Longview vs. Lake Travis: State Powers Will Collide In Title Game

Almost winter and the Longview Lobos are still practicing. Frigid, drizzly weather moved the state finalists practice to Kilgore's indoor facility on Tuesday.

Playing when it's 30 degrees outside, means the Lobos have done many things right.

"There's one thing I can almost guarantee is that when we show up we're going to play hard and we're going to play together," Coach John King said. "I've been real proud of this team and what we've been able to accomplish."

In the state finals for the first time since 1997, the Lobos are trying to bring home the cities first football championship since 1937.

"We've got ex-Lobo players and a whole bunch of fans coming back telling us how we just need to bring this one back to Longview," defensive lineman Jeremiah Farley said. "They tell us how well we need to play and just don't take this one for granted because we're always going to remember it."

Coach King is staying with the same strategy that brought his team to the finals. No big hooplas this week.

"Sometimes you can get caught up in the drama and we're just trying to stay focused on the task at hand," King said. "We've got a difficult opponent in Lake Travis, they're very talented and they're deserving of their ranking."

The Lake Travis Cavaliers won state in 2007. In 2008 they are undefeated. The last

Texas Football

rankings listed Lake Travis at number one, Longview number two.

"It's kind of a relief to get back to what we've been working for all season, but at the same time we still know we've got a great challenge in front of us," Cavalier quarterback Garrett Gilbert said. "Longview's obviously a great team, they've got a great defense and a very good offense so we expect a challenge and that's the way it should be. It's the championship game."

"I know they run the ball every play they take pride in the fact that they're going to be the most physical team on the field," offensive lineman Paden Kelley said of the Lobos. "So we'll come out and we'll try to answer that as best we can. "

"We haven't seen a team that throws the ball as well as them in quite a while," Coach King said. "Garrett Gilbert is as fine a quarterback as I've seen since I've been here at Longview, so it's not going to be quite as easy."

The Lobos have conquered countless hurdles to make it this far. They have just one more to go and one way to make the Lobos' Christmas merry.

"Coming back to Longview with a state championship ring," Farley said.

The Lobos and Cavaliers play Saturday at 2 p.m. at Waco's Floyd Casey Stadium.