NORTH RICHLAND HILLS – Longview’s football team came up with a formula on how to rally against a good opponent on Saturday. The Lobos made their biggest offensive weapon a decoy.
The decoy was receiver Eric Hawkins, who drew defensive attention from his teammates. This included fellow receiver D.T. Jackson, who had eight receptions for 151 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown as Longview rallied, then held on, for a 35-28 win over Abilene before 4,000 spectators at the Birdville ISD Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.
Jackson’s scoring strike was a 23-yard reception from quarterback Bivins Caraway with 6:18 remaining, putting Longview ahead 28-21 after the Lobos had trailed 21-7. Caraway also had a big game, passing for 254 yards and four touchdowns, with fullback Deontre Wilson making two from 11 and 33 yards.
Both Jackson and Caraway said Hawkins was a decoy. Hawkins, who has verbally committed to the University of Arkansas had two receptions for 11 yards for Longview (4-1), the No. 10-ranked team in the Associated Press’ Class 5A state poll.
Longview’s offense also featured a return to form for running back J’Haston Faggans.
Faggans had his first 100-yard rushing game of this season, piling up 138 yards on 24 carries. This included an eventually critical 36-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds remaining to give Longview a 35-21 lead.
Faggans rushed for 1,234 yards in 2010, but suffered an ankle injury in a Class 5A Division II semifinal against Tomball. Faggans’ recovery has been slow and he was also hampered by a concussion in the season opener against Marshall.
Jackson would make two more key plays in the closing seconds.
After Faggans’ touchdown, Abilene (2-3) covered 69 yards, capped by a 42-yard touchdown run by Marcell Porter with 12 seconds remaining. On Abilene’s ensuing onside-kick attempt, Jackson recovered the ball at the Longview 38-yard line.
Longview nearly had a disaster on the final play of the game. Lining up in the victory formation, the snap was bobbled, but Jackson recovered the loose ball to end the game. The Lobos were victorious despite fumbling the ball seven times, losing three.
The Lobos opened the game with a bad start. Abilene took its opening drive 65 yards, capping it with an eight-yard touchdown run by Porter with 6:43 left in the first quarter.
Two plays from scrimmage later, Jake McMillon stripped the ball from Caraway and recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. The Lobos had five fumbles in the first half, losing two. Abilene sacked Caraway four times in the first half for 48 yards of losses, with Brandon Seely providing two of the sacks. Abilene finished with eight tackles for losses, including three by McMillon.
The Lobos regained composure in the second quarter, capping a 71-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Caraway to Wilson with 9:12 remaining. Abilene countered with a 75-yard drive, capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Evin Abbe to Porter to make it 21-7 Abilene with 7:23 left in the first half. Abbe passed for 130 first-half yards and finished with 236 yards passing. Keevan Lucas had six receptions for 117 yards for the Eagles.