|LONGVIEW - Longview needed a spark and preseason All-American Bobby Taylor provided it with a pass reception for a touchdown and an 85-yard punt return as the Lobos outlasted Dallas Roosevelt at Lobo Stadium Friday night, 35-27.
The win boosts Longview's season record to 3-1, while Roosevelt fell to 1-3. The Mustangs were the top-ranked team in Class 4A in the Associated Press preseason schoolboy football poll.
Taylor helped the Lobos break a 7-all tie in the second quarter with a 25-yard reception from quarterback Jason Dodson and then less than two minutes later raced 85 yards for another touchdown. The 6'4 senior's touchdown pass was only hjis third catch of the season.
He also picked off Roosevelt pass later in the quarter to thwart a scoring opportunity.
But as quickly as Longview got its lift, the Lobos nearly gave it away in the second half as momentum shifted.
Longview persevered on a fourth-and-13 play with 1:15 to play as Roosevelt cut what had been a 21-point lead in the second quarter down to eight.
"We knew they had an explosive football team" said Lobo head coach Robert Bero. "They'd played well against some good people and it just looked like we lost our intensity and didn't tackle real well in the second half. I thought we did some good things in the first half, but we just didn't play with the same emotion and intensity, defensively."
Building on the last defensive series will be the objective of Bero and the Lobo coaching staff next week as they prepare for district play which begins on Oct. 11.
Longview hosts Dallas South Oak Cliff in next Friday's final non-district game at 7:30 p.m.
"We made some big plays with some good athletes," Bero continued. "The return by Bobby was a big play and gave us a big lift. But II give Amond Hutchins almost as much credit for that play as Bobby."
Hutchins threw a key block not he right sideline to set up the return.
Longview's only points of the second half proved to be the winning touchdown as Andre Davis scored his third of the game with his second one-yard dive of the contest. The Lobos took their first drive of the third quarter and marched 43 yards in 11 plays following a short Mustang punt.
Roosevelt rallied as quarterback Rodney Manning, who rushed for 60 yards and threw for 138, ran in from seven yards out with 25 seconds left in the quarter. At the 7:14 mark of the fourth, Manning connected with Michael Williams for a 15-yard scoring pass.
Charles Middleton added the two point conversion after the Mustangs had missed on two previous point after attempts.
The Mustangs out gained the Lobos in total yards (378-270) and first downs (20-14).
Against the Lobos used the arm of Jason Dodson behind a 10-of-18 performance for 128 yards to open up their offense. Split end John Washington pulled in five passes for 67 yards.
In a span of 1:44 of the second quarter, the Lobos scored 21 points to take early control of the contest.
Taylor's touchdown catch and punt return started the assault at the 5:59 and 4:33 marks, respectively.
Roosevelt aided in Longview's third set of points as Jerome Haliburton fumbled at his own 12-yard line and Xavier Green recovered. It took only one play for Davis to run in his second score of the half from 11 yards out with 4:15 to play.
Davis had posted the team's first points with a one-yard blast on the opening drive with 8:14 showing on the clock.
Brian Payne kicked two of Longview's extra points and Matthew Fanning booted three.