|LONGVIEW - Future plans for Longview's football team were moved up on Friday. Fortunately for the Lobos, the future blended well with the present.
Jonathan Oliver was the future that became the present in helping Longview escape an upset bid by Tyler Lee, 20-12, before 8,500 spectators at Lobo Stadium. Oliver put Longview up for good on a two-yard touchdown run with 7:54 remaining, capping a 79-yard drive in which he carried the ball eight times for 44 yards.
Oliver's effort helped Longview (6-1, 2-0) win its sixth straight game, while Lee drops to 3-4, 1-1.
A junior, Oliver was to be an heir to Johnny Garrett at running back, but Garrett suffered a thigh bruise in the first half and didn't play in the second. All of Oliver's 71 rushing yards came in the second half.
"I felt pretty good about it because I was just waiting for my chance," Oliver said. "My coaches just told me not to fumble."
Longview clinched the win when quarterback Damion Lewis snuck in from one yard for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining. Lewis led Longview with 94 yards rushing and added 145 yards passing.
The rushing of Oliver and Lewis helped make for injuries to Garrett and standout fullback Mark Johnson. Johnson suffered an injury in practice this week and did not play.
Lee's last drive was spoiled by a 12-yard tackle for a loss by Roderick Anderson and a sack by Chris Knighton that pinned Lee at its own three-yard line. Lee's last drive died at its own 15-yard line with 17 seconds remaining.
Longview's defense was confronted with its own taste of the future. Lee Sophomore running back Da Da Brown had 178 yards rushing, including a Lee school-record 97-yard touchdown, with 6:16 left in the second quarter.
Lee took a 12-7 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Rogers to Bryan Runnels with 4:49 left in the third quarter, Lee's first touchdown pass of this season. The rest of the game however, Longview did not allow a first down and knocked Lee back for minus-16 yards.
"We didn't do anything special after their long touchdown run," Longview safety Cody Morrow said. "We just played hard and played smart. We played together and got hyped."
The first half was a battle between Longview's air attack and Lee's ground game.
Lewis passed for 124 yards in the first half, the jewel a 44-yard touchdown pass to David Larsen with 2:53 left in the first quarter for the game's first points. Longview's passing game had to step up because the Lee run defense limited Longview to 49 yards rushing in the first half.
Longview kept the lead at 7-6 after Brown's record-breaking run because Carziel Martin blocked Joseph Cleaver's extra-point attempt, Martin's third blocked kick of this season.
Cleaver attempted a 41-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the first half, but hampered by a bad snap, the kick was low.
Lee had a 217-173 edge in total yards in the first half. After Sophomore Luke Wagner started the game at quarterback for Lee, Rogers took over in the second drive. It was Rogers' first game since suffering a leg injury against Euless Trinity on Sept. 8.
Longview plays John Tyler (1-6, 0-2) next Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.