LONGVIEW - The Longview Lobos downed the Lufkin Panthers in the homecoming game, 25-6, to close out the season for both teams. The play got off to a slow start, but the momentum picked up toward the end of the first period and the Lobos went on to win pulling away.
Longview kicked off to the Panthers to get the game under way, and the visitors opened the game with a draw play up the middle for an 18 yard gain. They were unable to follow up with another surprise play and their drive stalled at midfield. They punted to the Lobos who began to move from the 21. After moving across the midfield mark, the Panthers began to penetrate the offensive line and the Lobos were forced to punt from the Panther 40.
And so the story went until the first minutes of the second quarter. The Lobos had begun their drive on their own 8 and moved the ball with a steady rising determination. Then with 9:03 left in the half, Joe Griffin drove over the middle of the line for the final yard an the first Lobo score of the night. Keith Parker's kick attempt for the point after was no good, and the Lobos had to settle for a 6-0 lead.
The Panthers looked as if they were going to mount a successful drive when they moved to their own 46 for the first down. The Lobo defensive unit arose to the occasion and threw quarterback John Kennedy for two straight losses before he threw a pass which was intercepted by Cecil Newton on the Lobo 31. Newton returned the ball to the 35, and the local favorites moved on to their second touchdown of the homecoming contest.
It took only 6 plays to go in for the score, and one of those was a 15 yard penalty for having an ineligible receiver down field. The key to this series was the beautiful passing combination and pattern worked out between Steve Judy and Cecil Newton. Those two connected for three successive completions of 42, 13 and 19 yards respectively. The third play resulted in the touchdown. Parker added the extra point with his kick, after the Lobos had been penalized 5 yards for delay of game on the conversion attempt. The final 3:12 of the first half was played near midfield, and the Lobos closed out the action with a tremendous 54 yard punt into the Panther end zone.
After the halftime festivities were completed, the Lobos received the kickoff. They looked as if they ere going to have a lopsided game as they moved down to the Panther 10 yard line. It was at that point that Judy's pass attempt was stolen on the two and returned to the Panther 35 by the injured but still outstanding Gary McClendon. The Panthers moved the ball well on this sets, but Cecil Newton entered the scene again and intercepted his second pass of the night on the Lobo 30, and he returned it to the 36. The Lobos played a solid ground game as they moved to the Panther 37. At that point, tailback Rodney Hill broke loose on a slant off his left tackle and was able to follow the lead of Newton, who had made several outstanding blocks in the series already, into the end zone for the third touchdown. On the two-point conversion attempt Steve Judy slipped as he was pulling away for the center and the play was whistled down. With 1:11 left in the third quarter, the Lobos led the Panthers 19-0.
The Panthers began their lone scoring drive in the third period, but it was not made until the 9:30 mark of the final stanza. With the assistance of a 15 yard penalty for piling on after the whistle, the Panthers were able to sustain a drive which covered 62 yards, in 10 plays. The final 18 yards, and as anyone knows they are the hardest yards to gain in the game of football, took seven plays including an offside penalty of one yard against the Lobos. All seven tries were made by Panther halfback Morris Parrish who must be one of the staunchest workhorses in high school football. He went over from the one foot line as the Lobo defensive unit put a tremendous goal line stand. The PAT attempted pass was incomplete as the ball was knocked down at the goal line by none other than Cecil Newton.
Longview took the Panthers kickoff and began their final scoring drive of the night. They began the series on their own 35 and marched the distance in 13 plays. This series was mainly a ground drive, with the bulk of the work being done by Rodney Hill. The final tally was made when Judy tossed a soft pass over the center of the line to Danny Bogue. Judy passed to David Majors for the attempted PAT but he was thrown for a loss and the pass attempt failed. The final gun sounded before any more scoring could be done, as coach Bain's bench was emptied of seniors and reserves who were able to see some action in this the final game of their high school careers.
Outstanding players in a game like this are hard to enumerate as many did fine jobs and will of necessity be omitted. However, for the Panthers, who closed out their worst season since 1934 with a 3-7-0 record, and 0-5-0 in District 8-AAAA, Walter Keen, Bobby Mitchell, Gary McClendon, John Wade and Bill Bruce played outstanding football.
In the Lobo defensive unit, which aided the Lobos to finish their season with a 5-3-2 overall record, and 3-1-1 conference edge, we must include DeWayne Carver, John Watson, Joe Griffin, Larry Gregg, Ronnie Bagley and of course Cecil Newton. If anyone deserves the game ball, it must be Newton. He not only played outstanding football on defense, with two intercepted by he blocked and tackled his way through the game in addition to catching 6 passes for a total of 114 yards. he also threw the block which enabled Rodney Hill to score his 34 yard touchdown in the third period. Our hats are off to the Lobos, and to their successful completion of the 1966 football season. Here's to next year when they will have a team to be reckoned with for the district title and possibly more.