LONGVIEW - The Longview Lobos, lean and hungry for a victory over their old formulators whom they had not been able to bite a chunk from since 1951, closed out Coach Catfish Smith's best season here Friday night when they shellacked the Lufkin Panthers 62-0 and won thereby the co-championship of District 8-AAAA.
The Wolves committed only one mistake all night and the score was already 35-0 at the time, so practically nobody even recalls it this morning. They uncovered brand new passers - Douglas Bruner is left-handed, a fact which might have remained a secret except that Friday night he completed three passes in three attempts, one for a touchdown and another for a 2-point conversion - and even Billy Coley got into the razzle-dazzle business with a touchdown pass thrown off a pitchout.
Longview all season has carried along a student assistant who fired off an aerial bomb after each Lobo score, whether it a touchdown, conversion, safety, field goal or whatever. Last night he just about shot the works, including the supply he had left over from the Texarkana game a couple of weeks ago.
The Panthers made a couple of mistakes early in the first quarter and the Lobos charged them eight points. A 15-yard holding penalty set the Panthers back to their own 36 and on the first play their quick-kick effort was partially blocked, going only seven yards to the 43. Larry Shoemaker bolted through right tackle for 23 yards to the 20, and from there three plays moved it to the 7. Abney, running on a bootleg play, circled right end and, after a little hula-hoop type hip swinging on the 5, evaded three tackles and went in standing up for the touchdown.
On a rollout Abney faked a pass kept and ran right end for the 2-point conversion.
It wasn't long before the hungry Wolves were at it again. Ronnie Redd kicked to the Lobo 44. Two plays later Bruner, passing from a double reverse, heaved a high, wobbly, fork-handed shot to Larry Boswell who took it on the 25. Coley hit right tackle to the 9 and on third down Abney flipped a 5-yarder to Boswell for the touchdown.
Abney's pass to Ray Chancelor for the conversion was no good.
Later in the first quart the Wolves took another Redd kick on the 50 and moved in one play to the 40. Abney shot a 28-yard pass to Bruner on the 12 and two plays later, on the first play of the second period, Coley took a pitchout from Abney and flipped it into the end zone for a touchdown from the 9. Abney kicked the extra point.
The next two came in a hurry. An explosive 41-yard sprint by Mark Thomas moved it to the Panther 18, and after a 5-yard penalty, Bruner tried another of those left-handed passes off a double reverse. This one paid off for a touchdown as Boswell grabbed it in the end zone. Abney also kicked this one.
Fifty-five seconds later, the Wolves scored again when John Hurst, Lufkin's fine quarterback tried to pass from his 16-yard line with a Lobo hanging onto his shoulder pads. His list to starboard spoiled his aim and he threw straight at Larry Shoemaker, who gathered the ball in on the 20 and sprinted his way into the end zone all by himself. Abney converted again and it was 35-0 at the half.
A pass interception by Shoemaker set up the next Lobo touch shortly after the third period opened. Bruner ran left end for 18 yards and then Coley on a sweep lateraled to Thomas as he was tackled and the play added another 15. The going got sticky there but Bruner finally lugged it over from the 1. Abney converted again.
Near the end of the third the Lobos, who were by this time frolicking with a spate of their cubs in the lineup, whaled the Panthers again. They took the ball on their own 31 and, with young Kim Flint calling the signals, moved in 11 plays to score again. A screen pass, Flint to Bruner, for 20 yards was the key play of the drive; and Shoemaker crashed right tackle from the 5 for the score. Abney missed a conversion and then it stood at 48-0.
The Panthers threatened in the fading minutes of the period when Hurst hung one on a peg for W.A. Dempsey on the 20 and he lugged two defenders to the 16 before they brought him down. But Hurst tried another pass and Jerry Earnhart bounced him and the ball both off the ground with some force, and Jimmy Nottingham covered the loose ball for the Wolves to end the threat.
Another intercept by Pete Mobbs on the 41 started the Wolves again. This time a 30-yard pass from Abney to Sewell Street which carried to the 6 was the key play. Abney ran left end from the 1 for the score and when his kick failed it was 54-0.
The Cubs liked the taste of blood so they hit the Panthers again Willard Wright chipped in with an 18-yard jaunt not he drive and Flint flipped to Mobbs for 15 yards to keep the ball moving. It was Wright over right tackle from the 3 who scored. Bruner, passing off that double reverse again, threw to George Willige for the two extra points.
The Panther attack got to moving against the Lobo youngsters in the final few minutes but they were able to move only to the Lobo 11 before time ran out. They actually reached the 8 but the last play of the game saw them thrown back three yards.
It was pure murder all the way. Lufkin newsman believed it to be the worst defeat in Panther history, but that was not readily verifiable. It might have been the worse except for that one Lobo mistake. A free ball on the kickoff which started the second half went into the end zone and, after a Lobo and a Panther went through the Alphonse-Gaston bit for a few seconds, the Panthers smartened up and covered it. Had the Lobo done so it would been another six points.
Nineteen seniors and two senior managers who were appearing in their final game were honored by the Lobo Booster club before the game, each being introduced with a thumbnail sketch of his grid-record. They seemed then ready to make their last one a lulu, and that's exactly what happened.
The win gave the Wolves a tie with Texarkana at three wins and a loss apiece. Lufkin finished third while Tyler, tied Friday night by Marshall, wound up in fourth and the Mavericks finished fifth.