LONGVIEW - There's an old adage about lightning not striking twice in the same place. But a stunned Lobo Stadium crowd Friday night watched Texas High upset Longview for the second year in a row as the Tigers shocked the Mean Green, 14-11.
Tracy Holmes and John Jean combined on one of the oldest trick plays in the game - the flea flicker - to do the trick.
Jean reeled in a pass from quarterback Jerry Copeland and immediately handed off to a streaking Holmes who bolted down the left sidelines untouched to complete a 57-yard scoring effort which sent Texas High to its second straight win over Longview.
The Tigers, coached by former Mount Pleasant coach Donnie Laurence, now have handed the Lobos their initial District 14-AAAAA defeat for the second year in a row. Longview is 6-1-0 on the season, 3-1 in league play and temporarily a half-game back of the co-leaders Marshall and John Tyler, who meet tonight in Tyler in a crucial encounter. Texas High is 5-2 and 2-2, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Copeland's pass to Jean only covered about 10 yards, but like a well-timed watch Holmes was there at the precise moment for the handoff, officially, a lateral.
Longview had seemingly grabbed the momentum in the third quarter, overcoming an 8-2 deficit and taking an 11-8 lead into the final period. A 15-yard clipping penalty proved to be ever so costly, probably keeping the Lobos from building the lead, before the fireworks began.
With the ground game somewhat slowed by a limping Irvin Atkins, Texas High went to the airways. Copeland completed three straight for nine, 21 and 17 yards to Bernard Willis and the last two to David Young. Copeland picked up seven, only to lose 15 back on a clipping infraction and then lost four more, setting up a first-and-14 at the Tiger 43.
That's when the trickery proved fatal. Copeland-to-Jean-to-Holmes. Six points and the 14-11 lead with 6:54 left in the game. Copeland missed the point after kick but it didn't matter.
The last few minutes were marred with a little controversy. The clock, at times, didn't click off the time as it was supposed to, one time bringing Laurence onto the field into a raging fit. One particular instance, when Texas High punted on its last possession of the game and Longview fumbled the return - recover by the Tigers' Dennis Hill - to actually seal its fate, the clock did not move from 1:56.
The game ended with four straight Kenny Frazier incompletions after the Lobos got the ball with 21 seconds left in the game at their own 34.
The first and third quarters were all Longview.
Sparked by Frazier's passing and the bull-dozing running of Ronnie Hunter, Longview moved 75 yards in just seven plays and Hunter scored the tying points at 6:17 on a third-yard blast over the left side of his line. The extra point was wide right.
But the "Mean Green" defense held and Longview took over at its 46. Moving entirely on the ground, the drive stalled at the Texas High 20, but Jessie Floyd came into convert a 37-yard field goal for an 11-8 lead with 59 seconds left in the third period.
It looked like it would be more when Atkins fumbled on Texas High's ensuing offensive snap and Terry Graham came up with the recovery at the Tiger 47.
Frazier moved his mates down the field and apparently made the play of the drive when he scrambled for 30 yards to the two-yard line. He only received credit for 13, however, because of a clipping penalty and the ball was moved back to the Lobo 34. Frazier threw incomplete and Longview punted away with 10:28 still left, setting the stage for Texas High's heroics.
Longview's Jimmy Motley blocked a David Brosin punt out of the end zone on the Tigers' first possession of the game for a 2-0 lead with 4:20 left in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, each team exchanged fumbles and it looked like the Lobos might widen its margin but Donnie Centers was overthrown in the end zone from the Texas High 27.
Texas High then moved in for its first score, a 63-yard drive, capped by Holmes' 16-yard scamper around the right end after taking an option pitch from Copeland. Copeland tacked on a two-point conversion for an 8-2 lead with 1:54 remaining before the half.
Longview had 254 total yards, 192 on the ground while Texas High had 217.