|BEDFORD - Longview had plenty of Andre Davis Saturday afternoon against South Garland as the senior tailback rushed for 209 yards in leading the Lobos to a 41-20 Class 5A Division II bi-district win at a wet and windy Pennington Field.
Longview - district champions in 12-5A - now advance to meet Dallas Carter next Saturday at a site and time to be announced in the area championship. The Lobos improve to 9-2, while 11-5A runner-up South Garland ends it season at 9-2.
Davis carried the ball 31 times and eclipsed 200 yards for the second time this season. He had previously run for a career-high 268 against Lufkin.
The 5'10, 170-pounder scored twice on runs of 8 and 21 yards, set up a quarterback sneak by Jason Dodson from a yard out after a 53-yard gallop, and then added a 33-yard touchdown pass completion from Dodson.
"We worked on that (play) and didn't complete it once," Dodson said. "It came out in they game like we had done it all week."
The Dodson-to-Davis connected extended the Lobos' advantage to 21-6 at intermission.
"We'd been having that in the game plan for quite some time, we just decided to pull it out," Davis added. "That was just a designed play and we just decided to run it because they were playing man."
Dodson extended Longview to a 28-6 lead with 1:23 left in the third quarter on a 31-yard bootleg up the middle. The points proved crucial as South Garland finally got its passing game going with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown.
Quarterback Mike Castillo, who came into the game with nearly 2,000 yards through the air, connected twice with Clarence Cheatham for 8 and 22 yards. Castillo also hit Jerry Sharp for a two-point conversion pass.
The Colonels twice attempted onside kicks, but had the ball go out of bounds on one and failed to get a second to travel the necessary 10 yards.
Castillo completed 22 of 42 pass attempts for 224 yards. It marked the third time this season the Lobos had had opposing quarterbacks attempt over 40 passes - Lufkin for 53 and Marshall 42.
In between, Dodson finished off a 2-play, 54-yard drive on a one-yard run with 9:28 to play. Davis' run of 53 yards set up the scoring drive that took only 19 seconds.
Backup tailback Amond Hutchings closed out the scoring on a 9-yard run with 33 seconds showing. Longview used up most of the remaining 5:38 in a 48-yard, 10-play drive.
"Our district has been mostly dominated by the run, but Lufkin and Marshall both run the run-and-shoot, and we've seen a lot of that type offense," said Lobo coach Robert Bero. "We've had our share of passes all yearlong. We've had some practice."
Defensively, the Lobos held the offensive-minded Colonels to 159 total yards in the opening half. But early first-quarter jitters could have put the Lobos in a deep hole as they turned it over on the opening kickoff and again on their first offensive series.
But the Colonels came away with only the six points.
South Garland's points followed a Lobo fumble at their 48. Leon Clark, on a pitch from Castillo, found Damon Barnes all alone in the end zone for a 16-yard pass play with 2:30 showing in the quarter.
But Marcus Horn broke through the line untouched to block Brent Pederson's extra point attempt.
The yardage didn't come easy for the Colonels who took 13 plays to cover the distance, including a fourth-and-one call, and using up 5:11 off the clock.
South Garland had earlier missed a 32-yard field goal attempt by Pederson, which was low and to the left. Kenny Hitt had recovered the fumble kickoff by Longview at the 22-yard line.
Bobby Taylor set up Longview's first touchdown, returning the ensuing kickoff after South Garland's touchdown, taking it 74 to the Colonel 17. Two plays later, Davis ran in from 8 yards and after Brian Payne's point-after, the Lobos led 7-6 with 1:41 showing.
A diving interception by Sophomore linebacker Kendrie Nichols set up Longview's second touchdown at the South Garland 36. Davis carried the load, completing the 5-play scoring drive on a 21-yard sweep around the left side that was opened up on a block downfield by fullback Alton McAlister took a 14-6 lead with 11:17 remaining before halftime.
After a defensive stand, Longview then went 58 yards in four plays, overcoming a pair of illegal procedure calls, as Dodson connected with Davis at the 7:58 mark.