TYLER - The fantastic Lobos, one of the biggest surprises of recent years in East Texas schoolboy football circles, are still rolling.
With virtually the same team back that failed to win a conference last year and on that almost completely overlooked in 1951 preseason forecasts, Coach Swede Dee's incredible Longview eleven maintained its spectacular undefeated and untied record by scoring twice in the second quarter here Friday night to whip Coach Buck Prejean's Tyler Lions of District 5-AAAA, 14-0.
The victory, Longview's fifth straight of the campaign, was the second over Class AAAA opposition for the Lobos, who earlier had trounced the Denison Yellowjackets, also a member of District 5-AAAA, 26-7.
The triumph of the Longview eleven set the slate for state's headline battle next week between teams sporting spotless records when the Lobos tangle with the powerful Palestine Wildcats, No. 4 ranking Class AAA eleven in Texas, at Lobo Stadium Friday night.
Heavily outweighed by the Tyler eleven, which boasts a huge line averaging 268 pounds per man, the Lobos completely outplayed the bulky Lions in every department and narrowly missed two other touchdowns.
It marked the first time this season the Lobos have held their opposition scoreless and was the third time Tyler had been unable to tally, while winning two games and losing three.
The Longview eleven was largely content to play defensive football in the second half and the Lobos did a magnificent job of it. They limited the Lions to only six first downs and a total net gain of 89 yards for the entire contest and only 19 yards net in the first half, all of it through the air.
The Longview defense was the most tightly-knit the Lobos have exhibited this season and featured the sterling play of co-captain Bobby Blakeley at tackle, guard Tommy Owings, center tommy Hagan and ends Jack Williams and Jerry Barnes in the line as well as the line-backing of co-captain Shibley Horaney, who was also outstanding, on defense with his smashing power drive into the hefty Tyler forward wall.
The Lobos set tyler back deep in its own territory early in the first quarter when Blakeley partially blocked Mickey Koonce's punt and Billy Wayne Dodson returned it to the Lions' 19-yard stripe. The visitors advanced to Tyler's 15-yard line but lost the ball on downs there.
The Lions gambled on a third down pass from their own 15, but Hagan intercepted Don Flynn's heave in to the right flat and with the air of some beautiful blocking near the goal line by Horaney, who took out the only Tyler tackler with a chance to stop Hagan, romped 20 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
End Claude Pliler dropped back and calmly split the uprights with a placement kick for the extra point.
A few minutes later, the Lobos launched a 65-yard drive for the second and final touchdown of the hard-fought battle. With Horaney, co-captain Dick Nash and quarterback Jerry Matthews leading the way, Longview barged down to Tyler's 28-yard line where Matthews and co-captain Martin Reynolds collaborated on one of the night's most scintillating plays to engineer the remaining distance. Matthews, who played the contest with his right leg tightly wrapped for protection, fired a 10-yard pass down the middle to Reynolds, who made a beautiful catch and outran the Tyler secondary the final 18 yards into the end zone untouched.
Once again Pliler converted from placement as he maintained his record of scoring on each of Longview's five games, the only player on the squad to do so.
Tyler was never able to launch a serious scoring threat against the rugged Longview defense. Just before the end of the first half, the Lions did managed to reach the Lobos' 25-yard line but Williams knocked down one pass by Albert Hill in the end zone and Bobby Crawford batted away another on the five after which Barnes smeared a running play for no gain as time ran out.
Otherwise the Lions were never able to make any headway at all against the hard-charging Longview forwards, who more than held their own against the titanic Tyler line.
Longview almost made its clean-cut victory even more convincing by barely missing a touchdown by no more than a hair's breath late in the first period, when the Lobos pushed to within inches of the tyler goal after Horaney had intercepted a pass to put the winners in scoring position. Longview pushed Tyler back to its own one-foot line but the Lions held on fourth down there to take over the ball.