Games of 2012, No. 4: Lufkin 71, A&M Consolidated 68 (4OT)
Several people probably expected a fierce battle between Lufkin and A&M Consolidated when the two met on Sept. 28 in College Station for their District 14-5A openers.
But no one saw what ensued coming.
Lufkin's wild 71-68, quadruple-OT win comes in at No. 4 on our list of the top high school football games of 2012.
Setting the stage: The Lufkin Panthers entered the league opener on the heels of an embarrassing loss to longtime rival Longview, 45-14. Lufkin was the very definition of up and down at 2-2, losing 35-21 to John Tyler in its season opener, scoring wins over Tyler Lee (41-31) and Nacogdoches (45-7) before the big loss to Longview. A&M Consolidated, meanwhile, had just beaten five-time defending state champion Lake Travis, 30-28, snapping the Cavaliers' 25-game winning streak.
First impressions: Lufkin led for much of the second half, but Consolidated score the game-tying touchdown with 30 seconds left in regulation on 5-yard pass from Jaylan Cheshire to Josh Stewart. The Tigers led 20-10 at halftime, but Lufkin surged in front, 24-23, by outscoring Consolidated 14-3 in the third quarter.
In the moment: After both teams scored in the first overtime session, Lufkin answered Consol in the second OT on a 22-yard pass from Tyler Stubblefield to Jamal Jeffery. In the third OT, where both teams had to go for two after scoring, Jeffery was on the receiving end of a 6-yard TD from Stubblefield, but the QB was stopped short on the two-point attempt, putting Lufkin up 65-59. Xavier Jones rushed for the Consol TD on the ensuing series, but the pass on the two-point attempt was incomplete, forcing a fourth OT. The Tigers had to settle for a field goal, but Kendrick Mapp busted loose on Lufkin's first play 25 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Last impressions: As you might expect, there were a ton of big-time offensive numbers from this one -- none more impressive than Stubblefield, who passed for 562 yards and eight touchdowns, and receiver JaBryce Taylor, who had 14 catches for 259 yards and two TDs. It was an emotional lift for Lufkin, which went on to share the district title with both Consolidated and The Woodlands.