LONGVIEW - It had to be a sweet feeling for Kevin Jones, who had been almost forgotten in Longview's offensive plans this season except for his punting.
Friday night against Marshall, the junior quarterback was in for three plays, all at tailback. On two of them he touched the ball, and came up with the two biggest plays of the night that enabled No. 4 ranked Longview to stretch it's record to 9-0 with a 17-7 District 14-AAAA triumph over the Mavericks.
It was also the Lobos' homecoming and insured them of at least a tie for the league championship, with only Lufkin standing between them and an outright claim.
With a fourth down and 21 situation staring the Lobos in the face at the Marshall 47, Jones went in at tailback. The play started as a sweep to the right, but the junior pulled up, found tight end Reno Hutchins between two Mav defenders and drilled a perfect strike for a first down at the Maverick 12 for a 35-yard gain. Three snaps later, Dinky Edward went over from the two. That gave Longview a 10-0 lead in the third period.
Then, on the Mavericks' first possession of the final period, disaster struck in the form of speedster Reginald Curry. A 9.6 sprinter, Curry took a reverse around left end 71 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, Edwards was knocked loose of the ball on third down and Marshall recovered, the first time in five district games for the Lobos to lose a fumble.
With Marshall taking over at the Longview 44, Curry promptly took the ball 23 yards to the 21. Two plays later, the speedster gave the ball right back to Longview at its own eight, and Greg Brown fell on it there.
Jones was ready to bail out Longview again. After two running plays netted eight yards, Jones took the handoff from quarterback Kenny Jackson and broke off-tackle for a gain of 19 yards to the Longview 35.
Nine plays later, Bobby Portley, who gained 117 yards in the game, scored from the one-yard line to complete the 92-yard scoring drive.
The win had to be doubly sweet for Jones, who's father was the head coach at Marshall before incumbent Jack Gray took over in 1975.
The junior tailback-quarterback had a good night punting also, booting it twice for a 44.0 average.