|LONGVIEW - Tyler McCray was in pain on Friday. Pride by the Longview running back and his teammates on the Longview football team, overcame pain, and a big deficit.
Rallying from being down 17-0 halftime, Longview scored 28 points for an eventual 28-25 win over Allen in front of an overflow crowd at Lobo Stadium. Longview scored 21 points in the third quarter, capped by a 21-yard touchdown run from McCray that saw him fake out two Allen defenders.
Aaron Johnson added an 11-yard touchdown run with 5:59 remaining. Allen cut Longview's lead to three on a four-yard touchdown pass from Matt Brown to Chase Gambill and a two-point conversion pass from Brown to Alex Pastor with 4:34 remaining, but the Lobos were able to run out the clock.
Longview (1-0), the top-ranked team in the Associated Press' Class 4A state poll, extended its home winning streak to 25 games. Allen (0-1), ranked No. 2 in the AP's Class 5A state poll and the defending Class 5A Division I state champions, had an 18-game road winning streak snapped.
McCray rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, 106 in the second half despite pain in his left ankle. The pain, and Longview's success at home, were on McCray's mind.
"My ankle hurt during the game. It hurts now," McCray said. "But we had to keep the streak going. We knew we could do it after what we did against Lufkin last year (a 45-37, triple-overtime win)."
After struggling in the first half, Longview's defense stepped up in the second. The Lobos held Allen to one first down on its first two possessions. Carey Fortson got Longview on the board on a 23-yard end around for a touchdown with 6:46 left in the third quarter and Da'Cedric Hunt added a four-yard touchdown run with 2:00 left in the third.
After Hunt's touchdown, Allen running back Tre Jackson fumbled a pitch on the next play from scrimmage and Damian Jones recovered the loose ball, setting up McCray's touchdown run.
"We knew we made mistakes in the first half. I didn't brow-beat them," Longview coach John King said. "We did a better job of turnovers on offense in the second half, and the defense did a good job of getting us the ball."
Allen controlled most of the first half. The Eagles marched 71 yards on its first drive, capped by a six-yard touchdown run by Brown on a fourth-and-one play. Allen also made two third-down conversions on the drive.
Longview's best chance for points in the first half came on its second drive, but the drive died at the Allen 22-yard line. Longview briefly had a spark when Addison McGee intercepted a Tucker Carter pass.
On the next play however, Josh Reed intercepted a Johnson pass and returned it 28 yards to the Longview 20-yard line. Reed also had a fumble recovery in the second quarter. This set up a 22-yard field goal by Cody Phillips with 5:39 left in the second quarter.
Another Longview turnover helped Allen extend its lead to 17-0. Fortson fumbled an end-around attempt and Allen defensive lineman Tracey Smith recovered at the Longview 33-yard line. A 10-yard run by Brown set up his own one-yard touchdown plunge with 3:04 left in the first half.
Allen had a 204-81 edge in first-half yards, with Brown accounting for 113 yards. Brown, who has committed to the University of Arizona, had 209 total yards, with 100 yards rushing.
Allen coach Tom Westerberg said McGee's interception and two other possessions where his team advanced to Longview territory and got nothing were key.
"We left points on the field," Westerberg said. "In the third quarter, Longview got its running game going and we couldn't stop them."
Johnson had 173 total yards. Hunt had 55 yards on 11 carries, while Fortson had 84 yards on four receptions.
Longview plays Tyler Lee next Saturday in Tyler. Allen hosts Monterey (Mexico) Tech on Thursday.