TYLER - Having to come back from adversity for the first time in seven games, the Longview Lobos did just that with a strong second half performance to topple the John Tyler Lions, 22-12, here Friday night in the big District 14-AAAA showdown.
Longview, ranked No. 3 in the state, had to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit to rack up its seven win of the year without a loss. The Lobos now stand 3-0 in loop play while John Tyler, ranked No. 2 in the state, fell to 6-1 and 2-1.
John Tyler controlled the first two quarters without any problem, running up 175 yards to the Lobos 65.
But the final 16 minutes was all Longview. The Lobos racked up 155 yards in the last half while John Tyler could manage just nine.
The Lions grabbed the lead with just 24 seconds remaining in the firs stanza when fullback Wayne Ballard knife across from the two. Hosea Taylor blocked the extra point kick.
The touchdown was set up by a Longview penalty after the Lobos had held John Tyler to a 20-yard field goal by Carl Staley. However, the "Mean Green" was called offsides and the ball was put jut inside the two where Ballard scored one play later.
Just 1:24 later, catastrophe struck the Lobos again as Lion linebacker Grady Turner tipped a Tim Martin pass and safety Welton Harris picked off the misguided aerial and skipped 39 yards for another 6 points.
John Tyler quarterback James Mobley was crushed by Lobo safety Steve Carey on the two point try and the Lions held onto the 12-0 lead at halftime.
For some peculiar reason, John Tyler chose to kick off the game after winning the coin toss. So the Lobos began each half on offense. The first half kickoff didn't help much as the "Green Machine" was forced to punt without making the first down.
But the visiting Longview team began the final half in an entirely different way. The "Green Machine" ran the kickoff back to its 21 and methodically marched down the field in 19 plays in 7:59.
Martin teamed up with tailback Mickey Edwards and wingback David Morris for a strange scoring play.
Facing a fourth-and-goal situation from the 4-yard line, Martin shook off an onrushing John Tyler linesman and flipped a soft pass to Edwards that slipped through his fingers and into the waiting arms of Morris. Jim Tutt added the extra point as the Lobos hacked the Lion lead to 12-7.
Then it was Longview's defense turn to go to work.
After the kickoff, John Tyler was thrown back for a minus four yards and was forced to punt on its own 18. Harris got off a wobbly kick which carried only 22 yards to the 40.
Six plays later, Martin slammed across from a yard away to give the Lobos the lead for the first time, 13-12. Edwards swept around right end without being touched for the two-point conversion and the Lobos moved out to a 15-12 edge.