LUFKIN - Longview's football team may eventually be the best Class 4A team in state of Texas, but on Friday, Lufkin made a stronger claim as the best team in East Texas.
Lufkin used a second-quarter scoring flurry and Longview sabotaged a second-half comeback in a 28-14 Lufkin victory at Abe Martin Stadium. Frustration in Lufkin continues for Longview (3-1), ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll, as the Lobos have lost seven consecutive games at Abe Martin Stadium a streak stretching back to 1999. Lufkin improves to 3-1.
The last two minutes of the first half was disastrous for the Lobos, when they were trailing 14-7.
Lufkin got the ball back at the Longview 27-yard line with 1:50 remaining after an 18-yard punt by Chase Reed. This set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Deauntre Smiley with 16 seconds remaining.
After the kickoff, LaDarrin Robertson caught a 10-yard pass from Rayshone McGee, but after the reception, Robertson attempted a lateral which was fumbled and recovered by Lufkin's Josh Smith with three seconds remaining. Lufkin cashed in as Smiley threw a 53-yard 'Hail Mary' touchdown pass which was caught by Quinn Trimble to give Lufkin a 28-7 halftime lead.
Longview's defense held Lufkin scoreless in the second half, but three Longview possessions in Lufkin territory ended with no points on two lost fumbles and a missed field goal. Lufkin recovered all four Longview fumbles.
Longview pulled within 28-14 with 8:02 remaining on a four-yard touchdown run by Aaron Johnson. Longview was inside the Lufkin 20-yard line with under four minutes remaining, but Lufkin linebacker James Duirden forced Aaron Johnson to fumble with 3:29 and Chris Doggett recovered for Lufkin to ice the win. Lufkin had nine tackles for losses, including four by Diurden, and four sacks.
Lufkin struck first with 5:21 left in the first quarter on a five-yard touchdown run by Deauntre Smiley. The touchdown capped a 36-yard drive, set up by a short punt. Longview struck back with a 70-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown run on a fullback dive by Keylon Shaw to tie the game at 7-7 with 50 seconds left in the first quarter.
The momentum of the first half changed with 7:26 remaining, when Lufkin punter Will Fenley boomed a 63-yard punt to put Longview on its own 20-yard line with 7:26 remaining in the second quarter. Two plays later, Lufkin defensive end Brandon Cashaw forced Aaron Johnson to fumble and Marcellus Parks recovered for the Panthers at the Longview 20-yard line. This set up a four-yard touchdown pass from Smiley to Earon Johnson with 5:47 left in the first half.
Smiley accounted for 129 total yards in the first half and finished with 204 total yards for the game. Longview was held to 75 total yards in the first half as the Lufkin defense swarmed for seven tackles for losses — three by Diurden — and three sacks.
Johnson accounted for 116 total yards. Shaw led Longview with 56 yards rushing on five carries, while Carey Fortson had four receptions for 54 yards. Trimble had three receptions for 60 yards.
Chris Weaver had two tackles for losses for Longview. Longview had two fumble recoveries in the second half, one each by Joe Brown and Darius Watters.