|LONGVIEW - The petty, evasion extra point, arch enemy of Longview's football eleven, once again spelled the downfall of coach Jim Gray's Lobos as Longview lost by a narrow 6-8 score to the rebels of West Monroe at Lobo Stadium Friday night.
Longview staged a beautiful near-catchup drive in the closing stanza of the non-conference putting to notch the six counter, but the point after attempt fizzled and West Monroe clung to a two-point margin.
West Monroe scored first in the game and then managed to fight off the hungry Lobos to gain the win.
The entire encounter was mainly a defensive contest as both teams filed strong defensive teams. Offensive drives were few and far between with the all-important punt playing a decisive factor in the game's outcome.
First half of play was nearly all defense as neither team showed offensive strength. West Monroe, however, made one sudden offensive flash midway in the second quarter which gave them an 8-0 halftime margin.
Longview received the opening kickoff and moved momentarily before having to punt. A nine yard pickup on a tackle slant by halfback Nolin Smith accounted for a quick Lobo first down, but the drive played out four plays later and quarterback Robert Myers lofted a 30-yard boot. End Mike DeLatin came through with a bruising tackle which put West Monroe operating from its own 19 yard mark.
West Monroe gambled four plays later on a fourth and one situation and Longview's left side of the line, led by Loyd Philips, Bill Ewing and Ronnie Bardwell, held to take over on the visiting Rebel's 30 yard line.
Longview failed to take advantage of the early game break, however, and the rebels regained possession of the pigskin on its own 26 yard line.
Two punt exchanges later West Monroe sparked its first offensive showing of the night when Charles Vanzile stepped off a 38-yard run to put the Rebels into Lobo territory. Vanilla would likely have gone all the way had not Bobo Jerry Clements caught him from behind.
The drive was cut short seconds later when Longview's Smith intercepted a stray Jimmy Vanzile pass on Longview's 27 yard line.
West Monroe broke the scoring ice with 4:50 remaining in the second quarter when John Covington climaxed a 44-yard drive with a 25 yard scoring run over right tackle. A penalty gave the Rebels two chances at the point after and Don Harrell made the second one good on a blast over left tackle.
The game settled back into a defensive contest until eh closing seconds of the first half when both teams cranked up. Two costly 15 yard penalties aided the Rebels in moving deep into Lobo territory, but a second important pass interception and 40 yard runback by Longview's Smith threw cold water in the Rebel faces.
The clock ran out before Longview could take advantage of the brea and West Monroe held a narrow 8-0 lead at the mid-mark.
Longview got a good drive moving the first time it got possession of the ball in the second half but a bad pitchout and fumble on the visitor's 43 yard line was recovered by West Monroe's Jimmy Randall.
On the next play Longview roared back when Smith (same as before) intercepted a pass on Longview's 17 yard line.
Fullback Don Petty started moving for Longview at this point and turned in consistent yardage for the Lobos for the rest of the night.
Smith once again proved to be Johnny-on-the-spot for the Lobos on West Monroe's next drive when he knocked down a fourth down pass to halt a Rebel drive on the Longview 24 yard line.
Longview's big offensive thrust came midway through the final stanza when West Monroe as forced to punt on its own 30 yard line.
Clements fielded the punt for Longview, crossed over and handed off to Smith, and Smith tight-roped 35 yards down the sideline to return the kick to West Monroe's 37 yard line.
A completed pass from quarterback Dick Curry to end Charles Richmond covered 29 yards and put the ball on the Rebels' 10 yard mark. Petty and Myers both advanced the ball nearer pay dirt before Willard Wright blasted over left tackle from five yards out to count the tally. Curry faded for an attempted pass on the point after try but was tackled from behind and Longview trailed 6-8.
The score came with 6:04 remaining in the game and covered 37 yards in five plays.
West Monroe was knocking at the door as the clock ran out, and the final play found the Rebels on Longview's 10 yard line.
Petty was the big ground gainer for Longview as he accounted for 65 yards on 17 carries. Smith was the outstanding defensive play for Longview as he intercepted three Rebel passes, was in on numerous tackles, and knocked down some crucial passing attempts.
Lloyd Phillips, Bill Ewing and Dick Williams were the anchors in Longview's defensive line.