LONGVIEW - Rated as underdogs by two touchdowns or more, the battling Longview Lobos twice came from behind and pushed across their third touchdown of the game with only nine seconds of play remaining to tie the Tyler Lions here Friday night in the final home contest for Longview, 19-19.
There wasn't any doubted that the favored Lions were lucky to escape with a tie, for the surging Longview eleven pushed them all over the field throughout most of the game and had it not been for a blocked punt that gave them one touchdown and a recovered fumble on an attempted kick that led to another Tyler score, they would have absorbed a sound spanking.
The Lobos sprang a surprise on the Lions by switching quarterback Bill Bolger to halfback and turning the quarterbacking duties over exclusively to Bob (Applejack) Abney.
Abney, returning to the Longview lineup after missing last week's game, bewildered the Tyler eleven much of the way with his fine passing despite a wet ball and some sharp running when his receivers were covered.
Penalties were costly to Longview in the first half when the Lobos were assessed four for 50 yards but, oddly enough, the Lobos did not draw a penalty in the last half.
Abney passed 10 yards to end David Duncan for Longview's first touchdown in the initial period while halfback Harry Moore chalked up the second in the third quarter on a one-yard plunge and fullback Tommy Matthews rammed over from the three for the Lobos' last score to climax a dramatic 79 yard drive as time was running out.
Longview got off to a bad start when the Lobos saw two of their first three punts blocked and the other fumbled but they recovered sharply and gave the Lions a fierce pounding the rest of the way and clearly deserved to win, only to see the breaks go against them.
Tyler got a quick scoring opportunity in the opening minutes of play when Ginsberg blocked Gillock's punt and recovered on Longview's 39-yard line. Four running plays however, lacked inches of making a first down and the Lobos took possession on their own 29.
From there Longview drove 71 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. Moore ripped around left end for 11 yards and Abney connected on a 20 yard pass to Duncan, who made a beautiful catch on the sidelines for a first down on Tyler's 38-yard strike. Abney picked up six yards at left end and Bolger broke ever right tackle for 19 more to reach the 13-yard line. On fourth down with seven to go Abney fired a 10 yard pass to Duncan in the end zone for the score.
Abney's placement kick on the try for extra point was wide leaving Longview with a 6-0 lead with 51 seconds remaining in the quarter.
During the period the Lions ran only eight offensive plays and netted just 19 yards while Longview had the ball for 19 offensive plays and picked up 95 yards.
Two penalties early in the second quarter got the Lobos in trouble. One of them cost Longview five yards for backfield in motion, although three Tyler linemen broke across the line of scrimmage and made contact before the ball was snapped. The other penalty, 15 yards for illegal use of hands, was even more costly because it came on Gillock's booming pun that rolled dead on Tyler's seven.
Instead of the play standing, however, the penalty set the Lobos back to their own 31. When Gillock attempted to punt again fom there, Dwight Haley broke through to block the kick, picked up the ball on the 25 and raced across for the touchdown with nine minutes and 46 seconds left in the half. Wright's kick on the try for extra point was wide, leaving the score tied at 6-all.
A few minutes later the Lobos were forced to punt again and this time Dave Talley covered a fumble on a low snap from center with the slippery ball on Longview's 18-yard line. Four plays later Wright took a pitchout from D. Keeling and circled left end for seven yards and a touchdown. Wright's kick on the try for extra point was wide to the left, leaving Tyler with a 12-6 lead at the half.
With a minute and 32 seconds left in the second quarter, the Lions recovered fumble on Longview's 27-yard line and pushed to the Lobos' two on fourth down, but Lee Gresham threw D. Keeling for a two yard loss and the ball went over with three seconds remaining. Confusion apparently reigned among the officials, for the Lions quickly lined for a fifth attempt when they were stopped on fourth down and it looked like they might get by with it but the horn sounded the end zone of the half.
The stands roundly booed the officials when they left the field at intermission.
The Lobos went ahead at the three-quarter mark, 13-12, by smashing 46 yards for their second touchdown with a minute and 16 seconds left in the period. Bolger hit Duncan with an 18 yard pass and Abney connected with Duncan for another 11 yards, after which Abney swept end to reach the on and Moore ripped over center to score. Abney kicked the extra point.
Early in the fourth quarter, Longview drove to Tyler's 13-yard line without scoring and mildly threatened on another occasion but the Lions still had some punched left and drove 80 yards for a touchdown to put them ahead with just two minutes and 12 seconds left on the clock. D. Keeling passed the final 20 yards to Robert Poole in the end zone for the score and then swept right end for the extra point to put Tyler ahead, 19-13, and apparently clinch the win.
But at that point the Lobos put on a rousing rally to rip their way 79 yards in six plays in a successful effort to beat the clock. Taking the kickoff after Tyler's third touchdown on their own 21, the Lobos struck like lightning through the reeling Lions.
Abney whipped a 32 yard pass to Matthews and Moore plowed over guard for nine yards, after which Abney tossed a six yard pass to Moore for a first down on the Tyler 30. Abney took to the air again and passed to Gillock for 17 yards as the final seconds ticked away. Coley skirted left end for 10 yards to the three, from where Matthews blasted his way through the big Tyler forward wall to score. Abney's kick on the attempt at conversion was barely wide.
After Longview's touchdown there was only time for the kickoff and one play from scrimmage by Tyler before the final whistle.