LONGVIEW - A long last-minute touchdown pass followed by an interception a few plays later.
Haynes King put up the go-ahead touchdown to Kaden Kearby with 1:21 left and two plays later Tainique Taylor pulled down what would be the game-winning interception as Longview took a 35-28 win over Lufkin in another classic meeting between the two rivals on Friday at Lobo Stadium.
It was a similar ending to the last time the two teams met a year ago in meeting No. 81 in the storied series in the state quarterfinals where Longview took a 33-32 win over the Panthers.
King sealed the Lobo win with a 23-yard completion on third down to Kamden Perry, who turned in a career night for the Lobos in the back-and-forth instant classic.
Perry finished with a career-high 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown for the Lobos, who totaled 352 yards on the night. Kearbey’s first career touchdown capped a three-catch, 61-yard night for the junior.
King finished 16-of-23 passing for 222 yards with two touchdown passes and no interceptions.
On the ground, Longview finished with 130 yards, led by a 64-yard, two-touchdown night from Keilyn Williams. Jessie Anderson brought the truck stick throughout, finishing with 41 hard-nose yards to go with a 16-yard reception.
JK Martin finished two-for-two on field goal attempts, connecting on kicks of 41 and 37 yards for Longview, which takes a 41-37-4 series advantage and moves to 64-5 at Lobo Stadium under head coach John King.
Defensively for the Lobos, Sawyer Goram-Welch forced a fumble that was recovered by Jaylon Allen. Linebacker Ja’Vontae Writt was steady throughout.
Lufkin, behind sophomore quarterback Jordan Moore, finished with 330 total yards — 176 passing and 154 rushing. The Panthers, who led 21-13 late in the third quarter, feasted on third down, finishing 10-of-17.
The final third down attempt for the Panthers, however, resulted in Taylor’s third career interception.
Lufkin marched 70 yards on six plays on the opening drive and took a 7-0 lead on Moore’s 49-yard, catch-and-run touchdown to Jaylynn Polk, who finished with six catches for 117 yards.
Longview tied things up on its second possession, a 12-play, 66-yard drive capped with Williams’ first touchdown run.
A muffed punt gave Lufkin new life before Goram-Welch’s hit and fumble recovery led to Martin’s 41-yard kick to give Longview a 10-7 lead, the last one the Lobos would hold until the 1:21 mark of the fourth quarter.
Lufkin seized momentum at the break on a fake field goal touchdown from Jerrin Thompson.
Longview outscored Lufkin 11-7 in the third quarter on Martin’s second kick and Williams’ second touchdown run, which was followed by a two-point conversion from King to Perry.
Lufkin converted three third downs and one fourth down to open the fourth quarter for a 28-21 lead.
After a second big kickoff return from sophomore Kaden Meredith, who had a 51-yard return earlier in the game, King and Perry connected again on a 16-yard score.
Jharyn Jackson recovered a Lufkin fumble on third down, setting up the Lobos at midfield.
After a six-yard run, King took a big hit on the throw but Kearbey made a play on the the ball for a 44-yard, go-ahead touchdown.
Taylor followed with his interception before Longview, with a little third-down magic of their own, sealed it on King and Perry’s 12th and final connection.
Longview visits Marshall next while Lufkin takes on Nacogdoches.