LUFKIN -- The Panthers scored 17 big points in two-minute span and ran away with a 44-14 win against Longview in what was projected to be the best game on East Texas' Week 1 slate.

The Lobos were on the ropes by halftime against a large Lufkin crowd hoping to see the Pack reclaim the storied rivalry after back-to-back losses allowed the Lobos to tie the series at 35 wins, 35 losses and four ties.

"It was a big night for us," Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. "New turf, new goalposts, it's just the beginning of a new season and it's against Longview. Our people were ready and they had been talking about it since the schedule came out last year. We have a great history with Longview and them with us, and we couldn't be more happy with the playoff type atmosphere we got in the first week of the season."

Bronson Massie celebrates stopping Longview's second drive of the night on a failed 4th-and-3 conversion attempt from the Lufkin 37 yard line. (Martin Grossing, ETSN.fm)

Lufkin's side of Abe Martin Stadium was packed. Longview fan attendance wasn't far behind.

It was a statement game conveniently wrapped inside a rivalry series. And it was over with about a full quarter to play.

Panthers quarterback Trey Cumbie hit receiver Terry Mark for a 29-yard touchdown with 10:05 remaining in the game to up the score to its final. It was the signal caller's second scoring throw of the game on a 16-for-20 and 219 yards kind of night.

Before that, Lufkin running back Steven Sowell had beaten the Lobos defense back with 118 yards and two scores on 26 carries. Receiver KeKe Coutee delivered a backbreaking 86-yard punt return for a touchdown with no time remaining in the first half to put the Pack up 31-14.

Longview (0-1) turned the ball over three times along the way.

"They've beaten us the last two years and we knew we'd have to come out and play a great game," Coutee said. "We all played together and got the win. That's what was important."

Lufkin (1-0) rallied from a 7-0 deficit on the opening drive of the game.

The Lobos tied the game at 14-all with 4:20 to play in the first half. They left too much time.

Lufkin scored with 1:58 on the clock on a 38-yard pass from Cumbie to Coutee. Longview fumbled on its 28 yard line on the first play from scrimmage after Coutee's score.

The Pack entered hurry up mode, but Cumbie threw two incompletions on the four-play drive. Javier Montes hit a 42-yard field goal.

Longview came back out with 1:29 left in the half and stalled on the 39-yard line with 13 seconds to play. Andres Perez boomed a 47-yard punt and Coutee took it the distance to close the frame.

The Lobos failed on an onside kick attempt after the halftime show and Lufkin went six plays in less than three minutes to set up a one-yard run from Sowell to go up 37-31.

"Everybody was nervous, but we had not choice but to go get it," defensive end Bronson Massie said. "We were able to hold them and set them up in bad positions and then take the ball away at times."

Longview finished its night with 321 yards of offense and two first half touchdowns. Cumbie and company put up 414 yards.

The ensuing week will be a big one for the losing team. It struggled as much in a preseason scrimmage against Ennis and will face another strong team in John Tyler at Lobo Stadium next week.

Should Longview pull itself together by District 15-5A play, there's a good chance it could face Lufkin in the opening round of the Class 5A Division I bracket. With high student enrollment numbers for the classification, neither team can move down to the Division II bracket.

Lufkin will travel Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium for a meeting with Tyler Lee next week.

"If we meet them again, it will be another war," Coutee said. "Longview and Lufkin will be a battle no matter what. We were fighting to the end and so were they. They just had a bad night."

KeKe Coutee finds some room to run along the sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. Unfortunately for Lufkin, it was called back on a holding penalty. (Martin Grossinger, ETSN.fm)

Lufkin 44, No. 3 Longview 14

Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin

Longview                    7     7     0     0    --   14
Lufkin                        14     17   6     7    --   44


First Quarter
LON--Tylan Miller 2 run (Andres Perez kick), 9:24.
LUF--Blake Johnson 10 run (Jovier Montes kick), 5:36.
LUF--Steven Sowell 8 run (Montes kick), 2:42.
Second Quarter
LON--Dezmond Chumley 2 run (Perez kick), 4:20.
LUF--KeKe Coutee 38 pass from Trey Cumbie (Montes kick), 1:58.
LUF--Montes 42-yard FG, 1:29.
LUF--Coutee 86 punt return (Montes kick), 0:00.
Third Quarter
LUF--Sowell 1 run (kick failed), 9:21
Fourth Quarter
LUF--Terry Mark 29 pass from Cumbie (Montes kick), 10:05

                                              LON                    LUF
First Downs                               16                    18
Total Yards                              321                  414
Rushes-Yards                       33-223              40-195
Passing Yards                          98                  219
Comp.-Att.-Int.                    6-14-1              16-20-0
Punts-Avg.                           3-49.0               2-37.5
Fumbles-Lost                           3-2                  1-0
Penalties-Yards                       5-42                5-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Longview, Tylan Miller 22-162, Marquies Hunter 5-22, Dezmond Chumley 4-18, Shaun Lloyd 2-18, Cameron Castleberry 1-3. Lufkin, Steven Sowell 26-118, Dalvin Smith 4-16, Ellis Jackson 3-15, Trey Cumbie, 3-19, Blake Johnson 4-15, KeKe Coutee 1-3.
PASSING--Longview, Dezmond Chumley 6-14-1--98, Cameron Castleberry 1-3-0--10 Lufkin, Trey Cumbie 15-20-0--219.
RECEIVING--Longview, Emmanuel Gordon 2-61, Marquies Hunter 4-30, Ameron Dean 3-18, Antonio Carter 1-9. Lufkin, Steven Sowell 5-83, KeKe Coutee 5-60, Terry Mark 4-46, Blake Johnson 1-12.