One of the fiercest rivalries in East Texas resumes Sept. 20 when "the Pack" travels north to the land of the "Rockin' L."

The Lufkin Panthers and their high-powered offensive attack invade Lobo Stadium in the fourth week of the regular season to take on rival Longview in the latest installment of a sometimes vicious rivalry between East Texas Class 5A powers.

Few rivalries are as close to even as the Panthers and the Lobos.

Lufkin WR Jamal Jeffery. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Lufkin leads 35-34-4 despite a 15-3-2 Longview run from 1980-98. Lufkin regained momentum with nine consecutive victories from 1999-2007, but Longview has won three of the last five, including a 45-14 rout last September at Lufkin's Abe Martin Stadium.

Perhaps the most fun matchup of this year's edition of the rivalry is Lufkin's passing game against Longview's defense. The Lobos will be without TCU-bound defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson, who will miss the season's first five games with a foot injury, but head coach John King's defense should be a tough assignment for the Panthers, anyway.

Lufkin WR Terry Mark. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

New Lufkin starting quarterback Trey Cumbie has one of the best receiving corps in the state at his disposal. Texas-committed junior KeKe Coutee joins Texas A&M-bound senior Jamal Jeffery and junior Terry Mark, who holds a Houston offer, to give the left-handed junior quarterback three serious threats through the air. Longview will counter with an athletic and physical secondary featuring two safeties Stephan Maxey and Travin Howard and cornerbacks Chris Coby and Jhavaurian Moore.

When Longview has the ball, the Lobos will match what is perhaps their largest offensive line of King's 10-year tenure against Lufkin's 4-3 front seven, which boasts senior defensive tackle D.J. Williams, who holds five Division I FBS offers.

Obviously, regardless of which team has the ball, there are intriguing matchups all over the field. Another aspect to remember is the possibility of the Sept. 20 game being the first of two games this season between these teams; if each team wins its first three playoff games, the Pack and Lobos will play again in the Class 5A Division II Region II championship game.

Now, how fun would that be?

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