|LONGVIEW - With it's top two tailbacks Thomas Snoddy and Carl Johnson standing on the sidelines in street clothes, it appeared Longview's ground game may be in for a long night.
Instead, Jimmy Smith made it an even longer evening for Texas High.
Smith, getting extended action at tailback, moved over from his usual weak side linebacker possession and gained 122 yards and scored four touchdowns to propel the Lobos to a 35-19 victory Friday night at Lobo Stadium.
Longview improved to 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in District 13-5A. Texas High slumped to 1-4 and 1-1.
Smith scored on runs of 8, 1, 10 and 20 yards and returned a kickoff 64 yards to set up a touchdown. His first carry was 41 yards and is Longview's longest run of the year.
"I knew I had to do it since we were missing Snoddy. That's a big loss," Smith said. "The line deserves all the credit. They were ready to block. We knew we had to come together because not having Snoddy was a big loss."
Smith's performance highlighted Longview's best offensive effort of the season. The Lobos, getting 81 yards from Ray Allison and 55 from Kirt Griffin, finished with 281 yard rushing. Their only pass was good for a 12 yard touchdown from Griffin to Rolanda Reese, which has caught a touchdown pass in all of Longview's four victories.
"I think we did some things better than ever but I'm not saying this is our before total game," said Longview coach Doug Cox. "We did a lot of good things. I saw a lot of signs that we could become the kind of team we want to be."
However those signs weren't on the scoreboard, which was broken.
But Smith made sure the malfunction didn't keep anyone in suspense.
On the game's third play, Smith took a pitch right and rambled 41 yards before Johnny Reader ran him out of bounds. But Reader grabbed Smith's face ask and the penalty put the Lobos at the Texas High 8-yard line.
Smith blasted into the end zone on the next play and Hill added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
With Tyrone McEntire, John Simons, Mike Clark, Jeff Bonner and Chris London blowing Texas High off the line of scrimmage, the Lobos embarked on a 15-play, 73-yard drive on their next possession, which Smith capped with a one yard touchdown. Hill's kick made it 14-0.
Longview looked ready to blow the game open but the Lobos were flagged for roughing the punter early in the second period and Texas High took advantage.
Quarterback Phil Martin completed passes of 12 and eight yard to Gentre Mitchell as the Tigers moved to the Longview 15. From there, Martin hit Mitchell with a 15 yard smoking toss. Hakin's PAT cut the margin to 14-7.
Longview wasted little time in claiming it's 14-point advantage back. Oh the fourth play of the next possession, Griffin lofted a wild strike to Reese, who had gotten behind the Texas High secondary on a post pattern. That time Tom Tutt kicked the extra point for a 21-7 lead.
Haskins, the district's leading rusher, proved he was indeed among the area's premier backs in the second half. The back rushed for 147 total yards becoming the first back this season to hit triple digits against Longview.
Sparked by Haskins' 28-yard run early in the third quarter, Texas High marched to the Lobo 16. Johnny Robinson picked up the rest of the yardage on a sweep around right. A try for two failed.
Texas High however had the momentum and thoughts of coming from behind like it did in last week's victory over John Tyler.
Smith put a quick end to those thoughts. He fielded the kickoff at the 12, sprinted up the middle and then broke outside for 64 yards before Mitchell flagged him down at the 24.
Four plays later, Smith took a pitch left for 10 yards and his third touchdown. Hill's kick made it 28-13.
Texas High cut it to 28-19 midway through the fourth quarter on Haskins' 40-yard scoring jaunt.
David Henderson recovered the ensuing on sides kick at the 46 and five plays later, Smith dashed into the end zone from 20 yards for his fourth touchdown.
Next week Longview travels to Nacogdoches to take on the Dragons, who are 3-2 and 1-1 in district play. The Dragons lost to John Tyler, 33-13, Friday night.
Texas High meets Tyler Lee.