IRVING - Showing at Texas Stadium: Earnest Goes to the Playoffs.
Scheduled to run at least a week.
Earnest Hunter, suspended just eight days ago and forced to miss the final regular-season game, returned with a vengeance here Saturday in rushing for a school record 328 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Longview Lobos to a 38-22 Class 5A bi-district triumph over previously undefeated and fourth ranked Killeen Ellison.
A two-time 1,000 yard rusher, Hunter made up for lost time - he had only 128 rushing against Marshall and John Tyler before missing last week - by scoring on runs of 91, 18 and 45, the latter two in the second half as the Lobos won their 10th game in 11 tries this season. The victory was also second-year head coach Robert Bero's first in the playoffs and sends Longview against Huntsville in the area round here next Saturday.
Hunter, a 5'11, 20-pound senior, carried only 26 times and even had an 18-yard loss charged to him after picking up an errant option pitch from quarterback Selwyn Broughton, who was making his second straight start. The three touchdowns brought Hunter's season total to 24.
The performance also overshadowed an outstanding effort by Ellison's Daron Washington, who had 297 on 22 carries and scored twice. Together Hunter and Washington highlighted an afternoon in which there 933 total offensive yards and 41 first downs.
Hunter scored on an 18-yard run just 2:12 into the third quarter, giving the Lobos a 31-14 lead and tacked on a 45-yard scamper with 10:21 left in the game, just one play after Chris Moore recovered a Washington fumble, to cap his team's scoring.
Washington on the ensuing offensive play sped 61 yards and two plays later went 18 for a touchdown with 9:28 left.
Both teams scored the first time they touched the ball but the Lobos put points on the board their first four possessions to take a 24-14 halftime lead.
Both Hunter and Washington each had long, scoring run too. Hunter sprinted 91 yards on Longview's second possession outracing Ellison's John Brown the last 60 yards with 2:51 left in the opening period.
ironically, Ellison's Othello Henderson appeared to be moving in for the tackle when an official impeded his progress. Henderson fell to the ground and Hunter had clear sailing although Brown made a dive for him inside the 10.
Dean Malone added the second of his four point afters on the afternoon and Longview held a 14-6 lead.
Reggie Adams, following a fake to Hunter in the middle, took a option pitch from Broughton and swept right end for 10 yards and a tying score with 5:30 left in the first quarter. Malone's PAT put the Lobos in front for good.
Adams' run capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive which needed only 2:46 of the clock.
Hunter had a 25-yard run to start the drive and Broughton a 21-yarder midway through it. Broughton had 106 yards on 14 carries.
On Longview's third possession, Malone booted a 30-yard field goal with 9:34 showing for a 17-6 advantage. The drive had started at Longview's 38 but stalled at the Eagles' 13.
Broughton scored on the ninth play of a 63-yard march when he optioned right and cut upfield with 5:32 left in the half, leaving the score 24-14.
Ellison scores came from fullback Vicent Reid early in the game on a one-yard smash to cap an eight-play, 78-yard drive. The PAT was wide right but it gave the Eagles a earl and only temporary lead.
Washington, with 8:35 left in the first half, took an option pitch 63 yards and then scored a two-point conversion to pull Ellison within three at the time, 17-14.
Linebacker Michael reedy, a 5-3, 160-pound junior, proved to be a force on defense for Longview as he was responsible for stopping three first half Ellison drives, sacking the quarterback once for an 11-yard loss, throwing Washington for a 3-yard loss and blitzing the quarterback to drop him for a yard loss - all on third down plays.
Ellison drove deep into Longview territory late in the half, but Broughton intercepted Michael Hardage in the end zone and stepped out to the 2-yard line with 34 seconds remaining. It was Broughton's eight intercept of the season, a school record.
Broughton also made a key defensive play in the third when he separated Ellison's Brian Berry from the ball on a fourth-and-25 pass when the Eagles were trying to get back into the game.
Longview had the ball six times in the first half, including the possession at the two after Broughton's interception, and scored four occasions.
At the half Longview had 272 total yards, all on the ground, and Ellison 238, all but 26 on the ground. The Lobos finished with 482 yards rushing and Ellison had 360. Ellison had 451 total yards.