LONGVIEW - The Longview Lobos utilized the magnificent kicking and passing of quarterback Jerry Matthews and an alert defense that made the most of opposition fumbles in grind out a desultory 30-6 victory over the Henderson Lions here Friday night before a chilled crowd of some 2,500 fans.
The victory was the third straight against no losses in conference play for the Lobos and left them deadlocked with Marshall for the District 4-AAA lead with a showdown battle for the championship coming up when the two teams tangle in Marshall next Tuesday afternoon.
The locals encountered surprisingly stubborn opposition from Coach Cotton Bolton's eleven and the Lions might have scored a crushing upset had it not been for their own fumbles and for the brilliant individual performance from Matthews.
The Longview quarterback completed 12 of 18 passes he threw before turning the aerial chores over to Bobby Crawford and turned in a spectacular punting average of 49.7 yards per kick, while passing for one touchdown, setting up two others with his aerial barrage and scoring a fourth himself.
The embattled Lions, who completed their gridiron campaign by absorbing their fourth straight conference loss without a victory and their eighth setback of the season, kept the Lobos in trouble much of the time with the long stampers of quarterback Joe Allison. Talford Deal and Royce Smith narrowly missed two other touchdowns.
Longview held an uncomfortable lead of 12-0 at halftime and was ahead only 18-6 at the start of the fourth quarter.
No less than four of Longview's five touchdowns came after the Lobos recovered Henderson fumbles.
Of the six touchdowns in the contest, not a single extra point was converted.
Longview drove 76 yards in the opening period with Matthews scoring the first touchdown of the game by passing the final 10 yards to end Claude Pliler. Bill Cochran blocked Pliler's placement kick on the try for extra point.
Matthews recovered a fumble on Henderson's 16-yard line to set up another touchdown for the winners in the second quarter. Tailback Dick Nash chalked up the tally when he plowed over right tackle to score from the one. A fumble spoiled Pliler's attempt at the extra point.
The Lions got there only score down early in the third quarter when Royce Smith broke over right tackle for 53 yards to Longview's even and on the next play Allison swept left end and raced in to the end zone standing up. George Berry's placement kick on the extra point was low.
Longview recovered a fumble on Henderson's 35 to set up another touchdown in the third period. Matthews ate up 33 yards with two passes to Martin 'Jeep' Reynolds. Nash spanked right into the end zone from the two for a touchdown. Jerry Barnes' try for conversion failed when his kick sailed wide of the uprights.
Center Tommy Hagan covered a fumble on Henderson's 33 end stripe late i the third quarter to lead to Longview's fourth tally early in the fourth period. After a 15-yard penalty pushed the Lobos back, Matthews ripped off four consecutive pass completions to Reynolds and Barnes to reach the five. There Matthews faded to pass against but when he failed to a spot a receiver, he plowed through a host of tacklers and raced into the end zone. Barnes' placement kick on the try for extra point was low, leaving the score 24-6.
A few minutes later, L.T. Mobbs electrofied the crowd by returning a punt 81 yards to Henderson's five-yard line, but the beautiful run was nullified by a penalty against the Lobos who were penalized an even 100 yards during the contest.
A booming punt by Matthews and a Henderson fumble gave the Lobos their final touchdown. Matthews, who had ripped off a 73-yard kick earlier in the contest, slammed a 72-yard boot down to Henderson's five where Bob Youngblood fumbled a Hagan and guard Carl Lively recovered for the Lobos. A moment later, Crawford took a pitchout from Matthews and skirted right end from the three for a touchdown. Jerry Moore blocked Crawford's extra point try.