DESOTO - It was bend or break Friday night as Longview met Mansfield Summit in the second round of the playoffs.
For the Lobos, the key Friday night was just keep going.
After a back-and-forth shootout throughout, the Lobos battled past the Jaguars, 21-20, in a Class 5A, Division I, Region II area round contest at DeSoto’s Eagle Stadium.
With the win, Longview advances to the Region II semifinals where they will meet the winner of Wylie and Rockwall-Heath at 2 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
“It’s what Coach King said all week: faith,” senior linebacker Bryson Davis said. “You’ve got to have each other’s backs and keep playing hard. We had to play our hearts out until the end. We had to keep playing and keep going until that clock read zero.”
After Longview reclaimed the lead early in the fourth quarter, Summit as it did throughout the contest, had an answer. A missed point after attempt kept the contest in the Lobos’ favor but the Jaguars (10-2) went back on the march with under seven minutes to play.
With a first and 10 at the Lobo 23, Summit converted a fourth down before the Lobo defense held the Jaguars to a 34-yard, go-ahead field goal that sailed wide right.
Three plays and a first down later, the Lobos were in victory formation.
“Our football team battled,” Longview head coach John King said. “We talked about it all week in having faith and letting that faith overcome your fears.
“There’s uncertainty every week when you go play somebody and you never really know. It was back-and-forth all night and our football team made one more play than they did.”
Sputtering early, the Lobo offense found traction as the contest wore on with run after run featuring a host of backs. In total, Summit held the total yards advantage over the Lobos, 331 to 292.
D’Crayvan Polk sparked the ground game, finishing with 81 yards on 13 carries. Austin Moore tallied 50 yards with a touchdown. Kendrevian White hit paydirt on a short burst and Michael Ross tacked on a 12-yard run.
Limited in touches, Tylan Miller finished with seven carries for 48 yards the bulk coming after Summit’s missed field goal to seal the win for Longview.
Defensively, Bryan Gilliland had two sacks, Kybrin Sheridan added another and Josh Johnson broke up a pass late in the contest. Traveion Webster pulled down his first interception of the season as well.
“Summit is a dang good football team,” King said. “They’re well coached, have great athletes and a great scheme. They were able to hit some big plays on us – third down hurt us tonight. But we were able to get the ground game going.”
The first half was the tale of two quarters. In the first 12 minutes, Longview managed six plays for 18 yards while Summit reeled off 128 yards on 21 snaps. In the second quarter, Longview had 23 plays for 103 yards, keeping the Jaguars at bay to seven plays and 20 yards.
After a 27-yard touchdown pass from Summit quarterback Braden Nolen, who finished with 183 passing yards, put the Jaguars ahead, Longview rattled off a 16-play, 85-yard drive that chewed up seven minutes off the clock to answer with the tying score, sending the contest to intermission tied at 7-7. White capped the drive with a one-yard score.
Longview took the ball to open the second half and went 65 yards on nine plays, highlighted by a 23-yard third down conversion from Ross to Braylynn Anthony before Ross put the Lobos ahead on a 12-yard keeper.
But, again, Summit responded. After converting two third downs, Derek Johnson notched his first score of the night on a 24-yard run untouched to the house.
On the ensuing drive, Anthony had an 11-yard run, Polk converted a third down with a 13-yard burst and Moore punched in the score to make it 21-14 Longview with 11:56 left.
Seven plays and 81 yards later, the Jaguars were back in the end zone on Johnson’s 12-yard run. The point-after attempt sailed wide right, keeping Longview ahead 21-20.
After a penalty, Longview was forced to punt with 6:53 remaining. Summit converted a fourth down deep in Lobo territory but tight coverage from Johnson in the secondary and a tackle from the senior safety on a screen pass forced Summit to line up for a 34-yard field goal, which sailed wide right.
Miller had runs of seven, eight and six yards then to close the contest and send Longview forward.