SHREVEPORT - There was one play that Longview head coach John King said summed up his teams effort Saturday night at Independence Stadium.
It was a play that went 75 yards for the other team.
With the Lobos leading 19-0 after an inspired first-half performance, Louisiana power Monroe Neville took to the field in the second half and quickly cut into that lead on a 75-yard trick play that put the Tigers at the Lobo one-yard line.
It was that one yard, however, that told the tale for the Lobos in the finale of the Battle on the Border Football Showcase.
“Nothing epitomizes their effort tonight than the first play of the second half when our two defensive backs ran their guy down,” King said. “They could’ve quit but they didn’t. They ended up scoring but that just sums up how hard this team played all night – they played their tails off.
“We continue to do that and good things will happen for us.”
After an 0-2 start to the season, one that’s been laden with injuries and miscues, the Lobos held on against Neville – ranked second in Class 4A in Louisiana and without a defeat in the regular season since 2010 – for a total-team 19-13 win.
“There hasn’t been anything harder than trying to give this one,” King said of the win. “It’s been a grind and it’s well deserved for these kids and these coaches.”
It was a victory that was needed for the Lobos.
“So great,” senior safety Khalil Williams said. “We really needed this win and we needed everyone in this one – it was a total team effort. We fought as a team and won as a complete unit.”
The first half belonged to the Lobos, offensively and defensively.
Longview established the passing game early and complimented it with the run game. On the second play of the night, quarterback Dezmond Chumley found Tylan Miller for a 15-yard completion. Then, Miller and fullback Marquies Hunter pushed the Lobos past midfield on the ground before Antonio Carter pulled down a Chumley pass for a 40-yard score.
The Lobo defense then kept the early momentum rolling against a weapon-heavy Neville offense with a quick three-and-out.
The Lobos’ second possession was one in the same. After two quick first downs on the ground, Chumley completed back-to-back third down conversions – the first to tight end Emmanuel Gordon and the second, a 34-yard completion to Miller to the one-yard line. Chumley punched in the score to give the Lobos a 12-0 lead.
Again, the Lobo defense responded with three-straight redzone stands, one resulting in turnover on downs, followed by two missed field goals from Neville.
After 10-plus yard gains from Miller and Hunter, Chumley hit junior wide receiver Jon Sorey on a strike that put the Lobos at the Neville one-yard line. Hunter punched it in to give Longview a commanding 19-0 lead heading into the break.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, a halfback pass had the Tigers knocking quickly after the 75-yard completion. They scored two plays later to make it 19-7 with 10:55 left in the third quarter.
Then the highly touted Neville defense showed up, holding Longview with under 50 yards in the second half after the Lobos amassed 266 total in the first half.
Neville grinded out an 11-play, 66-yard march, capped with a 24-yard score to make it a six-point contest with 3:05 to play in the third quarter.
After exchanging punts, the lone Lobo turnover of the contest put the Tigers in business at their own 42-yard line. After a third-down conversion, the Lobo defense again held strong, forcing a turnover on downs at the Longview 29-yard line.
A quick three-and-out again put the Tigers with the ball just past midfield. Again, it was the Lobo defense that came up big, forcing their second turnover on downs in the fourth quarter – a stand that lifted the Lobos to the win as the clock neared midnight in Shreveport.
Chumley finished the night with 160 yards in the air. Miller finished with 105 yards on the ground to go with two catches for 49 yards. Hunter added 49 yards of total offense while Sorey finished with two catches for 59 yards.
Now the Lobos head into their open week before beginning district action at Pine Tree on Sept. 26.
For Williams, it’s about two weeks of improving off the win.
“We can’t do anything but build.”