Longview Takes Out Lufkin in Thriller, 35-28
LONGVIEW -- As it has so many times before, Longview and Lufkin came down to the final minute.
With thousands of people watching from the stands and thousands more watching from home, the Lobos delivered.
Haynes King stepped back to pass. He was looking for Kamden Perry, the receiver he had trusted all game, over the middle. He wasn't there. Instead, he looked to Kaden Kearbey on the outside, letting go of the ball just as a defender knocked him to the ground.
The ball wobbled in the air, looking like a dangerous throw at first. But as Kearbey adjusted, it fell right into his hands.
"Coach (Jon) Writt tells me every time, ‘See the ball in the air, go catch it,’" Kearbey said. "I’ve got to win one-on-one balls every time.”
He ran the rest of the way for the go-ahead touchdown, as Longview won this edition of the rivalry, 35-28 on Friday in Lobo Stadium.
Still lying on the turf, King didn't see a thing that happened. But his ears told him it was good.
"I just heard the crowd roar," he said. "So, something good had to have happened.”
The fourth quarter was full of drama.
The teams entered tied at 21. Lufkin's Jordan Moore converted a fourth down with a keeper to extend the drive with nine minutes left. A few plays later, he connected with Titan Williams for a 22-yard score on third down to put the Panthers up 28-21. The sequence could have been crushing for Longview, but the Lobos responded.
Using a steady mix of run and pass plays, Longview worked its way to the Panther 16. King hit Perry on a slant and Perry absorbed a hard hit, bouncing off the defender and into the end zone for the tying score. It was the kind of play that Perry, who finished with 11 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown, made all evening.
He also caught a 23-yard pass on third-and-13 with 30 seconds left that effectively ended the game.
“He didn’t drop a ball," coach John King said. "I know that. He ran with it after he caught it. Did a lot of good things for us. He had the one that tied it up. Then he had the one that we could take a knee and run it out. It won it for us in my opinion.”
There was much fanfare leading up to the game. After Longview defeated Lufkin in the playoffs, 33-32, in December, the game was selected to air on Fox Sports. The rivalry that had always loomed large added an element.
“It was a lot of emotions," defensive back Tainique Taylor said. "Knowing as a senior that this is our last time playing them, the crowd and environment made it a special feeling and special game.”
Longview's defense struggled this evening, as Lufkin finished 9-of-16 on third down. However, the Lobos came up with key plays down the stretch. Jharyn Jackson recovered a fumble to set up the drive that resulted in Kearbey's touchdown. After that, Taylor had an interception that eventually sealed the game for the Lobos.
“I couldn’t even describe it," Taylor said. "I barely knew what was going on. I just read my keys, the quarterback rolled out and I played the ball and took it from.”
The teams were fairly even all game, with Longview narrowly edging Lufkin 354 to 340 in the yardage battle. King finished 16-of-24 for 223 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Moore, who was filling in for an injured Kewone Thomas, finished 13-of-22 for 181 yards. Ja'Lynn Polk led the Panthers with 117 receiving yards.
Lufkin entered halftime with momentum after it faked a field goal and let Jerrin Thompson run in for a 1-yard touchdown as time expired. However, Longview came out strong in the second, connecting on a field goal to trim the lead to 14-13.
Lufkin answered as Jordan Moore threaded the needle with a pass between two defenders to Torrance Agnew. Longview answered after Keilyn Williams found some daylight on a 14-yard touchdown run and King found Perry for the two-point conversion to tie it before the fourth quarter.
Lufkin will try to bounce back against Nacogdoches at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lufkin. Longview will have a game against Marshall at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Marshall.
John King said his team made plenty of mistakes on Friday. Many of those mistakes were caused by Lufkin and many were self-inflicted errors. But, as King spoke postgame, he was simply happy to come out on top once again in this always-heated rivalry.
“Found a way to win," he said. "Got a stop defensively. Were able to go out and get the winning touchdown. It wasn’t exactly how you draw it up, but it ended up in the end zone. It was a heck of an effort. Kids were tied, but they just kept plugging and found a way to win. Good football teams do that.”
Longview 35, Lufkin 28
At Lobo Stadium, Longview
Lufkin 7 7 7 7 – 35
Longview 0 10 11 14 – 28
LUF—Ja'Lynn Polk 49 pass from Jordan Moore (Leo Acevedo kick), 9:38.
LONG—Keilyn Williams 1 run (J.K. Martin kick), 11:07.
LONG—Martin 41 field goal, 6:09.
LUF—Jerrin Thompson 1 run (Acevedo kick), 0:00.
LONG—Martin 37 field goal, 8:35.
LUF—Torrance Agnew 9 pass from Moore (Acevedo kick), 3:44.
LONG--Williams 14 run (Haynes King to Kamden Perry 2-pt conversion), 0:39.
LUF—Titan Williams 22 pass from Moore (Acevedo kick), 7:35.
LONG—Perry 16 pass from King (Martin kick), 3:33.
LONG--Kaden Kearbey 44 pass from King (Martin kick), 1:21.
First Downs 12 16
Total Yards 340 354
Rushes-Yards 41-159 29-131
Passing Yards 181 223
Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-22-1 16-24-0
Punts-Avg. 2-25.5 2-25.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-25 4-20
RUSHING—Lufkin, Qu'Vontae Smallwood 16-64, A'Traviaun Woods 12-36,Jordan Moore 10-41, Titan Williams 1-10, Christian Reggie 1-7, Jerrin Thompson 1-1. Longview, Keilyn Williams 15-67, Jessie Anderson 10-42, Haynes King 3-24.
PASSING—Lufkin, Moore 13-22-1—181. Longview, King 16-24-0—223.
RECEIVING—Lufkin, Ja'Lynn Polk 6-117, Williams 4-42, Torrance Agnew 2-15, Woods 1-7. Longview, Kamden Perry 12-146, Kaden Kearbey 3-61, Anderson 1-16.