LUFKIN - Sophomore Robert Edwards grew up in a hurry here Friday night.
Greg Brown had taken the ball at his own eight after a 46-yard punt by Lufkin's Linsey Taylor and streaked down the right sideline where the Lobo punt return team had formed a perfect. At the 50 he was in the clear, except for Edwards.
That saved a 28-20 district 14-AAAA victory for Lufkin that propelled the Panthers into the playoffs, although the two teams tied for the league title.
Quarterback Robert Blake was the man Longview couldn't stop, and was ht done that tore the vaunted Mean Green defense to shreds, galloping for 156 yards on just 12 carries, and scoring on gallops of 55 and 52 yards in the first half.
From the beginning, however, it was Longview's mistakes that mad the difference. Longview head coach Doug Cox said before the game that the team that made the fewest mistakes would win. And he was right.
Longview kicked off to open the contest and Lufkin picked up only eight yards in there plays. Facing fourth down with two to go, Longview put 11 men on the line in an attempt to block the punt but an over anxious Lobo jumped off sides, giving Lufkin a first down. Two plays later, Blake went 55-yards for a touchdown.
Longview came right back and drove to the Lufkin eight, where the Panthers intercepted a fourth down pass to kill the drive.
Disaster struck on Longview's next possession. A screen pass intended for Dinky Edwards was intercepted at the Lobo 40 by James Durham, who waltzed in for the touchdown untouched.
Longview came back on the ensuing kickoff to drive 73 yards, Sam Lanier taking it over from the one.
Just four plays later, Blake went 52 yards for his second touchdown.
Longview took the second half kickoff and drove 80 yards in 13 plays with Edwards carrying it across from six yards out. That made it 21-14. Edwards was the leading rusher for Longview with 118 yards in 16 carries.
Lufkin came right back and drove to the Longview one, where fourth down stared the Panthers in the face. Tailback Jimmy Kegler got the call but was met at the line by a pair of Lobo definers and he coughed up the pigskin and Richard Dickson fell on the fumble to halt the scoring threat.
Longview scored its last touchdown when a Lufkin punter Linsey Taylor fumbled the snap from center at his own 10 and was dropped for a seven yard loss at the three. On the next play, Kenny Jackson hit Reno Hutchins with a touchdown pass.
Both teams finished 9-1 on the year and 5-1 in conference action. Lufkin will meet Plano in bi-district action next week.