DALLAS - Longview's rushing attack was on Saturday, and so is the Lobos' rematch in a state championship game.
Three players with at least 100 yards rushing each sparked 492 yards of ground-bound greatness, and a 49-28 victory over Denton Guyer in a Class 4A Division I state semifinal at Kincaide Stadium. The three primary ground gainers for Longview were Aaron Johnson (153 yards), Da'Cedric Hunt (142), and Tyler McCray (125).
While this trio received much of the glory in the aftermath, Johnson handed it off immediately in a verbal sense.
"The offensive line played really good. They gave about everything they had," Johnson said, "It was a really good running game. It may have been our best."
Longview (14-1) will face two-time defending state champion Lake Travis (15-0) - which annihilated Pearland Dawson, 57-12, in the other semifinal on Saturday in College Station - in the Class 4A Division I state championship game. The title tilt will be held at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Baylor University's Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, the site of last year's 48-23 Lake Travis victory over the Lobos.
"It will be good to play Lake Travis again," Johnson said. "They took some pride from us last year."
Guyer (13-2) was eliminated by Longview for the second straight year in a Division I state semifinal. Longview won last year's game 41-30 in Longview's last game at the former home of the Dallas Cowboys: Texas Stadium in Irving.
Hunt had the most important run of the game, as well as one of the longest in Longview history. After Guyer pulled within 28-21 on a one yard Jaimaine Wilhite touchdown with 8:03 left, Hunt sprinted down the left side of the field for a 91-yard touchdown sprint with 1:57 left in the third quarter.
The Lobos practically sealed the victory when Addison McGee intercepted a J.W. Walsh pass and returned it 22 yards to the Guyer two-yard line, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Johnson with 8:54 remaining that gave Longview a 42-21 lead. Guyer got an 18-yard touchdown pass from Walsh to Wilhite 42 seconds later, but a 61-yard return by Johnson on the ensuing kickoff set up his own 11-yard touchdown run with 6:48 remaining. Guyer's last drive ended at the Longview 43-yard line with Bubba Vactor sacking Walsh.
McCray got Longview going out of the gate with a 67-yard run, which set up Hunt for a two-yard touchdown run for the game's first score. Guyer struck back immediately, as a 47-yard pass from Walsh to Dylan Moore set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Cameron Hunter, tying the game at 7-7 with 8:46 left in the first quarter.
Two scoring opportunities got away from Longview on its next two drives. The Lobos drove to the Guyer two-yard line on its next possession, but Hunter was dropped for a one-yard loss on a fourth-and-one play. Longview's defense forced Guyer to punt and the Lobos got the ball at the Guyer 38-yard line, but two penalties forced Longview to punt.
The rest of the first half, the Lobos were clicking, even on a mistake. Johnson ran 52 yards for a touchdown to give Longview a 14-7 lead with 11:32 left int he second quarter. Johnson's touchdown appeared to be a broken play in which there was confusion on a handoff to Hunt, but Johnson made several Guyer tacklers miss behind the line of scrimmage and sprinted for pay dirt.
Longview got the ball back three plays later as Alonte Darden forced Wilhite to fumble and Jeremiah Farley recovered for the Lobos at the Guyer 41-yard line.
McCray shot through the right side of the line two plays later for a 38-yard touchdown run, but the play could be costly. McCray appeared to aggravate a left-ankle injury which has nagged him since he suffered it in last year's game against Lake Travis. McCray, who had just five rushing attempts, limped off the field on his own power after initially needing assistance to walk.
Guyer countered with an 80 yard drive, capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Sebastian Williams with 4:59 remaining in the first half, but Longview took a 28-14 lead to halftime with its own 79-yard touchdown drive. Johnson found Hunt on a pass, and after zigzagging twice, Hunt carried several Guyer tacklers to the end zone with 23 seconds remaining in the half.
Longview's late touchdown drive was extend when LaDarrin Robertson converted a fake punt on a fourth-and-two at the Longview 29-yard line. Robertson barely got the first down, with the nose of the ball passing the marker.
Johnson had 111 total yards in the firs half while his Guyer counterpart in Walsh had 123 total yards. Walsh finished with 216 passing while Wilhite had 120 total yards.
Chris Weaver had two tackles for losses for Longview. Blake Terry and Jimmy Bean had two tackles for losses each for Guyer while Ravion Ingram had a fumble recovery.