|LONGVIEW - What happened to Longview quarterback Damion Lewis on Friday played out like an adventure movie. Good things happen to the hero, bad things happen to the hero, but there is a happy ending.
The heroic efforts by Lewis made for a happy ending and history for the Lobos.
Lewis carried his team's title hopes and the ball to 111 rushing yards, including 80 in two second-half touchdown drives as Longview rallied from a 14-3 deficit for a 22-14 victory before 9,000 spectators at Lobo Stadium.
The win gives Longview (8-1, 4-0) at least a share of the 12-5A title, its fourth consecutive district title. The last time Longview won four straight district titles was 1974-77.
Lewis found the guts to overcome two interceptions and two fumbles by using his feet.
Longview took the lead for good with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter on a 25-yard touchdown run by Johnny Garrett. Lewis had a key 26-yard run on that drive.
Lewis passed his ultimate gut check on the final scoring drive. Leading the Lobos on a 90-yard march, Lewis had five carries for 47 yards, including a 15-yard run on a third-and-10 and the Mesquite 34-yard line. Longview iced the win on a nine-yard touchdown run by Garrett, in which he barreled over a Mesquite defender into the end zone, with 2:26 remaining. Mesquite (5-4, 3-1) had a five-game winning streak end.
Longview also had a game to remember on defense. Mesquite came in with the more ballyhooed defense, shutting out three of its last four opponents.
On Friday, Longview held Mesquite to 162 total yards, knocking the Skeeters back for -1 yard rushing. Longview had seven tackles for losses, including six sacks. Defensive end Markeith Woolridge had three tackles for losses and two sacks. Jon Writt and Dontray Nelson added interceptions for the Lobos.
Longview took the lead in the first quarter, but missed on an opportunity to take command early. Zach Decker nailed a 41-yard field goal on Longview's opening drive.
On Longview's second drive, the Lobos made it to the Mesquite eight-yard line. On a third-and-goal play however, Lewis was intercepted by Dionne Dumas, who added a second interception in the third quarter.
Most of the second quarter, Mesquite was in command. Mesquite's Marcus Trice recovered a fumbled pitch from Lewis to Garrett with 10:58 left in the second quarter. Three plays later Luke Halpin found Kevin James for a 14-yard touchdown pass to give Mesquite a 7-3 lead.
Mesquite expanded its lead to 14-3 on a two-yard touchdown sneak by Kelly Page with 6:22 left in the second quarter. Page's touchdown was set up by a 34-yard pass from Halpin to Adrian Richards, who has orally committed to Oklahoma State. Richards finished with five receptions for 72 yards.
The situation for Longview looked grim on its next drive, as Mesquite recovered a Lewis fumble at the Mesquite 26-yard line.
On the next play however, Writt intercepted a Halpin pass and returned it 28 yards to the Mesquite 13-yard line. On the next play, Longview used a trick play, an 11-yard pass from Lewis to offensive lineman Chris Knighton, who was lined up as a tight end. This set up a two-yard touchdown run by Lewis with 1:37 left in the first half, cutting Mesquite's lead to 14-9, as a two-point conversion pass was incomplete.
Garrett finished 81 yards rushing. Halpin was 14-for-28 for 163 yards. Page had three rushing attempts for seven yards and was 0-for-2 passing with an interception.