IRVING - Longview's offense on Saturday was three parts Aaron Johnson and one part Tyler McCray. It's a formula that's sending the Lobos to a state championship game.
In Longview's 41-30 victory over Denton Guyer in a Class 4A Division I state semifinal, McCray's part came in the fourth quarter. His seven-yard touchdown run with 11:32 remaining put the Lobos up for good at 34-30. McCray set up his own touchdown with a 72-yard kickoff return after Guyer had taken a 30-27 lead on a Sam Alspach 27-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter.
Johnson took care of the rest with the game of his life. Johnson completed 10-of-11 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns, and added a spectacular 35-yard touchdown run to clinch the victory with 1:38 remaining.
Longview (13-2) advances to play Lake Travis (15-0) at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. Lake Travis, which won the Class 4A Division II state title a year ago, throttled Friendswood 56-22 in Saturday's other state semifinal. It is the third state championship game appearance for the Lobos, previously advancing in 1937 and 1997.
Guyer, which had just one victory in its first two years of existence, ends its third season with a 12-3 record.
Johnson's top target on Saturday was Carey Fortson, who also had his defining game as a Lobo. Fortson had four receptions for 140 yards and three touchdowns, including a 51-yard score with 5:08 left in the third quarter. Johnson found Jonathan Oliver for a two-point conversion after that play to tie the game at 27-27. Guyer had taken a 27-19 lead on a one-yard touchdown run by reserve quarterback Marquis Smith on its first drive of the second half.
McCray finished with his fourth consecutive 100-yard playoff game, going for 101 yards. The Lobos rushed for 174 yards, 133 in the second half.
Longview overcame a big game by Guyer quarterback J.W. Walsh. The sophomore passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 139 yards rushing. Guyer had a pair of 100-yard receivers in Daniel Harkins (151 yards) and Luke Russell (121 yards).
The Lobos leaned heavy on its passing game in the first half. On the first play from scrimmage, Aaron Hollins caught a perfect strike from Johnson for an 81-yard touchdown pass. The Lobos did not have a rushing attempt in the first quarter.
Guyer struck back with an 80-yard drive, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Jaimaine Wilhite on a fourth-down play. Longview recaptured the lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Fortson, but Kyle Jenkins' extra-point attempt was wide right to make the score 13-7 with 6:46 left in the second quarter.
Guyer caught a break on its next drive. Punter Evan Vasquez had to scramble after a bad snap. He recovered to make a punt attempt, but a questionable roughing the kicker was called on the Lobos. The Wildcats took advantage of the drive extension as Walsh found Russell for a five-yard touchdown pass to give Guyer a 14-13 lead with 2:27 left in the first half.
Both offenses moved quickly in the final two minutes of the first half.
Johnson and Fortson hooked up again for a 50-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 left in the half. Johnson was stopped short on a two-point conversion run, keeping Longview's lead 19-14. The Lobo signal caller's 199 yards passing in the first half was more than he had in any previous game this season.
Guyer needed just 35 seconds for a 65-yard drive, capped by a 38-yard touchdown pass from Walsh to Harkins, in which Longview defensive back Alonte Darden barely missed an interception. Walsh's two-point conversion pass was incomplete, giving the Wildcats a 20-19 halftime lead. It was the first time Longview trailed at halftime since a 20-7 deficit to Lufkin on Sept. 19. Johnson fumbled the ball on the final play of the first half and Guyer's Spencer Wilson recovered at the Longview 23-yard line, but time expired on the play.
Longview's defense tightened to shut out Guyer in the fourth quarter. Conard Cooks and Jeremiah Farley had 21/2 sacks each, while safety LaMarcus Howard had 10 tackles.