|LONGVIEW - Backed by a resurgent offense, the Longview Lobos evened their season record with a 35-20 non-district win over Fort Worth Trimble Tech Friday night at Lobo Stadium.
The Lobos combined both a rushing and passing attack for 350 yards total offense. Highlighting the offensive turnaround was substitute tailback Deondreau Bennett and quarterback Shawn Lawson.
Bennett was replacing Earnest Hunter, who only played a couple of downs after injuring his shoulder during the season-opener against North Mesquite.
The 5'8, 176-pound senior rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries, scored twice and tallied a 2-point conversion. Lawson, meanwhile, surpassed the 100-yard plateau for the second consecutive week with a 3-for-4 performance of 106 yards and one touchdown.
"We won...that's an improvement," noted a happy Robert Bero. It was the first-year coach's initial win. "We made a lot of big plays tonight. Reggie Adams, Selwyn (Broughton) and Shawn Lawson throwing the ball."
Longview trailed early in the game 14-6, before Bennett tied the contest with the first of his two touchdowns. A wingback reverse to Reggie Adams with 2:40 left before the half, catapulted the Lobos into the lead for good.
It was Bennett's second-half performance that helped keep Longview in command. AFter rushing for just 31 yards in the firs half, he exploded for 72 yards in the final half.
Bennett's second touchdown came at the 10:30 mark of the third quarter on a 31-yard run to culminate a 71-yard, 4-play drive.
"We talk all the time about how we're not an individual oriented team, that someone can't be replaced. Even though we did lose an outstanding back like Earnest Hunter, Deondreau stepped right in and did the job for us," said Bero. "We couldn't have asked him to do anymore."
The Lobos final points came on a 65-yard pass completion from Lawson to Adams with 10:25 left in the contest. It was Lawson's third touchdown of the young season.
Sandwiched in between, Trimble Tech attempted to rally by scoring with 10:38 left in the third frame, one series after Bennett's touchdown. Queinton Waldon scampered down the left sideline for 23 yards to cut the score to 28-20. However, a two-point conversion attempts by quarterback Cornelius Carey resulted in a sack by cornerback Everett Johnson.
Longview also needed a fourth quarter goal line stand. Three times the Mean Green unit stopped the Bulldogs at the 1-yard line, before Carey fumbled on a fourth down call. Linebacker Tony Clark recovered for the Lobos.
In total stats, Trimble Tech out gained Longview 415 to 352. The Lobos also trailed in first downs, 17-16.
Longview also had to contend with Bulldog backs Waldon and Bruce Hill who rushed for 148 and 170 yards, respectively.
Trailing 14-6, Bennett began the Lobo comeback as he pushed the ball across from two yards to draw to within two points of the visiting Bulldogs. Bennett then scampered around the right end for a successful two-point conversion as the Lobos tied the game at 14 with 6:06 remaining before halftime - Longview missed the extra point following its first score.
After allowing North Mesquite 289 yards on the ground last week, Longview's defense surrendered 230 in the first half alone against Trimble Tech, but still held onto a 21-14 halftime advantage.
However, it was the defense which put the Lobos onto the scoreboard first. With under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter, on a safety blitz, Victor Bush stole an errant Carey pitch in midair and raced 85 yards for the touchdown.
However, the point-after by Hill was off to the right.
Trimble Tech then rallied with an 83-yard, 3-play drive. A 41-yard run up the middle by Hill knotted the score at 6. The Bulldogs went ahead on Santiago Trevino's extra point at the 2:54 mark of the first quarter.
After holding Longview on defense, Trimble Tech again put together a short series drive, going 69 yards in three plays. Hill capped off the scoring march going up the middle for 22 yards. With 11:55 left before halftime, the Bulldogs held a 14-6 advantage.
The Lobos have now beaten the Bulldogs in four of the five games the two schools have played since 1984.
Longview travels to Galveston next Friday to face the Ball High Tornadoes. Game time is 7:30 p.m.