LONGVIEW - One of the first rules laid down to punt returners is not to touch the ball when it comes down inside your own 10. Someone forgot to Longview's Sam Lanier. It turned out to be a smart move.
The end result was a school record 93-yard return for a touchdown in the first quarter that sparked the Lobos to a 24-0 triumph over Fort Worth Paschal here Friday night. It was the fourth year in a row for the Panthers to fall before the Lobos' onslaught.
A heavy win fell for about an hour and a half before the game, but stopped just before the kickoff. The field was drenched, however, and the tams combined to fumble a total of 12 times. Paschal cough up the pigskin on seven occasions, losing five to the ball-hawking Lobos.
It was a night for the Lobo defense. Paschal could garner only 77 yards total offense and just four first downs, one by penalty. The first didn't come until there was just 6:31 left in the initial half.
Paschal drew an early edge as the two teams exchanged punts the first few series. The Lobos' first punt when twin safeties Jody Norman and Clarence Garrett puled an old University of Texas trick and tried a reverse on the punt.
It worked. Rather well. Norman carted the ball 21 yards to the Lobos 49.
Two punts later, Paschal's Billy Weimer had to kick away on a fourth-and-seven situation at the Longview 37. He barely got the kick off. It would have been if he hadn't.
Lanier took the ball over his shoulder on the seven, headed up the right sideline and got a crushing block from Mike Claxton and Richard Dixon at the 30, on a Weimer no less, and then outran Mitchell Parks to the end zone.
It was the longest scoring play in LHS history, breaking the old mark of 88 set last year by now-graduated Tim Martin.
Jim Tutt kicked a field goal in the second period for a 10-0 halftime lead, then Dinky Edwards blasted across from a yard away in the third before Reno Hutchins gathered in a four-yard pass from backup quarterback Victor McGee in the final stanza to wrap up the scoring.
Tutt added all three points.
But defense, the Mean Green; that's what stood out. Only great second efforts by Panther tailback Jody Norma netted him 29 yards in 13 carries.