ARLINGTON - A fourth-quarter rally by Longview handed West Brook an emotional and physical loss, 35-34, in the UIL Class 6A Division II state championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in front of 48,000 fans on Saturday.
"We tried to bring the heat, but they wanted it more than we did," West Brook senior wide receiver Deonte Simpson said. "This is something that is going to make us better in life."
West Brook, who maintained a lead from late in the first quarter, had it slip away with a little over four minutes remaining in the game.
"Their quarterback was making some big throws," West Brook head coach Eric Peevey said. "I thought they missed a few in the first half and that kept us in it, but he made some big throws down the field in the second half. If you would've told me we outrushed them and they out threw us, I would've never guessed it."
Longview's quarterback Haynes King threw for 423 yards while rushing for 65 yards with three total touchdowns.
West Brook started with their adrenaline high, which led to some miscues on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Longview scored the first points of the game after Jessie Anderson bulldozed into the end zone from three-yards out. The touchdown was set up by a screen pass to Anderson for 45-yards down the right side of West Brook's defense. It was Longview's only lead in the first half.
The offense for West Brook got back on track during their next drive.
West Brook's senior quarterback L'Ravien Elia connected with Simpson on a smash route for a 36-yard touchdown to give West Brook their first lead of the game 7-6.
The touchdown was set up by pounding the football on the ground with senior running back Robert McGrue Jr. and junior running back Jakobi Holland. Earlier in the drive, Holland kept the series alive by converting on fourth-and-1 with a burst up the field.
The remainder of the second half it was an offensive battle until West Brook's defense caused the first turnover of the game.
Senior defensive back Jarek Brooks ripped the ball away from Kamden Perry, and pounced on the ball for the recovery. The turnover placed West Brook's offense at their own seven-yard line.
The play before the fumble, Brooks had a touchdown-saving pass breakup against Perry.
Late in the second quarter, West Brook took their biggest lead of the first half at eight points when Elia launched a missile over the middle of the field for a 25-yard touchdown to Simpson.
"I'm very proud of my team," Elia said. "We put in a lot of work, and everyone worked hard and gave it their all."
Longview thought they tied the football game when they went for two after a 25-yard touchdown run by King. The initial ruling was that Jessie Anderson reached the end zone on the two-point conversion, but after the review, it was overturned and West Brook maintained its lead.
West Brook scored a touchdown to take an eight-point lead 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. A pass interference by Longview on a deep ball to Simpson, which was ruled incomplete, set up the Bruins in the red zone. Holland dove for a touchdown from three-yards out.
Longview drove the ball down the field against West Brook on its next possession, but a wide-open Jhailon Braden dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone and the Lobos settled for the field goal. J.K. Martin nailed the kick from 28-yards to cut West Brook's lead to five.
Longview's defense forced West Brook's offense to go three-and-out on the next possession.
On Longview's ensuing offensive possession, Anderson plowed his way for a two-yard touchdown. The touchdown was set up by a huge pass by King to Kyas Moore. He put the ball on target for Moore in the middle of the field for a 54-yard completion.
West Brook had two 100-yard rushers in the game. Elia had 136 yards with one touchdown, and Holland had 122 yards with two touchdowns.
Simpson was the only West Brook receiver to have more than one reception. He had six for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensive end Markel Clark finished with seven total tackles.
"It's tough losing a class like this that has been together for so long," Peevey said about his seniors. "Since their freshman year, we've always known this group was close and this group was together, but what they've really brought was the atmosphere of family."