|MESQUITE - Coaches Robert Bero and Freddie James called it a game of field position. With a steady wind whipping out of the north Saturday at Memorial Stadium, it had its affect upon both game plans for Longview and Dallas Carter.
But James' Carter cowboys made the most of it, scoring three times with the wind at its back, twice through the air, for a 26-0 Class 5A, Division II area shutout of Longview.
The Cowboys improve to 11-1 and advance to the regional round against Temple, while Longview concludes its season at 9-3.
It also marks the third straight playoff appearance (1987, '89) the Lobos have failed to go beyond area in postseason play.
"it was hard to throw against the wind," Bero said. "It did change our plans."
Into the biting, cold wind, Jason Dodson completed only 3 of 16 passes for 21 yards and had two intercepted, one of which set up a touchdown that put Carter ahead, 20-0 midway through the third quarter.
The two-year starting senior came into the game with a career-best 947 yards and 10 touchdowns for the season.
Winning the toss prior to the game, the Cowboys elected to kickoff to start both the first and third quarters, forcing Longview to play into the wind. Carter's kickers also constantly booted it through the end zone.
Punter Todd Dauper, who averaged 36.2 yards for the game, had punts of 12 and 19 yards into the wind. Carter, meanwhile, never punted against the wind and did not punt at all in the second half.
Without the passing game, Carter's defense - ranked No. 1 in the state - contained the Lobo running game behind Andre Davis, who was held to 72 yards on 20 carries, allowing them just nine first downs and 117 yards.
"We knew coming in they were a good defensive football team," Bero said. "You just can't make mistakes against an outstanding team and win."
Davis had been the mainstay for Longview as the senior concluded his career with 1,626 yards.
Longview only crossed midfield three times in the game, once in the first quarter and twice in the fourth.
"I knew basically, they would stick to the ground with the power play," James said. "Davis is quick and the fullback (Alton McAlister, 53 yards), we knew he could run."
Leading 7-0 at halftime, and after a 12-yard punt, Carter drove 56 yards in five plays as Cedric Douglas tossed a 30-yard completion to Courtney Epps in the end zone with 6:15 remaining in the third quarter.
Kenneth Woolridge did block the extra point attempt by Robert Hawkins as Carter took a 13-0 lead.
Douglas finished with 122 yards through the air on a 7-of-12 showing. Kiley Brown caught three for 60 yards, including one for a first quarter touchdown.
"We knew Cedric could pass, and he threw some good passes, but we didn't know how he would be affected by the wind," James said. "We had to make some changes right before the game started. We used plays that weren't in our game plan for today."
On Longview's next possession, Dodson's pass for John Washington was picked off on the third play from scrimmage by Vincent Green at the Lobo 25, returning it 20 yards to the five. After being stopped on his first carry, Andre Richardson raced wide around the left side for the touchdown at the 4:25 mark.
Carter's final points came with 2:50 to play as Richardson score from seven yards out to complete a 14-play, 78-yard drive.
But Carter's point-after try was blocked as Kendrie Nichols batted down Verone McKinley's kick.
Carter's only points of the first half followed a fumble by Dauper, who had latched onto a tipped pass by Dodson at the Lobo 33.
On a third-and-five play, Douglas connected with Brown, who had broken through the secondary, for a 28-yard strike with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
The Cowboys also put together a 17-play, 70-yard drive, consuming 7:06 off the clock, only to see Robert Hawkins' 26-yard field goal attempt blown short and wide of the goal posts.
Longview did reach the Carter 27, but turned it over on downs, on its opening possession of the game. The drive was aided by a penalty against the Cowboys for having 12 men on the field.
The Lobos had been stopped on fourth down at the Carter 49, but Dauper, after dropping the snap on a punt, picked it up and ran toward the right sideline for a first down. But Longview took the 15-yard penalty.