IRVING - After being thoroughly outplayed in the first half, Longview needed only two plays to pull off a complete turnaround and capture a 17-0 bi-district victory over Killeen Ellison here Saturday night at Texas Stadium.
The Lobos had been held to just 29 total yards in the first half, while Ellison rolled up 210.
But Longview, 9-2, didn't waste any time reversing its lackluster first half effort. It took exactly 16 seconds for the Lobos to get things rolling.
Glen Moore took the second half kickoff on his own 13, headed right and broke into the open field. Elison's Marcus Burns, who fought off Jimmy Smith's block, was able to shove Moore out of bounds at the Eagles 16-yard line and saved the touchdown.
The touchdown, however, waited just one play. Junior quarterback Kirt Griffin faked into the line and found split end Brian Williams wide open on a flag pattern for the score with 11:44 showing.
Jason Baird's PAT gave the Lobos a 7-0 lead.
The catch marked the third consecutive game Williams had a touchdown reception. He's had touchdown catches in four of the last five games.
"I was kind of surprised we opened things up (in the third quarter)," Griffin said. "We set up the pass with the run. We ran power, ran power and ran power and then we ran the power pass. It was the same thing we did to Pine Tree (last week). He (Williams) was wide open and that's all it took."
Actually, that's not all it took.
Ellison, which had 12 first downs to Longview's six, refused to lay down and moved to midfield on its next possession.
But on fourth and one, defensive end Conny Childs threw Mickey Williams for a yard loss and Longview took over.
After the teams traded fumbles, (Child claimed an Ellison bobble at the Eagles 30) the Lobos scored again.
This time Longview used some trickery.
Griffin handed off to Eric Faggett, who handed off to split end Rolanda Reese, who lofted a 23-yard scoring toss to Williams.
Baird's kick gave Longview a 14-0 advantage with 5:22 left in the quarter.
Neither team threatened again until Baird nailed a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
Longview will play Cypress Fairbanks,a 29-19 winner over Conroe McCullough in the area round of the playoffs next week. Site, time and date were undecided at press time Saturday night.
However, in the first half, it appeared the Eagles, who finished 5-6, would be the ones to advance.
Three times the Eagles threatened to score. Three times the Lobo defense, which now has registered five shut outs, held.
The first time Ellison moved to the Lobos 17. But on third and four, Childs dropped Burns for a 3-yard loss. Moore followed by blocking Kirby Wiseman's 37-yard field goal attempt.
Later, the Eagles moved to the Longview 20, but Smith sacked quarterback Faallaeo Poyer for a 7-yard loss and Ellison eventually had to try another field goal. This time Mike Adams blocked a 42-yard attempt.
After an interception, Ellison attempted a 22-yarder on the half's final play. Although Wiseman's got this one in the air it sailed wide left to keep the game scoreless at intermission.
Longview's only real chance to score in the first half came on its third play.
Facing third and 12 at their own 45, Griffin threw a perfect pass to Williams, who was 10 yards behind the coverage at the 15. But the ball bounced harmlessly off his fingertips.
Williams, however, made up for the miscue.
"We just made some adjustments," Longview coach Doug Cox explained of his team's third quarter resurgence. "We thought we could throw. The kids did a pine job. They're bi-district champs and I'm proud of them."