. This set up a two-yard touchdown run by Tyler McCray with 6:31 left in the third quarter. Brooks finished with two interceptions and was named the Great American Rivalry Series game MVP.
The win clinches a playoff berth for Longview (7-1, 4-0 in District 13-4A), the ninth straight season Longview has qualified for the postseason. It was also Longview’s ninth straight win over Marshall (4-3, 2-1).
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- Longview vs. Marshall – 2009