|LONGVIEW - If a team can't get the football, it can't put points on the scoreboard.
And Longview's offensive unit did its best to keep the ball away from Abilene in Friday night's matchup at Lobo Stadium.
Mounting drive after time-consuming drive, the Lobos played ball control. And the defensive unit time and time again thwarted the Eagles' scoring threats.
Kicker Steve Blaschke produced a Longview field goal, quarterback Eric Harris swept around right end for one touchdown and tailback O'Neal Jackson ran for another as the Lobos nabbed their second straight victory, 17-3 over the Eagles.
With the win, Longview completes non-district action with a 2-1 record, while Abilene falls to 1-2. more importantly for the Lobos, the victory builds much needed momentum before embarking on District 13-AAAAA play next week, at home against Tyler Lee.
Jackson was without a doubt he workhouse on the night, picking up 95 yards on 20 carries for Longview, including his 10-yard touchdown jaunt for the game's final score. His work started early as his number was called nine of Longview's first 11 offensive downs.
And in the second-half drive resulting in Jackson's touchdown, the Lobo offense held onto the football for more than eight minutes before the tailback crossed the end zone with 3:56 showing on the third-quarter clock.
Also contributing ground yardage was Clifford Powell, starting at fullback for injured regular Victor Crane and rushing for 60 yards on 11 carries. Tailback Joe Johnson gave the Lobos 53 yards on eight totes, and Carlton Drain added 22 on four.
Abilene's Greg Sims took the handoff 15 times and gained 44 yards to finish as its high-man, while fullback Damon Edwards had -11 yards on four tries. Quarterback Mickey Russell went 15 yards on 10 carries.
In all, Lobo ball-carriers totaled 238 yards in the contest, while Eagle rushers were held to just 58 by a stingy Longview defense.
While the Lobo offense was keeping the football out of the Eagles possession, that stingy defense was doing everything it could to keep the Eagles out of the end zone.
Led by senior cornerback Tarodney Robertson's three interceptions, the Lobo defense bent a bit, but only enough to allow Eagle Steve Stacy a 24-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
In spite of three interceptions, Abilene's Russell came onto to complete 11-of-20 passes for 119 yards. His big play was a 62-yard bomb to Sims early in the contest that advanced the ball to Longview's 19. But from there the defense held, and Stacy missed a field goal that would have given the Eagles the early lead.
Really, in the first half, it seemed neither team would get on the scoreboard.
Longview's first drive ended on a Jackson fumble that gave the ball to Abilene, and its second was halted by a Edward Bane interception.
The Eagles also fell short in the second quarter, being stopped on fourth down at the Lobos' 1-yard line when a pitchout resulted in a 12-yard loss.
A few minutes later, Robertson snagged his first Russell aerial with the Eagles apparently on the move.
Blaschke's field goal ended the scoring drought with just 36 seconds left in the first half, from 24-yards away.
Robertson's second interception set up Longview's final score, as he returned the errant Russell pass 37 yards to the Abilene 10. From there Jackson waltzed into put the icing on the cake.
the Lobos came through with 19 first downs to the Eagles' 10. Penalty wise, the Lobos were called for seven penalties resulting in a loss of 45 yards.