NACOGDOCHES, TX (KLTV) - When the clock struck zero, it is hard to argue against the idea that Longview and Lufkin had the game of the year in the state of Texas. The rivals met this afternoon at SFA's Homer Bryce Stadium in the Class 6A Division II state quarterfinals. It is the last playoff meeting the two will have for at least the next 2 years due to Lufkin dropping to 5A next season.
Overall it is the 81st meeting between the Lobos and Panthers and 10th time they have squared off in the playoffs. Longview has won four of five against Lufkin, including two postseason wins in 2014 and 2015 while also taking this years season opener.
The programs last met at SFA back in 2004 and there were 27,000 thousand fans that day.13 years later, another huge turnout and boy they got a treat. An estimated 20,000 people came out for this one. Some fans were at the stadium at 6 am and brought the party in the form of tailgating.
Thanks to two Haynes King touchdown passes, Longview jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Lufkin then responded with 10 unanswered points and it was 13-10 at the break.
"Longview vs Lufkin never gets out of hand," Longview head coach John King said. "It was going to be a 4 quarter game."
In the second half, a shootout broke out. Longview though scored with less than a minute left to take a 33-32 lead. The Lobos then had a game sealing interception to hang on and win by one point.
"The kids hadn't quit all year long," King said. "We were able to hit a big pass play. Kamden Perry made one heck of a catch in the endzone."
After the loss, Lufkin coach Todd Quick met with the team and told them to keep their heads up.
"They played their hearts out," Quick said. No one is a loser when you lay it on the line and you are up and down and you come back. You are all winners, You don't have to win on the scoreboard but you would like too. These boys played their butts off all year."
Longview is headed to the state semifinals for the first time since 2010. Longview will play Waco Midway next Saturday, Dec.16 at Allen's Eagle Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.