LONGVIEW - Marshall's Coach Jerry Ferguson, a former University of Arkansas fullback in the late '50s, turned on his scoring machine at Lobo Stadium Frida night in topcoat weather and the Longview Lobos just couldn't turn it off.
When it was quitting time, the Mavs' mechanical point makers, quarterback James Phelps, tailback Rickie Cobb, halfback Jay Lawrence and kicking specialist Lonnie Sibley, had shattered Longview's hope of winning a District 13-AAAA title, 20-3.
The Marshall team elevated their season record to 3-3-0 and their District 13-AAAA record to 2-2-20. It was truly the biggest upset victory of the season.
Marshall was rated by coaches in the league as one of the three weak teams in the league with Marshall Pemberton and Tyler Scott. But the Mavs here Friday night were in the class with Lufkin, John Tyler and Texarkana.
Longview's record for the season falls to 4-2-0 and in district play, 3-2-0. Next week the Lobos will be in Dallas to face one of the big powers - Dallas Bishop Lynch.
In the closing minutes of the game, Coach Ferguson used several reserves to give them a chance to be in on the victory. The Lobo band stated playing with about three minutes remaining on the clock and the Maverick ball players were so happy until they started doing a little dance number and clapping their hands.
It was the kind of game that everything Marshall did was right and the Lobos just almost played dead the entire 48 minutes of action.
There have been nights when Marshall tacklers swarmed about he place more vigorously perhaps, but these got the job done as well as it could be done. They had the door to the end zone locked and that's the name of the game.
What went wrong with the Lobos? They have the No. 1 coaching staff in the Lone Star State. That Texarkana defeat last Saturday night, 14-7, was still on the minds of the Lobos and the fans. It hurt and it is still hurting. Being ready to play is 70% of the game and the Lobos just had a mental let down. Don't give up on the Lobos. They still can finish the season with an outstanding record.
Marshall must be given a "pat-on-the-back" for a great job. THey came to play. However, many of the Marshall fans stopped downtown to have dinner at several of Longview's finer cafes and didn't arrive until the Marshall club had a 20-3 lead. Sorry about that.
Sensational junior quarterback James Phelps won the battle of the quarterbacks in the contest. He didn't throw an interception. Phelps, 150, skillfully piloted Marshall to victory.
It was homecoming for the Lobos. Miss Jamie Tutt was officially named 1968 Lobo Football Sweetheart.
The Lobos here lat year defeated the Marshall club, 31-0. It was an easy victory. It was that kind of win here Friday night for the Marshall team.
The Longview team made 15 first downs and the Marshall boys had 16. The Lobos compiled 196 yards rushing and only 19 in the air. Marshall had 229 yards rushing and 82 through the cold air.
Fullback Raymond Christmas, a 167-pound junior, was the leading ground gainer for Marshall. He carried the ball nine times for 104 yards. Tailback Rickie Cobb was runner-up with 88 yards on 22 carries.
Tailback Billy Price of Longview toted the ball 17 times for a net of 69 yards. Wingback Sid Sistrunk was runner-up with 43 yards on seven tries.
The only thing the Lobos won in the game was the flip-of-the-coin prior to the kickoff.
Lonnie Sibley of Marshall kicked off to the Lobos and billy Price took the pigskin on the 22 and returned to the 36. On the first try Price was stopped for no gain at the 36. Then wingback Sid Sistrunk broke loose to the right side of the line to the 46 for a gain of 10. Then at the 46 the Lobos started moving again. Sistrunk went one right guard to the 49 of Marshall and fullback Ray Wright plowed to the 47. Price worked his way to the 42 for a first down. In the three plays, Longview made 12 yards.
On the 42 of Marshall, quarterback Roland Whitehurst went to the air and his bomb was intercepted by Jimmy Ammerman, safety, at the 32 of Marshall and returned to the 40. This is the play where the Lobos started having their many, many problems.
The Lobo unit entered the game and did a great job. The third play of the game saw quarterback Phelp sail a pass into the arms of end Rickie Larkin from the 47 to the 34 for a gain of 19 yards. Four plays later the Lobo defense held the Marshall team at the Lobo 30-yard line.
Quarterback Whitehurst took charge and with seven minutes and seven seconds on the clock started moving the club. From the 30 it took the Lobos 14 plays and Coach Hudspeth elected to go for a field goal. Ralph Blount booted a 29-yarder with 2:00 remaining on the clock to give Longview a 3-0 lead.
The Lobos had moved the ball to the Marshall seven for a first down. However, Whitehurst and Price were caught for four yards loss back to the 10. On fourth down and needing 11 for a first, the field goal team was called in. The ball was a placed at the 19 and the kick was perfect.
After a couple of exchanges of the pigskin, the Lobos had the ball at the Longview 25 yard line after the officials had charged the Lobos with a 15 yard holding penalty. It was first down and 21. Whitehurst on a hand-off to tailback Alton Coley fumbled the ball at the 22 and the Marshall team recovered the ball at Longview's 22.
Tailback Cobb of Marshall carried to the 20. Then quarterback Phelps wet to the air and the Lobos were caged with an 18-yard penalty to the two yard line for pass interference. Quarterback Phelps went in for the touchdown with 6:26 left on the clock in the second quarter from two yards out. Subley's extra point kick failed, 6-3.
Sibley kicked off to the Lobos and Alton Coley took the ball on the 19 and went to the 40 of Longview and fumbled the ball. J.C. Hughes recovered the ball for the Mavericks.
The Marshall club on third down, quick kicked by Dick Duncan and the ball rolled to the 33 of Longview.
Marshall's defense was too tough for Longview and on fourth down Whitehurst punted down field. The ball was placed at the 27 of Marshall with 4:53 left before halftime.
After nine plays, a big 35 yard gainer by fullback Raymond Christmas had the Mavs on the scoreboard again. Tailback Rickie Cobb went over left guard into the end zone for the touchdown with 2:05 remaining on the clock to give the Mavs a 12-3 lead. Sibley added the extra point and Marshall led, 13-3.
Sibley kicked off and the kick was an onside kick and Dick Duncan recovered the ball for Marshall at midfield.
Tailback Cobb carried the ball to the 48 of Longview for a gain of two yards. Marshall on the net play drew a five yard penalty and placed the ball at the Marshall 47. Then quarterback Phelps went to the air and hit halfback Jay Lawrence for a 53-yard pass and run play for the final touchdown of the night with 1:15 left on the clock. Sibley's kick was good and the Mavericks had a 20-3 lead and went to the dressing room with smiles.
Fans could have left after the colorful halfback show by the Longview Viewettes and the Lobo Marching band and the band of Marshall.
However, with nine seconds left in the third quarter, the Marshall team missed a field goal try. The Marshall team was grounded at the Lobo five and it was fourth down. So Sibley was called in for his "golden toe." The kick fell short of the uprights. But really Marshall didn't need the points.
With 28 seconds left in the game, Coach Hudspeth pulled Whitehurst and replaced him with Mike Northcutt. On the first play against Marshall's reserves, halfback David Uuttman went to the 33 of Longview for a gain of 17. Then Northcutt turned on his speed and sailed to the 48 of Marshall for a gain of 17. On the last play of the game, Northcutt's pass failed.
The Lobos must now forget about the Texarkana and Marshall games and make ready for Bishop Lynch. This is going to take a man size job to beat this club. The Longview team may have a few problems, But they still have the making of a good season.