BEDFORD - With its running game shut down in the second half here Saturday, Longview's Lobos were unable to "pass" the test in a Class 5A area-round playoff game against Temple.
The Wildcats, defending Division II state champions, used their relentless second half ground game to pull away from a 7-7 tie en route to a 28-7 triumph at Pennington Field. The 'Cats will move into the regional semifinals opposite Lake Highlands, coached by former Mount Pleasant coach Mike Zufutto, this weekend at Texas Stadium.
Lake Highlands, a 52-27 winner over Arlington Lamar Friday night, and Temple met in the regional finals a year ago.
Temple, 9-3, snapped the tie on its first possession of the third quarter, driving 63 yards on nine plays and scoring with 3:12 remaining when Delarrius Wilson scooted in from the two-yard line. The drive was entirely on the ground and was spiced by back-to-back-to-back runs of 17, 20, and 31 to set the ball up at the Longview three.
Longview, which had only three first downs and 37 yards rushing in the second half, made its only scoring threat early in the final period when it moved to convert a fourth-and-one play.
The 'cats then took over possession and marched right back down the held, 66 yards on eight plays, to widen their margin after Wilson scored on another two-yard run with 8:16 remaining for a 21-7 lead.
Temple scored in the closing minutes when Patrick Stanford picked off a Cory Hutchings pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with only 2:05 left.
With the ground game stopped, Hutchings had to go to the air and completed just five of 18 passes for 72 yards while suffering two interceptions, both by Stanford.
Temple used its pair of 1,000-yard backs to keep Longview at bay. Wilson had 101 yards on 21 carries and Watson 122 on 17 as the 'Cats piled up 241 yards rushing, including 172 the last two quarters.
The first half, which ended in a 7-7 tie, was one of missed opportunities.
Twice Longview, which closed at 9-2-1, came up with turnovers, an interception and a fumble recovery, in Temple territory but was unable to cash in.
Two plays after L.V. Fite, who carried two Temple players the last three yards, scored on an eight-yard run with 4:38 left in the opening quarter, Daydrion Taylor intercepted a Scott Yepma pass to set up the ball at the Wildcats' 38. Despite driving to the eight-yard line, Longview failed to score when a Darren Danielson field goal attempt was wide right near the end of the period.
Early in the second period, Kendrie Nichols recovered a Wilson fumble at the Temple 41, but the Lobos did not move from that point and punted away.
Late in the half, the 'Cats recovered a fumble and took over at the Lobos' 36 after Hutchings and Fite had trouble on an exchange. They, too, moved to the eight-yard line and misfired on a Tracy Baugh field goal attempt with 44 seconds left before halftime.
The first-half Temple score followed a short Longview punt and a subsequent 15-yard personal-foul penalty, placing the ball at the Lobos' 40.
Three plays later, Yepma scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak with 5:02 remaining. Baugh added the extra point. The touchdown came one play after a Yepma-to-Derick Bates 35-yard pass play.
Temple held a 139-118 advantage in total yards at the intermission.
Individually, Fite had 17 carries for 56 yards and Watson had 33 on just four tries for the 'Cats. Fite finished with 62 on 21 attempts, getting just six in the second half.
The playoff encounter was marred by a mild melee near the end and Hutchings and Temple's Mark Churchwell were ejected.