LONGVIEW - Erik Hargrave wasn't even expecting to play this season. Erin Roerecke was slated to return as the kicker for the Longview Lobos until he tore an ACL in his knee before fall drills began.
Friday night, Hargrave drilled a 45-yard field goal in overtime to give the Lobos their first lead of the night against Lufkin. Howard Brown then made it stand up as he blocked a 26-yard attempt by the Panthers for a 24-21 victory at Lobo Stadium.
Two overtimes in two weeks.
''They gave me the opportunity ... I've never been through a situation like that before,'' said Hargrave, who converted his third field goal of the season. ''I knew it was in once I kicked it, the wind was behind me.''
Longview, which improves to 1-1 in District 12-5A play and 5-1 overall, had to play catch up the entire game.
Lufkin's Sparky Hamilton put on a receiver's clinic - coming on the heels of Marshall's Kendrick Starling the previous week. Hamilton scored two touchdowns, while catching eight passes for 208 yards.
The Lobos had an opportunity to win the game in regulation as the Panthers fumbled a Longview punt at their own 40-yard line. But the Panther defense held as time expired.
The entire second half was played with an inoperative clock. Time was kept on the field by the officials.
Lufkin (4-3, 0-2) won the toss in overtime and elected to go on defense first.
Starting at the 25-yard line, Longview's only positive yards was a 7-yard completion from Trey Pierce to Chris Jenkins at the 18. Longview then went in reverse as it was flagged five yards for illegal procedure and Pierce was sacked for a 5-yard loss, setting up 4-and-13.
But Hargrave converted a line drive kick behind a stiff south wind.
Lufkin then took possession. Runs for 4 and 5 yards by Tavis Williams, coupled with an incomplete pass, set up a fourth-and-one at the 16-yard line. Quarterback Brian Bradford then got the Lobos to jump off side as the Panthers picked up a first down.
Williams again got the carry down to the nine. But Bradford's pass to Terrence Kiel only went for a yard as the Lobo defense swarmed. A pass on third down, intended for Hamilton, fell incomplete to set up David Teaff's 26-yard field goal attempt.
Brown came around the left end untouched and blocked it, setting off a wild celebration as Longview's players swarmed the Lobo cornerback.
''That was such a pressure-packed 45-yarder,'' said Lobo head coach Robert Bero. ''He just steps in there and he does it ... no fear. He feels like he can do whatever he has to do to help this football team. That may have been the biggest field goal since I've been at Longview High School.''
Longview rallied to force overtime behind its passing game as Pierce recovered from a slow start. He finished with 126 yards on 10-of-20 completions. He connected with Walter Sharp for a 9-yard TD pass with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter and Hargrave booted the extra point to tie the game at 21-21.
A 28-yard pass from Pierce to Jamie Brown in the back of the end zone had rallied the Lobos earlier. Brown's touchdown, his third of the season, came with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
But a mishandled punt by Longview set up Lufkin at the 20-yard line. Williams rambled 20 yards on the first play for a 21-14 advantage with 11 minutes remaining to be played.
Lufkin led 14-7 at halftime, thanks to Hamilton's two first-half scores. He scored on the game's opening play as Cory Hadnot threw a halfback pass to Hamilton, covering 80 yards as the Panthers took the lead, 7-0.
Longview tied the game on Fred Talley's 12-yard run with 11:52 left in the second quarter. The Lobos marched 62 yards in eight plays.
But Hamilton found daylight with 33 seconds remaining before halftime as he hooked up with Bradford for a 53-yard TD completion.
Talley finished with 127 yards on 31 carries, while Bradford completed 11-of-25 passing for 156 yards.