Lufkin Aims for Much-Needed Win at The Woodlands in Saturday’s District 14-5A Opener
Lufkin Panthers (1-4, 0-1)
The Woodlands Highlanders (4-2, 2-0)
2 p.m. Saturday
Woodforest Bank Stadium, Shenandoah
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- The Woodlands: Mark Schmid
- Lufkin: idle
- The Woodlands: won 24-7 at College Station A&M Consolidated
- Lufkin: vs. Bryan
- The Woodlands: idle
- WR KeKe Coutee, Jr., 5-10, 160 (committed to Texas; 42 catches, 558 yards, 5 TDs)
- WR Jamal Jeffery, Sr., 5-10, 165 (committed to Texas A&M; 31 catches, 413 yards, 6 TDs)
- QB Trey Cumbie, Jr., 6-1, 187 (99 of 171, 1,244 yards, 13 TDs, 5 INTs; 33 carries, 192 yards, 2 TDs)
- DT D.J. Williams, Sr., 6-4, 293
- OT Erik McCoy, Jr., 6-4, 282
- RB Steven Sowell, Jr. (106 carries, 520 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Terry Mark, Jr., 6-1, 180 (13 catches, 178 yards, 2 TDs)
- S Michael Farley, Sr., 6-0, 180 (2 INTs)
- K/P Timmy Martinez (4 FGs, 21 PATs, 37.3 yards per punt)
- RB Patrick Carr, Jr., 5-9, 180 (93 carries, 593 yards, 9 TDs)
- QB Dylan Larsen, Sr. (27 of 56, 437 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs; 1 rushing TD)
- WR Tyler Patrick, Sr., 5-11, 165 (committed to Kansas; 12 catches, 221 yards, 1 TD)
- DB Tyler Murphy, Sr. (2 INTs)
- WR Baylor Novak, Sr., 6-0, 205 (8 catches, 152 yards)
- OL Tyler Rapp, Sr., 6-0, 270
- DB Zach Richardson, Sr. (1 INT)
- LB Ricardo Trevino, Sr. (1 INT)
- WR Robert Le Goubin, Sr. (6 catches, 88 yards, 2 TDs)
Just the facts
- The Woodlands won last year’s meeting 49-21 at Abe Martin Stadium.
- Lufkin is 6-3 against The Woodlands since 2004.
- Lufkin has lost four consecutive games after a 52-28 season-opening home win against John Tyler.
- The Woodlands has won three games in a row by a cumulative score of 111-9.
- Both teams have played College Station A&M Consolidated: The Woodlands beat Consol 24-7, while Lufkin lost 42-41.
- The Woodlands’ two losses came to perennial Class 5A powers Dallas Skyline and Katy, which are a combined 9-1.
- Lufkin’s four losses came to teams that are a combined 14-7.
- Lufkin averages 35.4 points per game and allows 39.0.
- The Woodlands averages 28.7 points per game and yields 13.2.
- Lufkin senior defensive tackle D.J. Williams holds offers from Houston, Miami, Missouri, North Texas, and Oklahoma.
Key matchup: Lufkin’s defensive front vs. The Woodlands’ rushing attack. The Woodlands doesn’t appear to have the passing firepower through the season’s first six games that it possessed a year ago.
But the good news for veteran coach Mark Schmid is that he’s got one of the state’s best junior tailbacks in Patrick Carr, who gashed Lufkin as a sophomore. Carr ran for 237 yards and two touchdowns to lead a Highland ground game that amassed a staggering 445 yards en route to 617 total yards.
Lufkin needs a big performance from FBS-bound defensive tackle D.J. Williams and the rest of the Panthers’ front seven, which struggled mightily against the run in losses to Tyler Lee and Longview. The Woodlands’ big, physical offense line presents another tough challenge for the Panthers, who are in desperate need of a win after a four-game losing streak that included a 42-41 last-minute home loss to A&M Consolidated two weeks ago in a District 14-5A opener.
Don’t be surprised if: Saturday’s game is a lot closer than last year’s four-touchdown The Woodlands victory.
The Woodlands doesn’t quite have the offensive balance it had last year as it relies more heavily on Carr and the ground game to gain yardage. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering the more touches Carr gets, the more likely he is to break some big runs.
Another thing to consider is the long Lufkin’s losing streak lasts, the more desperate the Panthers get for a win. The one-point loss to A&M Consolidated had to be a heartbreaker, but Lufkin had a week off to recover from it and could come out against The Woodlands with renewed energy after a disappointing start to the season.
Lufkin is approaching the point that it turned it on last season. The Panthers started 3-3 before winning nine consecutive games and reaching the third round of the playoffs. That’s not to say that we should expect the exact same thing to happen this year, but there’s no denying the Panthers are better than their record. They have played a pretty tough schedule and lost three very close games.
Nevertheless, Lufkin really needs a win. A victory Saturday at The Woodlands would be considered an upset, but it’s not out of the question given the Panthers’ potential.