|LONGVIEW - In a game which promised offensive fireworks, it appeared only Kilgore's offense had shown the anticipated explosiveness Friday night.
While the Bulldogs sizzled, the Lobos fizzled and trailing 18-7 after Boris Hamilton scored his second touchdown in a 21-yard wingback reverse with 7:54 left in the third quarter, Longview was in desperate need of a spark.
Jimmy Smith provided it.
Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Kilgore 30 where Freddie Roy made a touchdown saving ankle. Smith return ignited the offense and the Lobos reached the end zone on the next two possessions to capture a 21-18 victory in Lobo Stadium.
"It (Smith's return) was a great play," said Longview head coach Doug Cox. "It was something we needed. We needed some momentum."
"We needed it and I know I could do it," said Smith, who also played a solid weak side linebacker. "It was there. I saw an opening. I had to slow up for a block and when I did he (Roy) got me from behind."
Four plays later Kurt Griffin faked inside to Thomas Snoddy and connected with a diving Scott Combest at the flag with 4:58 remaining in the third stanza. Longview opted to try for two, but Snoddy fumbled as he leaped over the goal line and Kilgore held an 18-13 advantage.
However, the Bulldogs ran three plays and were forced to punt on their next possession. Jay Ward blasted a 55-yard punt that barely rolled into the end zone setting Longview up at its own 20.
From there, Longview went to its power game and it worked to perfection. Snoddy, who was the game's leading rusher with 81 yards on 23 carries, had runs of 11 and 10 yards and Eric Faggett exploded for a 36-yard romp down to the Bulldogs' 3-yard line.
Two pitches to Snoddy netted the touchdown and gave Longivew the lead. Griffin bootlegged in the two-point conversion for the final points.
Kilgore attempted to comeback, but its final try ended when Jackson, pressured by Terry Williams and Chris Fuller, tried to reach Hamilton but was intercepted by David Henderson, who returned 48 yards to the Kilgore eight.
"I thought at halftime if we scored one more time the game was over." said Kilgore boss James Cameron. "I told our kids if we got one more we'd be OK. We got one more but it wasn't good enough."
Kilgore dominated the first half, holding a 161-88 advantage in yards gained.
Jackson, who rushed for 67 yards in the first half and rambled for 32 yards on the game's first play, but the 'Dogs on top early when he darted around right end for an 18-yard touchdown with 5:17 showing in the opening quarter.
The Lobos retaliated in the second period when they marched to Kilgore's 20 and were facing a second-and-three when Griffin, who was sacked three times in the first half, was smothered for a 6-yard loss by Vernon Collins. Thomas Stauts picked up on a draw, putting the Lobos' in a fourth-and-four situation.
Cox crossed up the 'Dogs by calling a pass and Griffin hit Reese across the middle for a 21-yard touchdown strike with 7:39 showing. David Hill PAT put Longview ahead 7-6.
But Kilgore was unfazed and the Bulldogs regained the lead just 2:14 before the half. The fleet Hamilton found his way through two defenders and reeled in a 51-yard pass from Jackson for the score.
The score was set up when Eric Maulin, a transfer from Class A Leverett's Chapel returned Mike Bobo's punt 37 yards to the Longview 29.
Kilgore picked right up in the third quarter and scored on its first possession. A 23-yard pass from Jackson to Collins, followed by an 18-yard scamper by Roy put the Bulldogs at the Lobos 21.
On the next play, Jackson pitched to Hamilton on the reverse and the senior strolled into the end zone untouched. Warren Smith intercepted a pass on the conversion, but Kilgore still led 18-7.
And Longview was still sputtering. Then Jimmy Smith provided the much-needed spark.