|LONGVIEW - Led by the passing of quarterback Steve Gaddis, the Longview Lobos moved another step toward their goal of winning the District 14-AAAA title, upending the Texarkana Tigers 17-7 at Lobo Stadium Friday night.
Gaddis passed for 161 yards in the first half on eight completions in 13 attempts.
"I was proud of the way the boys never let up," said a jubilant Lobo mentor Doug Cox. "We made more mistakes tonight than we've been making, but we consistently came up with the big play."
Both teams put on a surprising offensive showing in the first half, but the second half was completely dominated by the scrappy Texarkana Tigers. Turnovers were the Bengals biggest downfield as Morris had two of his aerials stolen and Hershel Moore fumbled twice to the Lobos.
The Tigers' most explosive weapon, Reginald Scott, was completely shutout but he Lobos' lightening-quick defense.
"Scott has been hurt all week," said Texarkana coach Jimmie Goff. "If he had been well, we would have been in better shape offensively."
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and drove to the Lobo 39 where the Lobo captain and defense end Gary Akins pounced on a loose pigskin when wingback Mike Bruce took a handoff from his quarterback Don Morris and fumbled when he hit by a green-shirted Lobo tackler.
The "Green Machine" cranked up as tailback Leo McCoy carried on the first six plays for the Lobos and gained 25 yards in those carries to spark the green-shirt host team to the Tigers 41.
Gaddis then hit tight end Henry WIlliams with an 18-yard pass to the Tiger 23. Ricky Watts carried twice for eight and two yards and a first-down at the Tiger 13. Two running plays netted a loss of one yard and then Gaddis passed incomplete.
Place-kicker Tommy Thomas came in and booted a 36-yard field goal to give the Lobos a 3-0 lead with 4:29 left in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, neither team could muster an offense and had to exchange punts. Texarkana took over on their own 46 with 9:50 left in the first half after holding the Lobos on downs at the Longview 22 and forcing Lobo punter Jeff Stone to boot a 32 yard kick to the Tiger 46.
On the first play, quarterback Morris swept right end, sprinted downfield for about 20 yards, reversed his field and cut back across the grain and outran the Lobo pursuit for a 54-yard touchdown run.
Reginald Scott added the extra point to give the visitors a 7-3 lead with 9:37 left in the first half. It marked the first time in the 1974 season that the Lobos had been behind on the scoreboard.
But the Lobos took the kickoff and marched right down the field tot he Tiger eight where McCoy fumbled a pitchout from Gaddis and the Tigers recovered at the nine.
The big plays in the Lobos' aborted drive, were a 31-yard pass from Gaddis to tight end Henry Williams and a 25-yard pass from Gaddis to wingback Ricky Watts that carried to the Texarkana eight where McCoy fumbled.
The "Mean Green" held the Tiger offense to -1 yards in three plays and Morris punted out to the 50, where Lobo safety Steve Taylor took in the punt and returned it to the Tiger 43.
Gaddis hit Watts with a 14-yard pass to move the ball down to the 29. Fambles busted up the middle for 26 yards that carried the ball down to the three. McCoy carried the ball over right tackle on the next play for the touchdown.
Thomas kicked the extra point to give the Lobos the lead back with 5:04 left in the first half.
Thomas kicked off for the Lobos and Kirk Colbert returned the ball to the Tiger 23. The "Mean Green" rose up and forced the Tigers to punt on fourth down and the ball was downed at the Lobo 42.
Fambles went over right guard for four yards, Gaddis threw incomplete and then hit Williams with a seven yard strike that was good for the first down at the Texarkana 47.
Gaddis threw incomplete again and then hit Ricky Watts as he went high in the air to pull down between two Tiger defenders for a 33-yard gain. That pass put the ball at the Tiger 14 and Gaddis then threw incomplete again before hitting Williams with a 13-yard bullet that carried the ball to the one.
McCoy carried it over from there and Thomas added the extra point to give the Lobos a 17-7 lead with 1:43 left in the half.
But the excitement wasn't over yet as Texarkana took the kickoff and Moore galloped for 21 yards in two carries that took the ball o the Tiger 45. But on Moore's next carry, he fumbled and the Lobos recovered at the 45.
Gaddis passed to Williams for 20 yards on the first play and then after two running plays could gain only three yards, Gaddis went back to pass again and hit split end Elvis Bradley with a throw that Bradley couldn't hang onto after being hit by two Tiger defenders on the last play of the first half.
The second half of the game was a defensive struggle with the highlight being a tingling goal line stand by the Lobo defender when Texarkana had managed to reach the Lobo four-yard line with a first down and 8:01 left in the game.
"Longview has one great football team," said the disappointed Goff. "I sincerely believe District 14-AAAA is the toughest in the state this year."
The Tigers' championship hopes are pretty well down the drain now, but they could be of great help to the Lobos. They play Lufkin next week and a Tyler victory would almost clinch a playoff spot for Longview. John Tyler edged Lufkin 7-0 Friday night to leave the Lobos as the only undefeated team in loop play.