LONGVIEW - Longview's mighty Lobos battled their way into the semi-final round of the Texas high school football playoffs by nipping a powerful Breckenridge elven on penetrations after both teams had fought to a scoreless tie in a game played before 8,500 fans at Lobo Stadium sturdy afternoon.
Longview's margin of victory came on the first play from scrimmage when Fox Cashell shot a bullet-like screen pass to Robert Harris on the midfield stripe. The nimble footed Harris picked up beautiful interference and raced to the Buckaroo's 14-yard marker before safety man Jack Jones pulled him down from behind.
Both teams then settled back to stage one of the most bruising and viciously played line game ever unreeled on the Lobo Stadium turf. The West Texans, trying desperately to score, were turned back several imps by a Longview line which refused to yield when the chips were down.
The shades of Chad Daniels and "Dandy Dick" Miller floated across the Longivew area Saturday afternoon in the form of a pair of Lobo linemen named Don Menasco and Jimmy Eaves, and a couple of sparkling backs who are Joltin' Jimmy Pakenham and Fox Cashell. Like their famed predecessors of a decade ago, who gave up their lives in the defense of their country not so long ago, the present day Lobo foursome led another great Longview team up another step on the ladder to football immortality.
Eaves and Menasco braced a Longview line which clearly outplayed the Buck's widely heralded forward wall. Cashell put on a running exhibition which won him the plaudits of the crowd, while Pakenham returned to his early season punting form to ice the decision in favor of the locals.
Once more it was the ability of Maco Steart's reserves to come through in the pinch which saved the day for the Green and White men, like Bob Muston, Roy Anderson, Willie Uhlenhoff, Johnny Murphy and Gene McClain teamed with the regulars like Anglin, Roach, Fuller, Terry and Menasco to keep the Lobo hopes for a state crown alive.
Harris' run might well have gone for a touchdown had the fleet little halfback been able to run all the way to the goal at top speed. It was learned later that the lad strained a leg muscle as he bolted into the open this slowing him down just enough to allow Jones to come in and overhaul him on the 14.
Pakenham fumbled for the first time this season on the next play of the game, and it was evident then that the game would be decided by statistics. The West Texas backs didn't get past their own 45 yard strip during the entire first quarter.
The Buck's ace punter Jimmy Spencer got them out of a hole with some sensational kicking in the second period, as both teams fought within each other's 25-yard lines. At one point, Spencer backed the winners down to their 10 yard line with a neat boot but Pakenham immediately got the Lobos out of dangers by kicking 38 yards upfield. Herb Wofford intercepted a Rex Stuckey pass on the Lobo 44, but time ran out before Breckenridge could capitalize on the break.
The Lobos came back at the half and displayed their best running of the game. They recovered possession of the ball on their own 26 midway through the third period when Spencer's kicked to Don Barton. Barton returned nine yards to his 35, then he spun around end for five yards in two tries. On third down he heaved a 13-yard aerial to Cashell who made a circus catch and was down immediately on the Buck's 45.
Two running plays netted six yards and Amy Rogers dropped back to punt on third down. Jack Jones, came tearing into the Lobo backfield to block the kick and he immediately recovered on Longview's 33. Jimmy Payne went back to pass, couldn't spot a receiver, shook off three tacklers and advanced the ball to the Lobo 28. At this point, Breckenridge had a 7-4 advance in first downs, and if the Buckaroos could set the ball inside the Longview 20 yard line, they would had been victorious.
But the Lobo line saw to it that he one penetration margin held good by hitting Harry Dean on the next play, causing the 193-pound Buckie ace to fumble and Bobby Anglin recovered for Longview.
Pakenham immediately quick kicked 55 yards to the Breckenridge 20. Three running plays failed to gain for the West Texans and Spencer kicked to the Lobo 40. Pakenham quick kicked on first down with the wind at his back and the ball travelled to the Breckenridge 8, where Wofford picked it up and returned 6 yards to his own 14 at the end of the third quarter.
Even the most optimistic fan in the stands was willing to concede that the game was going to be decided on penetrations as the fourth quarter opened. The Bucks got six yards in three plays then Spencer kicked to Cashell on the Lobo 38. Fox returned nicely to the 46. Longview picked ups first down on two runs by Pakenham and a 9 yard jaunt by Cashell. Just when a Longview drive seemed imminent., Pakenham lost the ball in the line and Breckenridge recovered.
Payne opened up with a completed pass to Rodgers on Longview's 49 then broke loose for a 13-yard run which gave the Bucks a first down on Longview's 35. Jim Fuller and Ed Roach tossed Payne for a 10 yard loss and after Dean picked up 5, Menasco spilled Payne for a 7 yard deficit.
Spencer put Longview in a terrific hole at this point by kicking out of bounds on the Lobo 4 yard stripe.
Pakenham worked his way through for seven big yards, then picked up a first down by hitting the same spot for three. Then a trio of running plays failed to pick up the needed yardage so Pakenahm sent a long spiral sailing into the wind which came down on the Buckie's 41. That was the turning point in the ball game. If Pakenham's kick had wobbled or died inside the Longview 40, there is good reason to believe that the visitors would have gained a last minute penetration. But this boy Pakenham was kicking like the all-stater he had been cracked up to be and that 40-yard kick from deep in his own territory was just as important as Harris' great first quarter run.
The game ended three plays later. On two of those three plays the hard charging Lobos line threw Payne for a pair of 5 yard losses.
Again it is hard to single out the stars. Anglin, Muston, Menasco and especially Eaves played terrific games. Harris was running with good deception but Cashell turned in the running gems by getting out of almost impossible situations on several occasions. Pakenham was nothing short of sensational in all departments while Rogers and Barton played their usual steady game.
Terry and Raoch were a couple of blocks of granite on the ends and Roy Anderson continues to improve in the post he took over from Algee Callahan.
Roy Dodds Spencers and Jack Mehaffey were Breckenridge's standout linemen. Payne and Dean were the running stars for the losers.