Longview Rallies By West Brook For First State Title in 81 Years
ARLINGTON – It had been 81 years since the Longview Lobos could call themselves state football champions.
That was until Saturday night.
Longview ended a drought that pre-dated World War II, coming from behind to defeat Beaumont West Brook, 35-34, before 48,421 fans at AT&T Stadium in the Class 6A Division II championship game.
“Let me tell you, when we get back to Gregg County it’s gonna be a party like they ain’t never seen,” said Longview coach John King. “And I may be leading the charge.”
Jessie Anderson’s 2-yard touchdown run with 4:42 remaining, and Michael Martin's fumble recovery on the ensuing possession sealed it for Longview (16-0).
“There won’t be any more talk about us not being able to win the big one,” King said. “The Longview Lobos have bragging rights, we’re state champions, 16-0. And if they ain’t good enough for you …”
West Brook (13-3) widened its lead on Jakobi Holland’s 3-yard touchdown with 11:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. But a bad snap on the extra-point attempt kept it a one-possession game at 34-26.
Longview moved the ball to the West Brook 6-yard line on the next series but had to settle for JK Martin’s 28-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 34-29 with 8:17 to play.
The Lobos’ defense then forced West Brook into a three-and-out, and quarterback Haynes King hit Kyas Moore for a 54-yard gain to the Bruins’ 11. Anderson’s scoring run three plays later was the game-winner.
“I knew I had the weight of the city on my back, and I didn’t want to let my team down,” Anderson said. “So I knew I had to find a way to get in the end zone.”
Following La’Ravien Elia’s 25-yard pass to Deonte Simpson that got West Brook to its 47, Longview linebacker Ja’Vontae Writt forced a Robert McGrue fumble, and Martin was there for the Lobos’ recovery.
“We had to get on the sideline and communicate and let each other know what we needed to do,” Writt said. “He was running with the ball loose, and the first thing that came into my mind was to punch the ball out.”
Haynes King, who was voted the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, completed 16 of 27 attempts for 423 yards and two touchdowns. He also led Longview in rushing with 65 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
“Their quarterback was making some big throws,” said West Brook coach Eric Peevey of Haynes King. “I thought they missed a few the first half, and that kinda kept us in it. In the second half he made some big, big throws deep downfield. The young man is special.”
Kamden Perry caught eight passes, including a touchdown, for 218 yards, which set a Class 6A state championship game record.
Longview racked up 569 yards for the game.
“We felt like we could move the ball offensively,” Coach King said. “We shot ourselves in the foot and put our defense in a bind at times. When we got everything fixed, we started playing a lot better.”
West Brook was led by Elia, who passed for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and added a team-high 136 yards and a touchdown on 13 rushing attempts.
“We were getting out of gaps and over-pursuing some things, and you’ve got to with the speed they have,” Coach King said. “We would over-pursue and (Elia would) cut it back. But he’s electric and we knew we’d have our hands full, and you don’t stop him, you’ve just got to try and slow him down.”
Longview senior safety Jephaniah Lister was the game’s Defensive MVP after racking up 12 tackles.
“We stuck to the game plan,” Lister said of the defense’s improvement in the second half. “The game plan was the scramble rule. If the quarterback takes off running, we have to stick to our receivers no matter what until we hear that whistle. We had to make sure we stayed on the receivers until the quarterback was down.”
Longview drove 58 yards in six plays, and took a 6-0 lead on an Anderson 3-yard touchdown with 5:27 remaining in the first quarter.
West Brook responded on the ensuing series, traveling 73 yards in eight plays, and scoring on Elia’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Simpson giving the Bruins a 7-6 lead.
Haynes King connected with Perry for a 77-yard touchdown moments later, which put Longview in front 13-7 late in the first.
But West Brook answered with back-to-back lengthy scoring drives, ending with a 22-yard touchdown run by Elia and a Holland 35-yard scoring run that pushed the Bruins’ lead to 21-13 midway through the second quarter.
Longview responded on Haynes King’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Kearbey, before West Brook zipped 75 yards in 29 seconds, and went up 28-20 on a 25-yard pass from Elia to Simpson.
Haynes King’s 25-yard touchdown run cut Longview’s deficit to 28-26 with 3:43 to play in the third quarter.
“The reason those tears flow: I’ve seen these kids since they were little in kindergarten,” Coach King said. “I know their parents, and I know the hard work they put in, traveling all over the country, whether it was little league football or basketball, or going to camps trying to get recruited. Yes, it’s special because you’ve got your son here. But all these kids are special.”
No. 4 Longview 35, Beaumont West Brook 34
Class 6A Division II State Championship
At AT&T Stadium, Arlington
West Brook 7 21 0 6 – 34
Longview 13 7 6 9 – 35
LON—Jessie Anderson 3 run (pass failed), 5:27.
WB—Deonte Simpson 35 pass from La’Ravien Elia (Kevin Linares kick), 1:55.
LON—Kamden Perry 77 pass from Haynes King (JK Martin kick), 1:02.
WB—Elia 22 run (Linares kick), 11:38.
WB—Jakobi Holland 35 run (Linares kick), 6:59.
LON—Kaden Kearbey 40 pass from King (Martin kick), 1:55.
WB—Simpson 25 pass from Elia (Linares kick), 1:25.
LON—King 25 run (run failed), 3:43.
WB—Holland 3 run (pass failed), 11:34.
LON—FG Martin 28, 8:17.
LON—Anderson 2 run (pass failed), 4:42.
First Downs 24 23
Total Yards 493 569
Rushes-Yards 46-349 32-146
Passing Yards 144 423
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-21-0 16-27-0
Punts-Avg. 4-34.5 2-44.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-41 8-62
RUSHING—West Brook, La’Ravien Elia 13-136, Jakobi Holland 13-122, Robert McGrue 17-69, Deonte Simpson 2-16, Joey Pierre 1-6. Longview, Haynes King 12-65, Keilyn Williams 6-41, Jessie Anderson 10-35, Kaden Meredith 1-18, Team 3-(-13).
PASSING—West Brook, Elia 10-21-0—144. Longview, King 16-27-0—423.
RECEIVING—West Brook, Simpson 6-106, Jordan Babino 1-16, Thad Johnson 1-13, Dylan Duhon 1-9, McGrue 1-0. Longview, Kamden Perry 8-218, Kaden Kearbey 3-87, Anderson 3-55, Kyas Moore 1-54, JD Williams 1-9.