DALLAS - Time and time again, Dallas Jesuit made plays in crunch time on Friday night in the second round of the playoffs.
Longview, simply, did not.
Behind a big night from running back EJ Smith, Dallas Jesuit jumped ahead early and led the entire way in a 27-25 win over Longview in a Class 6A, Division II, Region II area round playoff at Kincaide Stadium, bringing Longview's 11-0 season and 27-game winning streak to a grinding halt.
"Jesuit had a good plan, played hard and made plays when it mattered most whether it was offensively, defensively or in the kicking game," Longview head coach John King said. "The kids played their tails off and earned the win.
"We had some chances even with as poorly as we played. We didn't make the plays when it mattered most."
With the win, Jesuit (8-4) grabs its first win in program history over the Lobos and advances to the Region II semifinal to meet Klein Collins, a 28-14 winner over Austin Vandegrift. Longview's season ends at 11-1.
Smith led the charge on the ground in a 164-yard, four-touchdown night for the Rangers, who were guided by quarterback Rance Holman in a crisp night against the Lobo defense.
Holman made his living on third down and, in the final game-sealing drive, fourth down. After starting 1-of-7 on third down, Jesuit finished 8-of-16 and went 4-of-4 on fourth down, including two conversions of five and 12 yards in an 8:36 fourth-quarter drive after Longview pulled to within two points.
"They were able to convert third downs and we couldn't get off the field, third-and-long, third-and-medium," King said. "They got going with the perimeter game and found some creases. They're just good at what they do.
"Their offensive line was effective. We would get out of a gap and they would make us pay."
Offensively, Longview sputtered early in the passing game and pressed while playing catch-up from a 14-0, first-quarter hole.
The Lobos finished with 180 yards on 32 carries with 118 passing yards. Lobo quarterback Haynes King finished 5-of-17 for 118 yards and an interception and had dropped passes from his receivers, especially early.
"We just didn't execute very well whether it was penalties, errant throws or dropped balls," John King said. "We didn't stay on blocks when we needed to. They're a difficult defense to prepare for and they do a lot of different things that caused us problems.
"Ton of respect for Coach (Brandon) Hickman and his program. They came in here and out-coached us, out-played us and came away with a win."
Junior Kaden Meredith and King had first-half touchdown runs as Longview trailed 14-13 at halftime after a bad snap on a point-after attempt. Shannon Jackson, spelling an injured Meredith, had two touchdown runs in the second half of one yard and the Lobos' pair of two-point conversion attempts - one each on the ground and through the air - came up empty.
King finished with 68 rushing yards and Kyas Moore had two catches for 64 yards for the Lobos, who went 6-of-10 on third down.
Holman and Smith went to work from the start on an eight-play, 79-yard drive for Jesuit, capped with a 41-yard touchdown run from Smith on 4th-and-2.
A false start, one of six Lobo penalties throughout in an area that plagued them all season, came on Longview's first play before three-straight incompletions with two drops forces a quick punt.
The Lobo defense responded with a three-and-out before King was picked off on a 3rd-and-15 snap.
Jesuit then converted its second fourth down and got a 3rd-and-4 conversion on from Holman to Jake Taylor, setting up Smith's second scoring run from seven yards out to give the Rangers a 14-0 lead.
Longview gained its first yards on its seventh snap, which were erased by a penalty, before converting three third downs of its own before Meredith punched in a one-yard score for a 14-7 score.
Jesuit went three-and-out again before three-straight incompletions forced a second Lobo punt.
Once again, the Lobo defense gave the offense another chance with a quick three-and-out.
King's hit Moore for 17 yards and Meredith had a 26-yard run before King made it 14-13 on a one-yard run. The point-after attempt failed and, after Jesuit missed on a field goal, the Rangers took that lead into halftime.
Longview went three-and-out to start the third quarter and Jesuit got rolling again.
A defensive pass interference gave the Rangers new life on 3rd-and-18 and Holman hit top target Christian Allocco for 23 on 3rd-and-17 before Smith burst for a 32-yard touchdown run - on third down - for his third score.
A 47-yard connection from King to Moore set up Jackson's two-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession. The two-point pass attempt failed.
Three more third-down conversions led to Smith's fourth touchdown on a long drive for the Rangers.
King picked up four on 3rd-and-4 and hit JD Williams for 38 down to the Jesuit two-yard line. Jackson punched it in before getting stuffed on the two-point run attempt.
What would be the final drive of the night embodied the night for Jesuit. The Rangers got seven on 3rd-and-6 and converted a 4th-and-5 on a Holman pass.
A screen pass went for negative yards before Holman again connected with Wyatt Garrett on 4th-and-12 to seal it and knock off the defending state champions.
"Same thing I've told them all year, be a family," King said of his postgame remarks to his team. "That's how they practiced and that's how they played.
"Don't let this moment define you. There are going to be other things in life that you're going to have to fight through and don't let this be one that lingers with you."