Brandon Jones’ Fourth-Quarter Pick-Six Sparks Nacogdoches’ First Win Over Lufkin Since 1992
NACOGDOCHES -- Brandon Jones returned a fourth-quarter interception 90 yards for a touchdown that was the difference in Nacogdoches’ stunning 28-24 victory over the Lufkin on Friday night at Dragon Stadium.
The win was Nacogdoches' first over its longtime nemesis since 1992.
Lufkin's final drive traveled into Nacogdoches (2-0) territory but an incompletion on fourth down returned the ball back to Nacogdoches, and the Dragons were able to run out the remainder of the clock.
Nacogdoches quarterback Hunter McClellan passed for 178 yards and added 102 yards on 10 rushing attempts. His 7-yard run on Nacogdoches' first possession of the second half gave the Dragons a 14-10 lead.
Lufkin answered on running back Steven Sowell's 7-yard scoring run as the Panthers regained the lead at 17-14. Sowell finished the night with 165 yards on the ground.
The Dragons had the answer when McClellan hooked up with L.J. Barnes for a 7-yard touchdown pass and 21-17 lead. Lufkin responded once more on Trey Cumbie's 14-yard scoring pass to Jamal Jeffery, which put Lufkin ahead 24-21 late in the third quarter.
The Panthers appeared posed to widen its lead when Cumbie rolled left and had his pass picked off by Jones, whose long interception return put Nac ahead for good with 5:52 remaining.
Nacogdoches, which trailed 10-7 at halftime, got on the board with McClellan's 67-yard touchdown pass to Tae Thomas. Lufkin scored on a 28-yard field goal by Jerry McCarty and a 15-yard pass from Cumbie to Jeffery.
The Dragons were balanced on offense, finishing with 180 yards rushing and 178 passing.
Nacogdoches' season resumes at Class 3A-No. 1 Carthage, while Lufkin travels to longtime rival Longview next Friday night.