Games of the Year, No. 3: Lufkin-John Tyler Open 2012 Following Last Season’s Thriller
These two longtime district rivals with open the season with one another for the third consecutive year.
Lufkin has won the last 11 meetings with the Lions, dating back to the 1999 season. But in the last four encounters, the games have been decided by nine points or less, including last week’s 34-31 thriller in Lufkin.
Julian Verona’s field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter gave JT a 31-27 lead, but Lufkin scored the game-winner with about four minutes left on a 28-yard TD pass from Nick Cox to Jamal Jeffrey.
For JT, it was coming-out party for receiver Fred Ross who accounted for his team’s first two touchdowns -- an 89-yard reception and a 73-yard sprint to the end zone. The Oklahoma State commit finished the night with 199 all-purpose yards on just six touches with three touchdowns.
John Tyler has state title aspirations and a win in the season opener over a perennial 5A power like Lufkin could send a message that the Lions will be a force to reckon with through December.
For Lufkin, it will be the first game coached by someone other John Outlaw since 1994. Outlaw, who collected 302 wins in his 33 years in coaching, died of heart attack shortly after the 2011 season.
Longtime Outlaw assistant Todd Quick takes over a team loaded with size and speed, as is always the case in Lufkin.