|WACO - Longview just needed a spark and looked every which way to find it.
A long drive to open the third quarter for the Lobos after a 0-0 deadlock at halftime provided one of them.
Longview's defense then lit the fire.
Longview found its footing as much as it could in the second half and the Lobo defense turned in a shutout in a 14-0 battle over Spring Westfield on Saturday in the Class 6A, Division II, Region II final at Waco ISD Stadium.
"We knew it was going to take a spark to get it going and we had to go out there and get that spark," Longview running back Jessie Anderson said. "The message at halftime was 0-0. Now, it's do or die. Either we're going home or we're going to keep going.
"We had to go do our job."
With the win, Longview (14-0) moves to the state semifinals for the second-straight year and will meet Amarillo Tascosa, a 48-27 winner over Haltom on Saturday.
Longview and Tascosa will meet at 8 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Lobos recovered from four turnovers against a vaunted Westfield defense that came in allowing 14 points per game in a windy setting at Waco ISD, 14 years to the date of a state quarterfinal loss to Pflugerville at the same site.
"We were concerned coming into the game, we knew they were fast and physical and were going to load the box," Longview head coach John King said. "Playing in these types of conditions was going to make it difficult but we got it adjusted in the second half. To come out of here with a 14-0 win with four turnovers is pretty good for our football team.
"It was a little windy but our biggest challenge was those guys we were going against. Mother Nature wasn't the biggest challenge, it was those people we were playing. They were pretty good."
Westfield showed that defense in the first half, holding Longview scoreless and to 90 total yards with a fumble and two interceptions. Longview's defense fit the bill as well, forcing two missed field goals in the first quarter followed by three-straight punts.
The Mustangs were held to 62 yards in the first half and exactly 100 overall with 41 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Westfield finished with 41 passing yards.
Isiah Rodgers had an interception. Sawyer Goram-Welch and Jaylon Allen steadied the Lobo defensive line. Jephaniah Lister and Jacob Johnson had big plays from the secondary, as did Tyshawn Taylor at linebacker.
"I thought we got great play out of our front seven against the run game," King said. "We maintained leverage and didn't let them get to the perimeter and did a good job fitting the run from the secondary.
"It was a great effort from the whole unit."
Offensively, Anderson finished with 106 rushing yards including a 14-yard touchdown to cap a six-play, 68-yard march to open the third quarter and break the scoreless deadlock, 6-0.
Keilyn Williams added 53 yards and quarterback Haynes King added 43 on the ground.
King finished 9-of-18 passing for 94 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown to Daquavion Randall. King was picked off twice.
Jhailon Braden had a 17-yard catch and a two-point haul. Kamden Perry and Kaden Kearbey finished with 38 and 28 yards, respectively.
"It was a tough win but there's different ways to win games and you've got to find a way," King said. "We'll find a groove, we'll run different formations, run games or run the quarterback more.
"We'll do whatever."
Longview did that in the second half.
King opened the second half with a 15-yard run and Anderson followed with 16 yards. Perry hauled in a 17-yard catch to set up Anderson's 14-yard score and a 6-0 lead in a solid start to the third quarter for the Lobos.
The Lobo defense forced a three-and-out before being denied on a fourth-down attempt.
Once again, the Lobo defense answered with Rodgers' pick and followed Longview's third fumble with its first of two-straight three-and-outs.
Williams went for 10 yards, Anderson 16 and Kearbey a 15-yard catch on the ensuing drive. King found Randall in the corner of the endzone and Braden for two points to put Longview up, 14-0, with 11:12 left.
Allen had a big hit and the Lobo defense stuffed a fourth-down run before grinding out a third-and-long to become of four teams left standing.
"I'm proud of our kids, our coaches and Lobo Nation with the support they gave us today. The kids feed off of that," King said. "This is one of those groups that's special. They're fun to be around, enjoy the game, enjoy each other and they play for the right reasons.
"This isn't a football team that's built with a bunch of move-ins. This is a team that is Longview built. This is a community team and it started at an early age. That's what I'm so proud of. These kids have been through the program. This is Longview built and it's got a lot of pride to it."