LONGVIEW - Overcoming a sluggish first half, the opportunistic Longview Lobos put together a strong second half to shutout the Dallas Carter Cowboys, 18-0, in the season opener for both teams here Friday night in the new Lobo Stadium.
Jumping on five Dallas carter fumbles and intercepting two stray aerials, the 'Mean Green' defense surrendered only 115 yards total offense to the Cowboys, all on the ground, in an impressive first game performance.
Each of the Lobo scoring drives began after a Carter miscue. Jim Tutt put the initial points of the year on the board for the hosts when he toed a 29-yard field goal with 10:06 left in the first half.
That ended a 11-play, 56 yard drive that lasted 4:06 after defensive tackle Jay Crawford pounced on a fumble by Carter's Bernard Jackson at the Longview 44 with 3:12 left in the first period.
The big play in the Lobos' first scoring drive of the season was a 13-yard tight-end around by Hosea Taylor that gave Longview a first down at the Cowboy 10.
That was all the scoring in the first half as both teams were struggling offensively. After swapping punts at the beginning of the last half, Carter's Robert Canaday coughed up the pigskin at the Carter 10 and linebacker Sherman Johnson fell on it for the Lobos.
That was set up by a 35 yard punt by Taylor only two plays before that, which died on the Cowboy seven-yard line.
It took the Lobos only two plays to score after the fumble. Carter was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the first play, only one of nine penalties assessed against the Cowboys for a total of 96 yards on the night, and quarterback Tim Martin scored again around right end on an option five yards away.
Carter blocked the extra point, but was called for being offsides and then Longview went for two, with Dinky Edwards tallying easily around right end.
Longview's final points of the night came after Steve Terry halted a potential Cowboy threat when he picked off a pass at the Lobo goal line and returned it 30 yards where Carter was called for piling on, moving the ball to the Longview 45.
Fourteen plays later, Martin faked inside to fullback John Henry Jones and lofted a two-yard scoring pass to Taylor, who was wide open in the end zone. Tutt added the extra point.
Edwards led all rushers with 61 yards on 11 carries. Martin hit two of four passes for seven yards with his other completion going to Edwards for a gain of five on a screen pass.
It was Taylor, however, who was the Lobos' biggest offensive threat as he made his debut as a punt, booting three times for an average of 43.6 yards, including a 52-yarder in the first half.
It was a penalty-riddler contest, with Longview being called for infractions eight times for 89 yards. The Lobos fumbled a total of five times, losing two.
Longview had 11 first downs while Carter had 10.