|LONGVIEW - Overtime isn't for the faint of heart.
Longview and Marshall went double-overtime Friday night before the Mavericks escaped Lobo Stadium by a mere three inches with a 35-28 heart-stopping victory.
With a standing-room-only crowd of 11,000 on the edge of its seat, Longview's Fred Talley and Marshall's Kendrick Starling put on an electrifying show in the District 12-5A opener.
Talley rushed for 226 yards on 36 carries and scored twice. Starling caught 11 passes for 141 yards and two TDs, plus returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score.
Big-time playmakers in a huge ballgame.
''We came up short, and it's a tough loss for our football team,'' said Lobo head coach Robert Bero. ''I think the effort that our football team gave was beyond the call of duty. They just did a great job - they battled all the way to the end.''
Longview, which came into the game ranked No. 1 in this week's AP poll, faced fourth-and-inches from the one-yard line in the second overtime. However, Marshall's defense denied the Lobos' final surge behind Talley.
The Mavericks scored first in the second extra period as Starling caught a 7-yard pass from Paul Todd, who finished with 157 yards on 15-of-32 completions. Robbie Spears booted the extra point.
In the first overtime, Talley ran the final five yards as both teams traded possessions starting at the 25-yard line. Longview kept the drive alive with a clutch 11-yard Trey Pierce-to-Kevin Bishop completion on third-and-10.
Erik Hargrave kicked the point-after for a 28-21 Lobo advantage.
Marshall took advantage of two pass interference penalties called against the Lobos in its initial possession of overtime. The first came on third-and-11, and the second on second-and-10, giving the Mavericks a first down at the Longview two-yard line.
On the next play, Kyle Daniels scored his second TD of the game. Spears followed with the tying PAT.
''This football team has always shown a lot of heart,'' Bero said. ''They play hard and they never believe they're out of a football game. We made some mistakes, and our football team bounced back and made some big plays to get back into the game.
''It's a shame somebody's got to lose it, and just we came up on the short end.''
Longview trailed 14-6 at halftime.
After William Morrison scored the game's first points with a 3-yard carry on the first play of the second quarter, Starling took the ensuing kick back 90 yards. It was first kickoff return for a touchdown this season, but his third overall on special teams - he has returned two punts for TDs.
Spears' extra point gave the Mavericks a 7-6 lead after the Lobos' kick following their TD was wide to the right.
Marshall increased its lead as Longview fumbled at its own 25 with 13 seconds remaining before halftime. It took all of one play for Todd to connect with Starling in the end zone.
However, the Lobos responded to open the second half.
Talley took the initial hand-off straight up the middle, cut to the right sideline and outran the Maverick defense 65 yards for his first rushing TD since the second game of the season. Longview then went for the two-point conversion, with Talley running untouched on the left side for a 14-all tie.
The Mavericks would answer on its first possession of the third quarter. Starling, who Longview did not shy away from kicking to, set Marshall up at the Lobos' 46-yard line with a return of 49 yards. Daniels finished off the 10-play drive with a 1-yard TD run.
Longview pushed the game into overtime at the 5:08 mark of the fourth quarter as Pierce, who completed 8-of-22 passes for 108 yards, connected with Kevin Bishop for a 43-yard scoring play. Bishop, who caught three passes for 65 yards, also had an 11-yard catch in the drive.
A 9-yard completion to Herman Martin kept the series alive on third-and-six from the Lobos' own 28-yard line.
This was Longview's second overtime game since the rule was first instituted prior to the 1996 season. It was the first OT for Marshall. In 1996, the Lobos defeated Tyler Lee in double-overtime 35-28.