Twist of Fate: Rowlett unable to overcome last-second touchdown
DALLAS-The zeroes on the scoreboard clock were to signify halftime, but they might as well as been for the end of the game.
Rowlett had followed an underdog recipe to an upset nearly flawlessly for much of the first half.
But with time winding down, Longview quarterback Dezmond Chumley dropped back and found Chris Pellum behind the defense for a 37-yard touchdown as time expired to give them a 7-6 halftime lead.
The Eagles never recovered.
The Lobos went on to dominate the second half as they pulled away for a 27-6 victory on Saturday in a Class 5A Division II bi-district playoff game at Kincaide Stadium.
Longview (8-3) moves on to the area finals where it will meet Jesuit on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Wildcat-Ram Stadium, while Rowlett finishes with a 4-7 record.
There was still plenty of time on the clock with two quarters left to play, but the last-second score refocused a Lobo team that had lost three fumbles and played sloppy all-around up until that point.
Longview wasted little time in showing the second half would be a different story. After forcing a quick punt, Nakia Brown busted through the Eagles' first line and was off to the races for an 81-yard return for a touchdown that made it 14-6 just 82 seconds into the second half.
Rowlett tried to show it was not done, as Carson Hyles completed an 11-yard pass to Chris Heath and a pair of passes to Darrell Rodgers to move into Longview territory, but it came up short on a 49-yard field goal attempt.
A few minutes later, Jaylan Lawson intercepted a pass and the Lobos responded with a four-play, 65-yard drive that Jamycal Hasty capped with a 22-yard touchdown run that made it 20-6.
Following another punt, Tory White put the finishing touches on a 39-yard drive with a 2-yard score that extended the lead to 27-6.
That would be plenty of cushion for a Longview defense that allowed only 90 yards in the second half and induced Rowlett into two interceptions and a turnover on downs.
It was a tough way to end for the Eagles, who were left wondering if they could have done more to take advantage of their early momentum.
It seemed like fate was shining on Rowlett on the opening drive when Longview drove down near the goal line only to fumble the ball away, with the Eagles recovering at the 2.
The Lobos gave Rowlett another chance when it fumbled on its next drive, and Rowlett was poised to convert after a 38-yard pass from Hyles to Jonathan Williams, but Longview came up with an interception on the next play to preserve the scoreless tie.
The defenses continued to control the action but the Eagles were winning the field position battle and that paid off midway through the second quarter.
Hyles hit Heath with a 9-yard pass and a pair of runs from Nigel Hasty set up a 38-yard field goal by Aspen Hulme to give them a 3-0 lead with 5:13 left in the first half.
The Lobos' generosity continued when White coughed up the ball and Nick Kirpes recovered at the 45-yard line. Hyles hit Corey Mangus with a 26-yard pass and Derrick Imade moved the offense inside the 10, but a penalty pushed the Eagles back and kept them out of the end zone.
Still, Rowlett appeared on its way to a halftime lead when Hulme kicked a 28-yard field goal that made it 6-0 with just 1:36 left in the first half.
But Chumley and the Lobos came out firing, first hitting Justinn Spady for 30 yards and then finding Dorian Leonar for a 15-yard gain.
The drive stalled momentarily on a big sack by Calvin Estrada, but Longview picked up the first down on a pass to Leonard and Chumley then found Pellum on the backbreaking, last-second score that changed the course of the rest of the game.