|HENDERSON - The Longview Lobos, figuring to pin the Henderson Lions' hide to a barn door without working up much of a sweat, got the surprise of their young lives here Friday night when they played catch-up for most of the ball game and finally scored a touchdown and converted to shade the home club 7 to 6.
It was closer than your next breath. The Lions had the game all but sacked up three or four times but could not punch across the extra tally they needed.
Henderson showed a bunch of bone-crunching tacklers and some alert ball hawks who capitalized on nearly every Lobo miscue, and the powerful Lion running attack all but pulverized the left side of the Lobo line. They carried the ball to the 2-foot line in the first period and then as the half ended, Dick Nash stopped a threat by interception a pass in his own end zone.
After a second quarter touchdown, set up by a longshot Lobo gamble that didn't pay off, the Lions commanded things until the Wolves built up a head of steam sufficient to carry it across late in the fourth quarter. Sonny Jones, a powerful runner whose 2-yard jaunt off a single wing tallied, was the difference with his perfect conversion point.
The Lions played the Lobos off their feet in the first period but the Wolves tightened up when they needed to and stopped the home crew short of a score. Midway through the period, a fumble in the Lobo backfield was pounced on by Bill Flanagan on the Henderson 32. After Shibley Horaney tossed Ernest Winfrey for a seven yard, Winfrey started connecting with long aerials. The first, good for 31 yards, went to Flanagan for a first down on the Longview 44.
Then Winfrey cut one loose that was batted around in the Lobo secondary by three or four players before Billy Leach gathered it in for another first down on the Lobo 27. After Winfrey got three around left end he hit Leach again on the Lobo nine for another first. It was the third pass he had thrown and was the third first own the Lions had racked up.
The Lobos stiffened here and finally took over on downs on the 2-foot line. Here Jones crossed up the defense and, faking a kick, pitched a short flat pass to Jud McRee for 20 yards and a first down. The quarter ended scoreless a couple of plays later.
With eight minutes remaining in the second period and the ball on the Henderson 47, Jones elected to pass on fourth down with two yards to go. It was incomplete and the Lions took over there.
Or, rather, Winfrey did. He pitched a pass to Leach for a first down on the Lobo 25 and Dick Nash intercepted one on the Lobo 15. A fumble was recovered by Bobby Prior on the Lobo 18. From there Winfrey hung one on a peg in the end zone that Jimmy Plunkett caught for a touchdown.
A fumble on the conversion try caused it to get smothered.
In the third quarter, the Lions moved downfield after the kickoff until Dick Nash intercepted another heave near midfield and the Wolves moved to the nine before the Lions braced and threw them back to the 14 and took over on downs.
From there the two clubs battled each other on fairly even terms until late in the third when the Wolves generated some steam and, after Jones' quick kick set the Lions back to their own, Winfrey kicked out to the Lobo 40 and the Wolves went back to work in a potent ground attack tot eh 27 as the period ended.
Running from a single wing, Jones carried to the Henderson 7 but a fourth down pass soured and the Lions took over on their 9.
After the succeeding Henderson kick, taken on the Lobo 45 and returned to Henderson's 30, the Lobos started the drive that paid off. In straight power plays the Wolves moved tot eh 18, with Jones' 4-yard jaunt making the first down there. Three plays got three yards and Matthew then threw a jump pass that Billy Shaw took on the two for a first down. Running from a single wing, the powerful Jones got stopped once - but not twice. On his second try, he cracked the middle wide open to score.
Then, with Matthews holding, he calmly split the middle of the upright for the point that meant victory.
Two more Henderson flurries ended in pass interception, one by Horaney on the Henderson 44 and the other by Jones on the Lobo 45. The Wolves pulled two plays after the last interception and time ran out.
A rugged lag named Flanagan gave the Wolves a bad time all night. He resembled nothing so much as a fifth man int he Lobo backfield, and twice when there was a pileup of boys after a Longview fumble, Flanagan was the last character off the stack. Both times he had the ball.
Winfrey ran like a bulldozer and completed several long passes that hurt the Lobos. However, an alert Lobo secondary gathered in six of them.
Jud McRee, although his side of the line took an awful belting, looked good defensively and Shibley's linebacking and alert pass catching - Winfrey's passes - looked good. Dick Nash played an outstanding defensive game also.
Jerry Matthews had trouble shaking loose in his running efforts and the Wolves completed but two passes. But he hit Billy Shaw in the fourth, when the blue chips were down and set it up for the hard-running Jones to salt away the game.
The starting line ups:
LONGVIEW - McRee and Shaw, ends; Terry and Wheeler, tackles; Blakeley and Griffin, guards; Huey, center; Jones, quarterback Lemmons and Huff, halves; Horaney, full.
HENDERSON - Leach and Spiers, ends; Flanagan and Furrh, tackles; Reeves and Wilson, guards; Christian, center; Plunkett, quarterback; Winfrey and Brightwell, halves, Arnold, full.