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2013 East Texas Football Games of the Year, No. 9: Lufkin at The Woodlands

De’Andre Hooper and Lufkin travel to face a strong team in The Woodlands on Oct. 11 in what could be the de facto District 14-5A championship game. (Christopher Vinn,

The Woodlands traveled to Abe Martin Stadium last fall and pushed around the Lufkin Panthers, but a year stronger and wiser could have the Pack primed for payback.

Lufkin visits The Woodlands on Oct. 11 in what could be the de facto District 14-5A championship game.

Second-year head coach Todd Quick must replace a ton of offensive production, but the pieces are there for what could be a dynamic Panther offense with Texas A&M commit Jamal Jeffery and Texas pledge KeKe Coutee leading the receiving corps.

The Woodlands gashed Lufkin on the ground in last year’s 49-21 win at Abe Martin Stadium and return tailback Patrick Carr, who ran for a whopping 2,019 yards and 21 touchdowns as only a sophomore. Carr had a breakout performance in the win vs. Lufkin, running for 237 yards and two touchdowns.

But that game came before Lufkin switched to a 4-3 defense and limited its final seven opponents to fewer than 21 points per game. Lufkin will counter with Division I-bound defensive tackle D.J. Williams, linebacker DeAngelo Hightower, safety Michael Farley, and cornerback De’Andre Hooper among the Panthers’ seven returning defensive starters.

Neither team has had too much preseason hype piled atop it, but thinks both squads will be better than statewide media expect. Either team could win the game and subsequently the 14-5A title, which should make for one of the top 10 games in East Texas this fall. 2013 Preseason Top 25 Games of the Year

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