TYLER - John Tyler was a mountain. Longview's Lobos climbed it. The Lions opened up like they were going to have a feast of Lobos but in the end it was Longview that enjoyed the game.
Riding the hot right arm of quarterback Mark Hill, the Lobos defeated the Lions, 20 to 13, in a thrilling contest before a crowd of less than 1,000 in Rose Stadium.
Longview's Lobos packed away their shoulder pads for the year Friday night and finished the season with a 6-4-0 mark and a 5-3-0 district 13-AAAA record. The Lions finished with a 5-4-1 record and a 3-4-1 district mark.
Quarterback Hill, who played the entire first half and the fourth quarter, passed eight times and completed four for 48 yards. He replaced Roland Whitehurst at the field general position against the Lions. Roland was nursing an injured right ankle. However, Roland did see some action in the third quarter.
The victory over John TYler was the second straight. Last year, in Longview, the Lobos posted a 34-8 victory. It was in 1966 in Rose Stadium these two teams played to a tie, 21-21.
Tailback Alton Coley, 165-pound junior, scored twice for the Lobos on runs of 18 and 19 yards in the second and fourth quarter. He carried the pigskin five times for 44 yards. This lad is going to be a great runner for Longview next year. He is blessed with a world of football ability.
Things didn't always go well here Friday night. But the Lobos never gave up. There was plenty of tackling and blocking by the entire teams. The Lobos showed more hustle in Friday night's game than had been shown in several this fall. They just wanted the victory a little more than the Lions.
Longview won the flip of the coin and elected to receive. Larry Smotherman kicked off for the Lions and Roger Trice took the ball on the 15 and returned to the 30.
On the first play tailback Billy Price made a good gain. However, a five yard penalty was called against the Lobos and moved the ball back to the 25. On fourth down the Lobos were forced to punt from their own 37-yard line. Johnny Hill punted (Whitehurst out with injury) and the ball was caught the 26.
The Lions took over and really turned on the touchdown machine. The Lobos couldn't stop the powerful boys. Fullback Ronnie Melton, 178-pounds, was the big man of the hour as he marched down the field. Quarterback Kenny Tell hit end Donnie Ellis with a 11 yard pass to the 48 of John Tyler on the third play. Fullback Melton carried for 10, 1, 3, 16, 6 and one. From the 15 yard line, quarterback Teel went into the end zone standing up for the touchdown with 5:34 left in the first quarter. Paul Salas kicked the extra point, 7-0.
The Lobos took the kickoff and started a drive at their own 36 yard line. Price, fullback, Ray Wright and Mark Hill carried the ball to the Tyler 10 yard line in nine plays. Big gainers were 11 yards by Price and 13 by Hill.
At the 10 yard line, the Lobos were given a five yard penalty and the ball placed back at the 15. Mark Hill went to the air and missed end Trice on the first try. Price then went off right side on a pitch out from Hill to the 13. On third down Hill was snowed back to the 15. This was the last play as the buzzer sounded ending the first quarter of play.
On the 15, Hill went to the air and hit wingback Sid Sistrunk at the one yard line. Sid fumbled the ball and it was recovered in the end zone by a host of Lions. This really was enough to make grown men cry.
The Lions took over on the 20 yard line. Teel and fullback Melton gave the Lobos lots of trouble as they were moving the ball. At the John Tyler 46, the Lobos were given a 15 yard penalty and moved the ball to the 31 of the Lobos. Four plays later, fullback Melton fumbled the ball in fourth down and Tyler's tailback Floyd Stanley recovered the ball. However, the loss was too much and the Lobos took over at the 26 yard line.
Sid Sistrunk on the first carry was stopped by a host of Lions and was injured on the play. Sid was removed from the game. Ken Moseley replaced Sid in the line up. Three plays later, Jimmy Hill punted the ball field. Quarterback Teel was in the act of catching the ball and fumbled. Lee Harris recovered the ball for Longview at John Tyler's 33 for the first big break in the game.
Tailback Price went off right tackle to the 30. Then on the next play the Lobos were given a five yard penalty for backfield in motion. Quarterback Hill went to the air and John Tyler was charged with pass interference at the Lions 25. It was a 10 yard penalty.
Four plays later tailback Alton Coley shot through the left guard into the end zone for a Lobo touchdown with 4:41 left in the second quarter. The run was good for 18 yards. Ralph Blount's "golden toe" was called on and his kicks as good, 7-7.
Blount kicked off to the Lions and John Tyler took over on their own 21. On third and eight, John Tyler went into a "shotgun offense" and the center sailed the ball over quarterback Teel's head and nose guard Ricky McElroy recovered the ball for the Lobos at the one yard line.
On the first play, quarterback Mark Hill went over right guard into the end zone for the touchdown with 3:25 left in the second quarter. Blount's kick failed 13-7.
With less than two minutes left before halftime, the Lobos were moving again. However, on fourth down and the Lobos needing seven for a first at the John Tyler 22. Hill went to the air and his pass intercepted by Dana Longacre at the 10.
The third quarter was full fast action. The Lobos took over after fielding a Teel punt at the 29. With 10:44 to go, the Lobos took over at the 29. However on fourth down at the 24, Jimmy Hill punted the ball downfield. Hill's kick was great as the snap from center was too low. But Hill got the kick off and the ball was placed at the Lobo 43.
In eight plays quarterback Teel went into the end zone for the John Tyler touchdown from the one yard line with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter. Paul Salas' kick failed and the game was tied at 13-13.
Smotherman kicked off to the Lobos and Coley took the ball at the 21 and returned to the 35. Quarterback Whitehurst took charge. On the seventh play at the 37 yard line of John Tyler, Whitehurst went to the air and his pass was intercepted by Mike Palmer at the 31.
The Lobo defense went to work and they must be given a big pat on the back. On fourth down from the 40, John Tyler's Teel punted the ball downfield. Coley took the ball at the 28 and took one big step to the 29 before he was nailed to the wet turf.
With 1:31 remaining in the third quarter, the Lobo offensive team really went to work. Wright plowed to the 31 over left guard. Whitehurst hit tailback Billy Price with a short pass over center for 13 yards to the 44. At the 44, Whitehurst took the snap and fumbled the ball. However, he recovered the ball for no gain End of the quarter with the game tied at 13-all.
From the Longview 44, Wright carried to the 45. Whitehurst hit end Roger Trice at the right side of the field for a gainer of 13 to the John Tyler 42.
Wright bulled his way to the 40 and then Whitehurst passed to wingback Ken Moseley to the 25 for a gain of 15.
Whitehurst again went to the air and passed to end Jimmy Griffin to the 19 for a gain of six. Road-runner Coley blasted from the 19 yard line into the end zone for the winning touchdown with 9:30 left in the game. Blount's kick was good, 20-13.
With 1:05 left in the contest, the Lobos held John Tyler at the 21 of Longview. The drive had started at John Tyler's 47 yard line. It appeared the Lions were going to score the way fullback Melton was moving the pigskin. But a few costly mistakes by several of the backs stopped the drive.