LONGVIEW - Longview's Lobos, winners of 11 straight games and ranked No. 2 among the State's Class AAAA football teams, saw it all go for naught here Friday night as Mack Rogers, a 195-pound tailback, scored two last-half touchdowns to pace the Richardson Eagles to a 21-13 bi-distric victory.
The victory before a standing room-only crowd of 12,000, sends the 7th-ranked Eagles against No. 3 ranked Dallas Bryan Adams in the Class AAAA quarterfinals next week.
Rogers gained 111 yards on 23 carries to provide most of the offensive heroics for the Eagles. It was Jimmy Hoffman, a 150-pound defensive end, who really turned the game into a Richardson victory.
Hoffman intercepted one pass, returned a blocked field goal attempt 68 yards for the first Eagle touchdown and recovered a Rodney Hill fumble of a punt at the Lobo 1-yard line to set up the clinching touchdown with only 1:32 to go in the game.
Hoffman got his first chance to shine when linebacker David Arledge, a big thorn in the Lobo attack all night, broke through to block a Ralph Blount field goal attempt from the Richardson 27. Hoffman speared the bounding pigskin at the 32 and set sail for the end zone. He barely made it, two Lobos catching him just as he crossed the goal line.
Norman Flippo's kick for the extra point slid off to the left, but the Eagles were flying higher than the proverbial kite with a 6-0 lead with 8:20 to go in the second quarter.
The Lobos, however, cranked up their awesome offensive machine a few minutes later as quarterback Steve Judy connected on passes of 30 and 35 yards and tailback hill and wingback Sid Sistrunk shared ball-toting duties on the ground.
They ate up five of the last six minutes of play in the half with a 10-play, 79-yard drive, with a 35-yard pass from Judy to end Tommy Davis on fourth down getting the counter.
Blount, who had booted 35 of 36 extra-point tries coming into this game, split the uprights for a 7-6 Lobo lead at intermission.
That missed extra point loomed large and larger until Blount missed a PAT try following Longview's second touchdown, which came some 4 minutes deep into the third quarter, on a 12-yard run by Hill to cap a 69-yard drive in seven plays.
Richardson finally got back in the swing of things when Arledge intercepted a Judy pass at the Richardson 35. This was the spark the Eagles needed.
They proceeded to march 65 yards in 10 plays for their second touchdown of the night, with Rogers scoring on a 17-yard burst over left tackle that worked because the spunky tailback gave it second and third efforts to get in to the end zone, dragging a couple of defenders.
Then came a crucial decision. Behind, 3-1, in penetrations, Eagles head coach Joe Simpson decided to try for the 2-point conversion.
Quarterback Bob Dudney, who had been inconsistent in passing all night, looped one over the middle to end Tom Dewell. Dewell was unable to catch it himself but deflected it into the waiting arms of fullback John Swords, who had run a fake up the middle, completing the play and giving the Eagles 14-13 lead.
Hoffman got yet another chance for glory, with 4:27 left in the game, he intercepted a Judy pass at the Eagle 26. The Eagles drove to the Lobo 40 but were faced with a fourth-and-one and Simpson sent Barry Carnahan in to punt.
He lofted a high one to Hill standing one yard deep in the end zone. The ball slid through Hill's arms and bounced out to the one, where Johnny-on-the-spot Hoffman recovered to set up Rogers' one-yard plunge of the final touchdown. This time Flippo kicked the extra point.