MESQUITE - Give the game ball to Longview's defense.
While the Lobo offense was having trouble getting into the end zone, the defensive unit was busy bottling up Dallas Carter n route two a 17-7, Class 5A Division II Region II area playoff victory here Saturday at E.H. Hanby Stadium.
The win sends Longview onto a regional semifinal this Saturday against Spring at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston. The Lobos improved to 9-3, while Carter ends it season at 11-1.
The Cowboys were the second straight undefeated and state-ranked team Longview has eliminated from the postseason. The Lobos blanked Garland in bi-district, 45-0.
"Unbelievable…..unbelievable, great defensive effort," said Lobo head coach Pat Collins. "Who do you pick out? I don't know. Without that, we're beaten.
"Offensively, we got the ball down there, and I know everybody's going to say, why didn't you kick the field goal? There were a number of reasons, and number one, a field goal wasn't going to make the difference in the ballgame. If they score and kick an extra point, they beat us. I wanted to put it away. I know they took the wind out of our sails a couple of times, but we kept plugging."
Joel Armstrong's 5-yard keeper with 4:18 to play sealed the victory after Longview held a slim 10-7 lead since early in the second quarter. The Lobos played ball-control, taking over four and a half minutes off the clock to go 70-yards in 12 plays on the final scoring drive. Alex Cammack tacked on the point after.
But the Lobo offense had twice before faced first-and-goal, at the Carter eight-yard line in the closing minutes of the first half and then again at the five to open the second half with the football just inches from the goal line, turning the ball over on downs.
Longview's defense, though, held steady. The Cowboys finished with just 82 yards total offense and they mustered only five first downs. The Lobos came away with nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a negative 29 yards.
Quintele Jackson, Kendall Peoples, James Stephens, Frank Brocato and Brandon Templeton all came up with either a sack or tackle for loss against the Cowboys.
Keaton Daniels also picked off a pass at both teams turned the ball over just once each. Longview's lone miscue came in the closing minutes.
"Our people up front, our defensive lineman probably put a little more speed on them (Carter) then they were used to," said Longview defensive coordinator John Berry. "We made a mistake on a young guy (on the Cowboy touchdown) where they got to his legs and were able to turn the corner. Other than that we contained them, and our people inside run so good that we were able to get to the football."
Carter's only points came after the Lobos were pinned deep in their territory and had to punt from the end zone. The Cowboys ended up with a short field and scored on a 16-yard end-around carry to Keantwon Gray early in the second quarter.
Armstrong completed just 2 of 6 passes for 64 yards, although he completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jerrel Williams. On the ground, Williams finished with 73 yards on 17 carries, Chris Jones added 71 yards on 11 carries. Armstrong had 63 on 16 totes, and Fred Hawkins ran for 26 yards on 12 attempts.
The Lobos finished with 294 yards total yards of offense, 230 coming on the ground.
A pass-and-catch from Armstrong to Williams enabled Longview to take a 10-7 lead at halftime. The Lobos marched 65 yards in five plays to regina the advantage at the 9:30 mark of the second quarter.
Longview took its opening drive, taking possession at its own 23 and ere aching the Carter 24-yard line before stalling out. Cammack then came in and booted a field goal from 40 yards into a stiff wind.
Gray put the Cowboys on the score bore with 11:35 showing in the second quarter.
Longview dominated the first half, which included a first-and-goal at the Cowboys 8. However, despite a couple of time-out with the half winding down, Hawkins was stopped short of the goal line on fourth down, just inched away.
The Lobos were given good field position after a snap went over the head of Carter's punter Twaneil Spead, who then attempted to throw the ball which Daniels intercepted for Longview at the Cowboy 38.
The game was briefly held up for over 25 minutes in the second quarter after Longview's Keith Johnson took a hit to the stomach. It took nearly 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. Johnson was taken to a local hospital, although no further details were available.