ARLINGTON - Facing third and goal from the West Brook 11-yard line with just over eight minutes to go in the fourth, Longview quarterback Haynes King had a man wide open in the end zone. But King's pass sailed over the head of Jhailon Braden and fell incomplete, forcing the Lobos to settle for a field goal in the Class 6A Division II state championship game.
J.K. Martin's 28-yard kick made it 34-29 West Brook with 8:17 to go, and King trotted to the sideline with the game now in the hands of the Longview defense. The Lobos forced a quick three and out and gave their junior gun-slinger a chance to redeem himself in front of 48,421 people.
On the second play of Longview's next possession, King did just that by connecting with Kyas Moore on a 54-yard completion that set up the Lobos' go-ahead score.
Jessie Anderson then punched in a 2-yard TD run to give Longview a 35-34 lead the defense went on to protect, snapping an 81-year drought since the team's last state championship win.
"Coach [Oscar] Wilson talks with me every day before every game and our motto is 'Whatever it takes,'" King said. "Four quarters wass't up - you just have to keep making plays and keep grinding it out."
While Anderson's touchdown gave the Lobos the victory, it was the defense that came up with a key stop after West Brook started to put a late drive together. Tyshawn Taylor forced a Robert McGrue fumble that was recovered by Longview's Michael Martin.
The Lobos went on to run out the clock after a 31-yard run by Keilyn Williams forced the Bruins to burn their remaining timeouts.
Haynes King (Offensive MVP) completed 16-of-27 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns, Kamden Perry had eight catches for 218 yards and a TD, and Jephaniah Lister - who finished with a game-high 12 tackles - took home the Defensive MVP award.
"These kids don't like losing," Longview coach John King said. "They love winning, but they hate losing more than they like winning. They've been that way since I've known them, and they rally one another."
In a game that had a similar feel to that of last year's Class 5A Division I state championship game between Highland Park and Manvel, West Brook's La'Ravien Elia and Deonte Simpson went back-and-forth with Haynes King and Perry.
Simpson, a North Texas signee who finished with six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, was making plays all over the field and helped move West Brook down the field early in the fourth quarter before a 2-yard TD run by Jakobi Holland gave the Bruins a 34-26 lead.
That's when Haynes King and the Lobos responded with a pair of scoring drives that nobody in Longview will soon forget.
West Brook, playing in its first state title since 1982, finished with 46 carries for 369 yards - including 142 from Elia, 122 from Holland, and 76 from Robert McGrue - but couldn't hang on due to the costly turnover down the stretch.
"We knew Longview wasn't just going to back down," Simpson said. "We tried to bring the heat, but they wanted it more than we did. It's just something that will make us better later in life. You can look at it as a positive or a negative - if you look at it as a positive, you'll get better. This feelings hurts and you don't want that feeling to happen again, so you'll work."