MESQUITE - Longview turned to its playmaker Willie Andrews, who rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lobos to a 28-7 Class 5A Division II Region II bi-district playoff victory over Dallas Kimball here Saturday afternoon at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
The win sends Longview into the area round against Allen. That game is slated for Saturday at Texas Stadium with a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Lobos improve to 7-4 on the season, while Kimball ends it year at 7-4.
"They were a heck of a defensive football team" said Longview head coach Pat Collins describing the Knights. "I'm standing over there on the sideline and looking at them, and they are really a wrecking crew. But what we had to do, and the coaches did a great job at the half, was take it a little wider.
"And hone you've got a player like Willie Andrews, you've got to get it (ball) to him. You've got to find different ways to tget it to him. He finally cracked that thing and blew it wide open."
Tied at 7-7, Andrews jump-started the Lobos to three straight scoring drives, scoring first on an 98-yard romp with 4:47 to play in the third quarter. Kimball had pinned Longview deep in its own territory as the Knights killed a punt at the Lobo 2.
But Andrews took the handoff on first down, broke through the left side of the line and turned it up field. With two defenders closing in, then he reversed his field to the right side and ran untouched in to the end zone as the Lobos took a 14-7 lead.
Longview then scored on its next two possessions, first taking advantage of a Kimball fumble at its own 18. The Knights were driving, but on third-and-two quarterback Patrick Thompson had the ball stripped from him by James Stephens.
The Lobos took over at their own 21-yard line and marched 79 yards in 11 plays before Andrews scored his third touchdown of the afternoon as he bulled his way in from four yards out with 7:35 remaining on the game clock. Longview picked up a couple of first down runs by Fred Hawkins, who also went over the century mark with 107 yards on 13 carries.
Andrews finished with 19 carries, rushing for 138 yards in the second half. Longview finished with 325 yards on the ground for the game. The Lobo defense held Kimball to 191 total yards and no offensive touchdowns.
Longview put the game on ice with 4:10 to play as Joel Armstrong snuck from a yard out. A Sack by Stephens on fourth-and-eight turned the ball over on downs back at the Kimball 43. Hawkins set up the three-play scoring drive with a 35-yard gallop for a first down inside the 10.
"We knew that if we kept pounding the ball, something good would happen," said Armstrong, who was 7 of 12 passing for 56 yards. "We were just killing ourselves (with turnovers). But we gave it to the playmaker and he made the plays."
Armstrong struggled running the ball as Kimball limited him to just 2 yards on 10 carries.
Turnovers by both teams dominated the first half. Longview lost three fumbles, while Kimball threw a pair of interceptions and lost on fumble, although the Knights put the ball on the ground five times.
The Lobos, however, scored first following LeMario Hollis' seventh interception of the season. He picked off a London Thibodeaux pass and returned it to the Kimball 46. After a short gain by Hawkins, Andrews ran 43 yards for the touchdowns and with Alex Cammack's extra point Longview led 7-0 with 10:25 showing in the opening quarter.
However, Kimball showed its speed as Gary Elliott returned a Lobo punt 74 yards - only the second time this season Longview has given up a touchdown on special teams. Elliott sprinted throughout he middle, stepping through a couple of tackles and outrunning the Lobos into the end zone with 5:28 to play in the quarter.
The game then bogged down into an array of miscues for both teams.
The Knights reached into Longview territory three times, twice as the result of Lobo fumbles. They had a first down at the 27, but only picked up two yards and turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass on fourth down. It would be Kimball's deepest penetration into Longview's end of the field during the first half.
The Lobos also reached the Knight 10, but couldn't come up with a first down on fourth-and-three. They also got to the Kimball 28 late in the half on a 22-yard run by Andrews, but Kelvin Flood stripped the ball from Armstrong and the Knights recovered.
Andrews did have 74 yards on the ground, but the bulk of it came on his touchdown run.
Tickets for Saturday's playoff game against Allen will go on sale Monday at the Longview High School Athletic office. Tickets will be sold Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m.-non and from 1-4:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. Tickets at the gate the day of the game will be $9.