LUFKIN - Taking advantage of Lufkin’s early game jitters, Longview’s No.1 state ranked Lobos blasted to a quick 21-0 first quarter lead and coasted for a 34-8 victory here Friday night to set up the District 14-AAAA championship and an undefeated, united season.
The Lobos recovered a fumble and picked off an errant Panther pass and converted both into scores, following a brilliantly executed 68-yard drive on its first possession, to take an almost insurmountable lead with 31 seconds left on the first period clock.
Lufkin’s lone score came late in the game when quarterback Russell Ash connected with halfback Vincent Lewis who showed a fancy bit of running to outdistance Longview’s Travis Cox and Jeff Stone to the end zone. And then swept right end for a two-point conversion with just 2:23 left in the encounter.
The Panther score, which covered 67 yards, marred an otherwise tremendous defensive performance by the Longview ‘Mean Green’ unit. Besides keeping the Lobos from posting a sixth shutout this season, the long tally lifted Lufkin’s passing statistics to 85 yards for the night and total yardage to 117. Without the scamper, the Panthers managed just 50 total yards.
Longview, meanwhile, rambled for 400 total yards, 291 on the ground on a previously strong Lufkin outfit, which ended it’s season at 7-2-1.
Leo McCoy paced the ground attack with 99 yards despite registering 92 in the first half alone. It was little Reggie Brazzle, however, who threw some spark into the highly successful evening with 75 yards and one touchdowns on three reverse carries froths wingback position.
Longview employed 11 ball carriers in the rout.
The initial Lobo score came at the end of a 68-yard march, which was keyed by a 30-yard pass completion from Llewellyn Fambles to tight end Gil Harris.
Brazzle put the night’s first points on the board with a 20-yard jaunt with 6:32 remaining in the opening quarter. Henry Williams booted the first of four conversion kicks for the evening.
Just two plays later Longview was back on the offensive after middle linebacker Stone recovered a Johnny Williams bobble at the Lufkin 32.
It took five plays tome in for the score on a 12-yard toss from Fambles to Harris, who was wide open in the end zone.
Longview kicked off but Jimmy Kegler, a sophomore, dropped back to attempts halfback pass to speedy Nathaniel Westly far down the field. Elvis Bradley thwarted the tricksters though with a pass interception and a return of 32 yards to the Longview 41.
It took Tim Martin just seven plays to guide his mates to a third first quarter score. He scored the touchdown himself after bobbling the snap from center and alertly picking it up off the ground and strutting in untested from 5 yards out.
The Lufkin fans and team were stunned by the Longview onslaught as well as the brisk weather to say the least.
Another fumble gave Longview possession at the Panther 20 with 18 ticks remaining in the first quarter clock. Fambles recovered the loose ball when Ash was hit as he pitched the ball on a Wishbone option.
David Gibson, however, fumbled on the ending play.
Ash, who was the leading rusher, was dropped time and time again by the hard charging Lobo defense and end the night with minus yards. Brown and Williams each carried 23 yards overland to lead the Panther attack.
McCoy connected with wingback David Morris late in the final period following the Lufkin score for a 30 yard gainer to the Panther 19. Fambles finished the work from there.
Longview and Plano officials will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning in Edgewood to decide the date and site for next week’s bi-district playoff encounter.