|KILGORE - Last year Kilgore knocked on the door - Friday, they kicked it in, downing Longview 24-19 in both team's season opener.
Kilgore mentor James Cameron had been concerned with the Bulldogs ability to stay with the overmanned Class 5A school. However, in the end it was the gusty Class 4A team that came out on top.
Longview's inability to secure a first down at the 6:01 mark of the fourth quarter was all the break the Bulldogs would need. The Lobos, holding a slim 19-18 lead, were faced with a fourth-and-three at Kilgore's 26 yard line, but couldn't convert and the 'Dogs took possession.
Behind the running of E.D. Jackson, who scampered for 34 yards in the 11-play drive, Kilgore moved 75 yards with quarterback Robbie Procell going the final yard on a keeper with 1:44 to play in the game. Kilgore attempted a two-point conversion, which failed.
The Lobos efforts to pull out a victory are hampered by penalties, as they were whistled for 35 yards in their final drive which ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down. Longview was called for 68 yards in penalties for the game.
Longview had held a single point lead at halftime, 13-12.
However, Kilgore took advantage of a Longview fumble early in the third quarter deep in the Lobos end of the field. Starting at the 13 yard line, the 'Dogs put together a short drive in four plays, culminating with a one-yard plunge by Procell.
Longview grained the lead late in the quarter when Carl Johnson posted the second of his two touchdowns on a four yard run with 2:45 remaining. The Lobos attempted at a two-point conversion also failed.
Longview was guilty of four miscues in the game, losing two with both coming in the second half. The first crucial turnover occurred with the Lobos trailing 18-13 after Terence Carter hauled in a 74-yard strike from quarterback Mike Bobo. But on the next play, Earnest Hunter fumbled the ball with Kilgore recovering it on the 'Dog five yard line.
After the Lobos had come out sluggish in last year's opener before rallying for a 21-18 win at Lobo Stadium, coach Doug Cox had hoped for a quicker start Friday. He got exactly that, except that Kilgore came out of the gate just as fast.
Both team's produced scores in each of their initial two possessions. Neither team's punters appeared until late in the half.
Longview took the opening kickoff and drove 73 yards in 15 plays, all without a huddle, to grab the early lead on a three yard run by Hunter. David Hill kicked the extra point for a 7-0 advantage.
But Kilgore, not to be outdone, used the quick release passing of Procell, who was 7-of-16 for 141 yards and two touchdowns for the game.
The 'Dogs first score came courtesy of two penalties on the Lobos and 38 yards through the air ending with an 18-yard screen pass to Jackson. However, David Barthelemess extra point was blocked by Warren Smith as Longview remained one point ahead with 8:16 left in the first quarter.
A good return by Hunter on the ensuing kickoff put Longview in good field position. But adversity struck on the next play when Eric Faggett was picked for a 23 yard loss.
Two plays later, Eric Faggett made up for the mistake and put the Lobos on the plus side of the 50 for a first down sticking to the ground. Longview added to its lead on a three yard run by Johnson with 9:27 to play in the half.
A two point conversion try failed when Hunter was tackled short of the end zone.
Again it was the passing or Procell which brought the Bulldogs back. A short dump pass to Steven Smith turned into a 53-yard scoring play with a 6:30 remaining before halftime. Smith had outrun the entire Longview secondary after catching the short pass.
Jackson's try at a two-point conversion failed with Kilgore trailing by one, 13-12.
The Longview loss spoiled Bobo's debut at quarterback as the senior passed for 181 yards on 8-of-11 attempts.
Jackson finished as the top ground gainer with 93 yards on 18 carries.
Johnson was the top runner for Longview carrying the ball 16 times for 53 yards. Hunter had 52 yards on 14 carries, most coming in the first half.
The Lobos return to the friendly confines of Lobo Stadium next Friday for their home opener against Fort Worth Trimble Tech. The Bulldogs travel to Marshall.