LONGVIEW - In the record books, it will go down as a tie, but to the Longview Lobos, it was a victory, or a morale victory at best.
Killeen, with its high-powered offense and ranked ninth in the state, suffered a severe case of the Mean Green defense as it mustered enough power ego leave the contest with a 7-7 tie at Lobo Stadium Friday night.
Eric Borders' 47-yard field goal attempt with 18 seconds remaining came within a few feet of being a game-winner for the Lobos. Borders' kick had the distance, but veered off to the left.
"I couldn't be more prouder," said an elated Longview head coach Doug Cox. "I thought the key - and there was no question about it - they played as a team. They felt what a team is all about."
Longview dominated the contest for most of the game, leading in total offense, 279 to 214. The Lobos had only one turnover compared to three for the visitors.
Clifford Ward led the Lobos with 118 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown. Gahlen Johnson added another 51 yards on 12 carries as the Lobos played ball control.
The defense had a field day, punishing Killeen's top running backs. The Kangaroos managed 188 yards rushing, but earned every bit of it. Talented John Walker finished the evening with 34 yards on 12 carries, while fullback George Leaito led the visitors with 44 yards on 7 carries.
In the airways, Kyle Jones and Nathan Harris came up with interceptions, while Borders and Sammy Broughton also broke up several passes.
"We played a good defense, and a good offense," said captain Carlos Lee. "They were one of the best offenses in the state, and a very good team.
"I see this game as a victory, and up the ladder to the district championship. And then on to state."
Setback by a clipping penalty on its first possession the Lobos drove 74 yards in 10 plays to take an early 6-0 lead on Ward's two-yard run. Chuck Tomberlain added the extra point at 4:47 of the first quarter ended a near five minute drive.
Quarterback Derek Grant's 29-yard run, a successful one-yard run on fourth down, and a 19-yard completion to Bobby Daniels were the key plays of the drive. Ward carried the final two yards behind the right side of the line.
The Kangaroos bounced with a 15-play drive to the Lobos' 15-yard line, but were unable to score on four attempts. On fourth down, Borders knocked away an intended pass to Doug Karler.
The Lobos stopped Killeen's only offensive threat of the first half to set the tempo of the game. Longview's Ray Delk sent a booming 38-yard punt four plays later, but a fumble on the handoff, resulted with David Abney recovering at the Lobos' 47.
Again the offense cranked up, under the direction of Grant, to the two-yard line on 11 plays behind runs of 18 and 14 yards by Ward. Facing third down at the two, Grant's pass was intercepted four yards deep in the end zone.
Longview ate up seven minutes in the third quarter, driving from its 13 to the Killeen 19 before turning the ball over on downs.
The visitors took the ball on another time-consuming drive to the tying touchdown on George Leaito's four yard run. Leaito bounced off the line three times before turning the corner, and diving the final three yards. Killeen's Doug Harler kicked the extra point with 7:19 left.
Longview committed its only turnover of the game on a Gahlen Johnson fumble at the Killeen 43. With Big MO(mentum) in their favor, the Kangaroos could only muster 10 yards, punting at the Lobos' 43.