LUFKIN - Longview played with fire and got burned Friday night, but the burns weren't quite fatal.
The famous little Red Riding Hood story, you know? I tame out wrong in the final act. The wrong one won.
The right one won at Panthere Stadium here Friday night. Big mean Lobos, with sharp teeth and sharper hands, simply ate up Lufkin, 21-18, in a district 13-AAAA football contest before a crowd of around 4,500 on a very humid Friday night in this Piney Woods city.
Well, at least there is one way of looking at it - a Longview Lobo football team won't ever have to play all-state candidate Ray Harper again. The athlete was held to 93 net yards, which is a remarkable feat for this Longview football team.
Texarkana, who defeated Lufkin here three weeks ago, 23-7, held Harper to 70 yards. Harper is truly one of the great running backs in Texas, but Friday night it was Longview who was a little more dedicated in stopping Harper than Lufkin was in stopping fullback Rodney Cox who carried the ball 19 times for 76 yards.
The contest was a thriller from the kickoff to the final 18 seconds in the game.
Longview kicked off to Lufkin and the Panthers took over on their own 37 yard line.
On the fifth play of the series, Lufkin quarterback John Havord was intercepted by defensive tackle alan Lyles at the 45 yard of Longview.
Longview wasn't able to move the ball too well and on that series of downs, Bill Gibson punted and Lufkin took over on their own seven yard line. Lufkin ran six plays and on the seventh play, had to punt. Don Peek fielded the ball at the Lobo 30 yard line with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter. The two teams exchanged punts once again and the Lobos finally took over after a second punt by Lufkin on their own 17 yard line. On the first carry, fullback Cox went off right tackle to the 26 for a nine-yard gain and then speedster Coley went off right tackle on the same play to the 33 for a gain of seven yards.
Six plays later, quarterback Ronnie Davis, was given a rush by a strong defensive unit and was forced to pass without having his receiver in the open and his ball was picked off by a Lufkin defensive halfback, Robert Carr, at the Lufkin 10 yard line, to stop a Lobo drive with one minute gone off the clock in the second quarter.
Lufkin was forced to punt from their own 28 yard line and Longview took over on their own 20 with 8:27 to go in the second quarter.
The Lobos went 80 yards in 18 plays and tailback Alton Coley went over from the three yard line for the touchdown with 1:04 on the clock. Rodney Hill, who has an educated toe, booted the extra point to give the Lobos a 7-0 lead.
The Lobos went to the dressing room at half-time leading 7-0.
Lufkin was held to 20 running plays in the first half and Longview had 28 running plays. Tailback Harper of Lufkin was held to just 23 yards in the first half which must be a sad first for this youngster who has been averaging 130-plus yards per game.
The second half appeared to be disaster for the Lobos. But quarterback Ronnie Davis, who finished his fourth varsity game with a victory, kept the Lobos going with great confidence the entire game.
At the start of the third quarter, the Lobos took the kickoff and started their drive on the 31-yard line of Longview. On the first play, fullback Cox fumbled the ball at the 32 and Ecomet Burley recovered the ball for the Panthers.
In six plays and 32 yards, fullback Harper went over for the touchdown from one yard out with 9:23 remaining in the third quarter. Lufkin went for the two-pointer and failed. Wingback Harris on a pitch-out from the quarterback, Havord, fumbled the ball, and the Lobos still had the lead, 7-6.
Lufkin kicked off and Joseph Rattler took the ball on the nine and returned to the 21 of Longview.
On the fourth play from the 38, quarterback Davis fumbled the ball and Lufkin recovered to start their touchdown drive again.
However, the Lobo defense came through and held Harper on fourth down when he needed two yards for a first. The youngster found a tunnel, but at the end, he needed about three inches to escape. The Lobo defense held and Longview took over on its 29 with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter. The Lobos took the ball and on fourth down, BIll Gibson punted. Lufkin took over on the 27 yard line.
Lufkin wasn't able to do very much and they were forced to punt.
Longview took over on their 12-yard line, went 78 yards and Coley, in from the one yard line, scored the second touchdown of the night for the Lobos with 8:06 remaining in the game. Jimmie Hill kicks the extra point, to make it 14-6.
Bill Gibson kicked off and Lufkin took over on the 35. In six plays and 65 yard, Mr. Ray Harper plowed over from the one yard line with 5:47 remaining in the game. Harper went for the two pointer and was stopped at the right side of the line. So Longview held and continued to lead, 14-12.
Lufkin kicked off and Longview started the drive on Lufkin's 39 because the kickoff failed to go the required distance. In eight plays and 39 yards, tailback Coley went into the right end zone standing up, for the touchdown, with 1:51 left in the game. Jimmie Hill kicked the extra point to make it 21-12.
Tailback Ray Harper scored the final touchdown from the four yard line with 18 seconds remaining in the game. Their two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Kent Wilson and Longview had the victory, 21-18.