HOUSTON - Joel Armstrong's 6-yard touchdown run with 1:52 remaining rallied Longview to a 20-17 come-from-behind victory here Saturday night in the Reliant Astrodome, earning the Lobos their 10th victory of the season and moving them into the Region II finals.
The Lobos will take on District 11-5A rival and defending 5A, Division II state champion Lufkin this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. at Tyler's Rose Stadium. The Panthers defeated Klein Forest earlier Saturday, 38-21, at Kyle Field on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
Armstrong directed the Lobos on an 83-yard, 15-play march that took seven minutes off the clock. Longview converted on third down four times, including Armstrong's jaunt into the end zone for his 16th rushing TD of the season. The Lobos used a mixture of Fred Hawkins and Chris Jones on the drive, plus got a key first down on a 23-yard completion from Armstrong to Gordon Freeman.
Freeman's catch gave the Lobos a first down at the Spring 20. Carries by Hawkins (11-62) and Jones (12-68) gave Longview a first-and-goal at the 10. Jones them moved the ball to the 5, but lost a yard on the next carry. However, Armstrong ran a bootleg through the left side of the line to pull out the victory.
Alex Cammack did miss the extra point when the ball hit the right upright, but Longview held Spring and forced the ball over on downs with 37 seconds remaining.
An Armstrong to Rogers Taylor pass with 6:54 left in the third quarter tied the game at 14-14 after Longview trailed by a touchdown at halftime. Longview successfully recovered an onside kick after halftime, but the Lobos couldn't move the football and turned the ball over after a failed fourth down.
But Marcus Maxey picked off a Lion pass, and Longview then marched 76 yards in seven plays for the tying touchdown.
Spring then got back on top with 9:18 to play as Eric Garrison booted a 36-yard field goal for a 17-14 Lion lead, setting the stage for the Lobos' comeback.
Longview lit the fuse early, scoring on its first possession as the Lobos needed just three plays to go the length of the field for a quick 7-0 lead. On first down, Armstrong went right to the air and connected with LaRandall McKind for a 60-yard gain to the Spring 10.
Hawkins then ran off left tackle to the 6-yard line, and Jerrel Williams finished off the 70-yard scoring drive with a 4-yard carry into the end zone. Cammack's extra point put the Lobos on top with 10:56 showing.
However, the fuse fizzled as penalties, an interception and a fumble stymied the Lobos the remainder of the half and Spring put up 14 points to take a 14-7 lead into the dressing room.
The Lions suffered three tackles for minus-19 yards on their first possession. However, they took the second possession and marched 73 yards in six plays with Drew Gause getting the first of his two touchdowns in the half on after a 33-yard screen pass from Joey Edwards to Jonathan Moore that moved the ball to the Longview 11.
Two plays later, Gause ran untouched into the end zone and Spring evened the ballgame with 2:57 remaining in the opening quarter.
After holding Longview three-and-out, the Lions got the ball back and this time moved it 68 yards in nine plays. Spring kept the ball on the ground on eight of the nine plays with Gause scoring on an end-around from 15 yards. Garrison's extra point put the Lions on top 14-7 at the 9:17 mark of the second quarter.
Longview's offense was hampered by a pair of illegal procedure penalties on first down, plus Armstrong was picked off on a deep throw at the Lion 9. The Lobos did hold, forcing the Lions to punt from their own end zone.
An 11-yard return by McKind moved the ball across midfield to the Spring 45. The Lobos picked up a pair of first downs on a 19-yard run by Jones and a 10-yard carry from Armstrong. But, Longview fumbled on first down at the Lion 21.
Longview got good field position with 46 seconds to play after Lion punter Chris Wiley shanked a punt for only a 9-yard kick. The Lobos had the ball at the Spring 45, but the Lions twice brought down Armstrong from behind, including a 5-yard sack to end the half.