LUFKIN - Longview's defense looked like the proverbial rubber band. In this case, bending, bending and bending, but never breaking. The Lobos' 12-0 win here Friday night can be chalked up to the defense, all the way.
Three times Lufkin pushed Longview back under its own goal-post. Three times the "Mean Green" rose to the occasion, twice turning the Panthers back on fourth down and once recovering a fumble at its own two-yard line. Panther fullback Luther Turner earned his yards, 152 of them on 28 carries, but he ran at the Lobo defense like no other back this year. Still, in the end (zone), he was treater like all the others and Longview came away with its second straight District 14-AAAAA shutout, third of the season, and fifth straight win.
Longview's Gahlen Johnson, who last week set a school rushing mark, had 92 yards on nine carries.
Lufkin for the second straight year is winless after five games and all but eliminated from the league race now with two losses.
Friday's win for the Lobos was the first time Longview had beaten Lufkin in Lufkin since 1975.
The Panthers in the first half moved as deep as the Lobo six and once tot he 25 but were unable to cross the goal line. In the second half, with Longview holding onto a 12-0 lead on two Kenny Frazier touchdown runs int eh first two periods, the defense had to really dig in. It did, at the 10 on a fourth-and-goal pass, and at the two on a second-and-goal play when sophomore quarterback Jackie Kegler fumbled with Dewayne Woolridge coming up with the ball.Terry Graham put the finishing touches on the Lobo shutout with still slightly over a minute left when he sacked Kegler for a 10-yard loss back at Lufkin's own 49.
Lufkin has faced this problem - breakdowns near the goal - in each of its five games this years, according to head coach Ed Cauley. Busted assignments, penalties, fumbles and overthrown passes have resulted in the five consecutive losses.
The Panthers' first of three fumbles on the night was recovered by Due Brooks at the Lufkin 22. It took just five plays for the Lobos to go in. Frazier doing the honors on a two-yard keeper play. The snap from center was bobbled and kicker Jessie Floyd was tackled as he tried to throw to Frazier.
Longview's next possession ended almost as quickly as Johnson sparked a six-play, 76-yard move with a 50-yard scamper to the Lufkin 23. Frazier scored three plays and a penalty later from the eight-yard line. The try for two points failed, but the Lobos had a 12-0 lead with 5:38 left in the half.
From there, the defense took over for the most part.
A 13-play, 74-yard drive ended when Pat Collier and Melvin Boyd wrapped up Kegler at the Longview seven on a fourth-and-goal roll out. Kegler had come in the game just five plays earlier when regular starter Reggie Adams was roughed up on a keep right play from his own two. He made it to the one before Longview defenders converged and Adams left the game with what later was diagnosed as a broken collarbone. A five-yard motion penalty nullified a Darly Hood touchdown and moved the ball back tot he six on second down.
Kegler threw two straight incomplete passes.
Longview fumbled early in the second half and Keith Wright came up with it at the Lobo 18. Turner picked up three and then nine to get to the six-yard line. Four downs netted nothing as Tony Ash was stopped for no gain on first down, Kegler was thrown for a two-yard loss on second down and again on third down. Boyd then broke up a fourth down halfback pass. Longview could not move the ball and had to punt away.
In the fourth quarter Scott Dillard had to leap high for a snap from center on a fourth down punt play and slipped when he came down on the drenched turf at his own 45.
Turner ripped off 17 yards on the ensuing play to the Lobo 24 but Jimmy Motley recovered a Kegler bobble on the next play back at the 28. The Lobos were still unable to move the ball and punted once again, setting up the Panthers at their own 48 with 9:37 left in the game.