|LONGVIEW - It was a stampede, a rout, a touchdown parade that lasted only 26 seconds. In an absolutely wild Friday night of schoolboy football, Longview's simple, rough-cut methods conquered the breathtaking offense of Houston Smiley's Eagles.
The score was only 13 to 8, but it was an electric experience that would raise goose bumps on a battleship in the cold, cold ocean.
And the theme of it all was magnificently expressed on the climactic play of the game in Lobo Stadium as 5,000 trembling spectators looking on - a leaping pass into the arms of tiny tailback Rodney Hill, 148-pound Sophomore, from the passing arm of quarterback James Street, saved the Lobos from the ole gas chamber.
It was a typical action by Coach Ty Bain's diehards. The Lobos seemingly were beaten with 1:46 remaining in the game and Smiley led 8 to 7. But never give up on the fighting' Lobos. The spectators didn't move an inch in their seats as they watched Street and company march 68 yards for the six points to give the Lobos their fourth victory of the season.
An angry Longview defense had dined on Eagles leg and enjoyed every minute of it. This game must go down as the greatest game of the season for the Lobos.
Longview's defense, an alert and staunch as ever, pounded the team with a big victory over the Houston boys. The Lobos held Smiley on the Lobo 14 yard line on fourth down and three with 8:53 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Street fumbled the pigskin in the early minutes of the echidna quarter on the 20 yard line of Houston.
Houston took over and four plays later punter Phil Turned was called in to boot the ball out. Deep safety Street took the ball and started to his left and then cut back to the middle and was hit by the strong Eagles. The Ball bounced from his arms and Mike Richard landed on the ball for Houston.
It was defensive halfback Ronnie Bagley who stopped quarterback Steve Redd on the Lobo 16 yard line on fourth down with the help of several defensive Lobos.
The first half ended scoreless, 0 to 0.
After the halftime talk by Coach Bain and his staff, the Lobos came back with "fire" in their eyes. Longview's Street took the kickoff from the foot of Jack Seeman on the 12 and returned the ball to the 31 of Longview.
Street informed his Lobos this was their time to score. On the first play fullback Larry Gregg carried to the 34. Street on a keeper went to the 39 for a five yard gain. Tailback Rodney Hill jitterbugged around several would-be-tacklers and plowed to the 44 for a first down.
Hill then went off right guard to the Lobo 49-yard line before the Eagles could catch this fancy stepper. Fullback Gregg then carried the ball tot eh 47 of Houston. Street went off right guard to the 40 of Houston. Longview fans started yelling for a touchdown and this gave the Lobos that extra power that was needed. In 14 more plays, the Lobos scored the first touchdown of the night, with 2:48 remaining in the third period. Street plowed over from the two yard line on a keeper play for the score. Keith Parker's kick was good and the Lobos led, 7 to 0.
The touchdown drive covered 69 yards, five first downs and ate up 8:12 off the clock in the third period.
Keith Parker kicked off for Longview and Richard Anderson took the ball on the 22 and returned it to the 47 of Houston before he was grounded.
From the 47 the Eagles used their power to move the ball. It was tailback Mike Reich that keep the Lobo defense jumping all over the floor in Lobo Stadium. In 10 plays from the 47 yard line, Smiley scored their only touchdown of the night. After the score, the Eagles called a timeout. Go for a tie or the two pointer to give the Eagles the lead. Smiley voted to god or the two pointer. Tailback Reich on a handoff from quarterback Red sprinted around the right end taking several Lobo players with him across the goal line for the two points. The Eagles led, 8 to 7, with 1:56 remaining in the game.
Not one Lobo fan left the stadium. Jack Seeman kicked off and Street took the tired ole ball on the 20 and jumped over two or four would be tacklers to the 32-yard line.
It was first-and-10 on the 32 yard line of Longview with 1:42 on the clock. Street says the pros can score in that amount of time and he couldn't see why the Lobos couldn't. So he and his teammates went to work.
On the first play, Street's pass fell short of the receiver. Again Street's bullet missed weakside end Cecil Newton by just inches. The Lobos had to do something so Street on a keeper plowed to the 37 yard line. This time Street hit tailback Hill at the 35 yard line of Houston and the fancy stepper and receiver went on the 30 before he was hit by nearly all the Eagles.
The officials threw a "red flag" and charged Houston with 15 yards for piling on. However, the penalty was walked off only 13 yards and the officials placed the ball on the 17 yard line. With 1:21 left, Street again went to the air. His bullet fell short of tailback Skippy Archer. Then with 1:16 left, Street gave the Lobo fans something to talk about during the weekend. He stepped back and sailed the ball into the arms of tailback Hill in the left end zone for the six points and a 13 to 8 victory.
The entire Lobo team must be given lots of credit for their hustle. This year's team is a mark of a champion. They aren't going to give up easy. They showed a great Houston club what it takes to play winning football.
A pat on the back must be given to Larry Fyfee for his timely tackles. Defensive halfback Gary Muller saved the Lobos many, many ties. And defensive halfback Rodney Bagley must be given a big "pat-on-the-back" for an excellent job. Bailey is a great ball player with lots of hustle at all times.
Other standouts included Rodney Mitchell, Dusty Piftinger, Mike Maberry, Danny Bogue, Keith Bishop, Larry Gregg, Stan Bobo, James Street, Glenn (Skippy) Archer and Joe Miller. The list could go on and on.
Cecil Newton punted five times for 186 yards, an average of 37.2 per kick. However, Phil Turner of Houston posted four kicks for 181 yards for an average of 45.2
Gregg was the big ground gainer for the Lobo with 61 yards on 16 tries and Street was second with 59 yards on 12 tries.