|LONGVIEW - Longview's 1999 football season has reached the critical point. The Lobos are in a must-win situation over the final two weeks if they are to have an opportunity to advance beyond the regular season.
The Lobos jumped to a 10-0 lead Friday night against Tyler Lee, only to see the Red Raiders storm back and spoil Longview's Homecoming with a 28-18 victory.
Longview drops to 1-2 in District 12-5A, and 3-5 overall. Lee improves to 2-1 and remains tied for second in the district race with John Tyler. Lufkin is 3-0, while Nacogdoches is 1-2 and Marshall 0-3. The Lobos take on John Tyler next Friday at Rose Stadium, then return home the following week to meet Nacogdoches.
Mental mistakes cost the Lobos against Lee as Longview was flagged 10 times for 95 yards, including three times for late hits. In all three instances, the late hit call played a role in 16 Red Raider points.
Lee scored 21 unanswered points after Longview had jumped out in front in the first quarter.
The Lobos took the opening drive and marched 75 yards in 17 plays before Josh Scobee came on to boot a 23-yard field goal with 4:23 to play. A penalty for illegal motion had negated an Artillious Allison 3-yard touchdown run.
One series later, Longview used a fake punt to set up a 59-yard seven-play scoring march. Facing fourth-and-two at their own 49. Donald Kenny took the snap and threw to a wide open Courtney Taylor for a 37-yard gain to the Lee 14. Three plays later, LaRoyce Howard caught a slant pass from Joe Creal and then dove for the end zone, hitting the orange pylon for the score as the first quarter.
But the Red Raiders cut into the lead with a pair of Cody Scates 42-yard field goals and also got a safety as the snap on a punt sailed over the head of Scobee and out of the back of the end zone.
A lot hit after an incomplete pass by Lee quarterback Luke Pearson on third-and-five at the Lobo 47, gave the Red Raiders new life with a first down. Scates would then nail his second field gal as the deficit fell to 10-8, which it remained at halftime.
Lee took the lead on its initial drive of the second half, going 80 yards in 11 plays as Derek Farmer scored on a 1-yard run. Farmer, who came into the game as the leading rusher in the district with 1,268 yards, was held to under 100 for the first time this season.
Led by Lobo tackle Mark Peters, and linebackers Alan Dale Rodgers and Marvin Byrdsong, the junior finished with just 60 yards on 22 carries.
But the Red Raiders made up for Farmer's difficulties by passing for 175 yards as Pearson completed 11 of 18 and two touchdowns. He hit Tyrone Walker for 22 yards with 11:53 left in the fourth quarter for a 21-10 Lee advantage.
Longview did make a rally as Allison scored on a 5-yard run with nine minutes remaining. Behind backup quarterback Dustin Wilson, the Lobos travelled 73 yards in six plays.
Wilson replaced Creal, who left in the third quarter with an injury to his leg. Wilson hooked up with Taylor for a 49-yard completion to give Longview a first down at the Red Raider 17.
Wilson also completed a two point conversion pass to Walter Sharp as the Lobos closed to 21-18.
However, after a defensive stand, Longview failed to convert on fourth-and-two at their own 39.
With the Lobos turning the ball over on downs, Pearson put the game away two plays later with a 37-yard strike to Bear Breedlove.
Longview out gained Lee in total yards, 301 to 237. The Lobos also had 15 first downs to the Red Raiders' 12. Lee had only two penalties for 15 yards.