ARLINGTON - After knocking and knocking and knocking on the doorstep of bringing home a state championship, the Longview Lobos kicked the door down on Saturday.
Behind a gritty effort from the Longview offense and an even more gutsy effort from the Lobo defense, Longview claimed the Class 6A, Division II state championship and a perfect 16-0 season with a 35-34 win over Beaumont West Brook on Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
Longview brings home its first state championship since 1937 in its fourth trip to the championship since that title 81 years ago in front of a crowd of 48,421.
After grabbing a first-quarter lead, Longview chased West Brook (13-3) throughout up until claiming a 35-34 lead with 4:42 left in the game. From there, the Lobo defense stopped a potent Bruin offense by forcing its first turnover of the game.
Junior quarterback Haynes King finished 16-of-27 passing for 423 yards and two touchdown passes to pick up title game offensive MVP honors. King added 65 rushing yards, including a 25-yard touchdown run.
Kamden Perry added another record to a storied season, finishing with eight catches for 218 yards - a Class 6A state championship game record - with a 77-yard touchdown haul.
Junior Kaden Kearbey grabbed three catches for 87 yards, including a 40-yard score in the the second quarter. Fellow junior Kyas Moore had a crucial 54-yard haul on the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter.
On the ground, Jessie Anderson finished with two touchdowns on runs of three and two yards, the final putting Longview head by one point with 4:42 left.
Defensively, Jephaniah Lister, who garnered defensive MVP honors had a team-high 12 tackles. Tyshawn Taylor followed with 11 tackles, two for loss, and forced a West Brook fumble with a big hit from Ja'Vontae Writt and recovery from Michael Martin with 1:02 left.
Isiah Rodgers had 10 tackles with a pass broken up and Robert Pierce and Jaylon Allen were each credited with half sack.
JK Martin connected on a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, had four touchbacks and averaged 44 yards on two punts for the Lobos.
Longview finished with 569 yards of total offense to 493 from the Bruins, who led 28-20 at halftime.
The two teams exchanged turnovers on downs to start the second half.
Longview pulled to within two, 28-26, on a 25-yard touchdown run from King to cap a quick five-play, 76-yard drive. The two-point attempt from the Lobos failed.
West Brook responded methodically with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to pull ahead, 34-26, with 11:34 left in the game.
The Lobos marched down the field before a drive stalled at the 11, setting up Martin's 28-yard kick to pull within five, 34-29, with 8:17 showing.
Allen had stop for no gain and Rodgers followed with back-to-back tackles to force a Bruin three-and-out. King hit Kearbey for 11, Moore for 54 and Anderson put Longview ahead, 35-34, with 4:42 left.
The Lobo defense, which had allowed 28 points in the first half and six in the second to that point, bowed its neck with the combo of Taylor, Writt and Martin coming up with the big play.
King converted a third down and Keilyn Williams ran for 26 yards around the outside to send the Lobos into victory formation in a state championship game for the first time in 81 years.