Longoria & Lions take on Carthage in semis

Brownwood and SMU commit Derek Longoria have been running roughshod through all competitors this season, and this week the 14-0 Lions try to knock defending 3A Division II champion Carthage out of the playoffs in a semifinal matchup at Kincaide Stadium. Get the details here.

Last week, Brownwood and Derek Longoria took down then-defeated Monahans by a score of 44-14, and now defending state champion Carthage awaits in the semifinal round of the Texas 3A Division II playoffs.

"That was definitely a tough one," said Longoria, an SMU commit, of the Brownwood/Monahans game. "Despite the final score, they were definitely a good team."

Longoria enjoyed a huge night vs. the Loboes, recording 13 tackles, including nine solo stops. Monahans, which finished the year 13-1, took an early 7-0 lead before faltering to the powerful Lions.

This Saturday, Brownwood encounters the 12-2 Carthage Bulldogs, who have captured 10 straight wins after losing back-to-back games to Chapel Hill and Nacogdoches early in the season.

"Carthage is fast and they're pretty big, but we've played bigger teams than us a few times this year," Longoria said. "We just have to play our game - play smart and be physical - and keep on the road to state. We need to read our keys, and our linemen need to drive them back and get to the quarterback.

"Their wide receiver (Jalen Claiborne) gets the ball a lot on 'scat' plays and we'll try to key on where and how he lines up, so we'll know what they're doing."

Carthage QB Anthony Morgan has thrown for 3,144 yards and 30 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Claiborne, the Bulldogs' leading receiver, has 94 receptions for 1,331 yards (14.16 ypc) and 14 TDs.

The defending state champs get it done both on the ground and through the air. RB Hunter Holland has gained 2,194 yards with 32 touchdowns and is averaging 8.41 yards per carry.

Linebacker Kendall Thompson, a Texas commitment, anchors the Carthage defense along with junior LB Justin Williams.

Longoria, who is projected as either a safety or linebacker in college, is Brownwood's punter (and an excellent one at that). He's also played RB quite a bit for the Lions, although the future Mustang is concentrating his efforts on defense for the remainder of the postseason.

The Brownwood/Carthage winner advances to face either Coldspring/Oakhurst (13-1) or Wimberley (14-0) in the state finals. Wimberley eliminated Brownwoood from the playoffs last year.

-Josh Harvey-

Pony Stampede Top Stories