Lufkin Faces Defending State Champion Spring Dekaney in Opening Round
Class 5A Division II Region II
Lufkin Panthers (7-3)
Spring Dekaney (6-3)
7 p.m. Friday
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville
Lufkin: Todd Quick
Dekaney: Willie Amendola
Next week: Winner plays Lake Travis or Pflugerville in a 5A Division II Region II area playoff.
- QB Tyler Stubblefield, Sr., 6-4, 205 (142 of 233, 2,427 yards, 25 TDs, 12 INTs; 75 carries, 203 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR JaBryce Taylor, Sr., 6-2, 185 (69 catches, 1,236 yards, 10 TDs; 16.7-yard punt return average; committed to SMU)
- WR Key'vantanie "KeKe" Coutee, Soph., 5-10, 170 (42 catches, 581 yards, 10 TDs)
- RB Kendrick Mapp, Sr., 5-10, 175 (120 carries, 858 yards, 12 TDs)
- DE Demontrai Lewis, Sr., 6-3, 215
- CB Jomal Davis, Sr., 5-11, 185 (4 INTs)
- DT D.J. Williams, Jr., 6-3, 285
- LB Kevin Moore, Sr., 6-0, 215
- DE James Moreland, Soph., 6-2, 210
- K Luis Garcia, Sr., 5-10, 175 (9 FGs, 42 PATs)
- RB Demarcus Felton, Jr., 5-7, 170 (229 carries, 1,776 yards, 19 TDs; 10 catches, 89 yards, 2 TDs)
- QB D'Juan Hines, Sr., 6-1, 190 (85 of 144, 1,150 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs; 89 carries, 388 yards, 6 TDs)
- DB Carlton Brantley, Sr., 5-9, 170 (4 INTs)
- WR Richardo Bennett, Sr., 6-4, 185 (15 catches, 235 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Linell Bonner, Sr., 6-1, 185 (19 catches, 209 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Andre Sirles, Sr., 6-3, 185 (13 catches, 246 yards, 1 TD)
- DB LaDarion Williams, Sr., 5-9, 160 (3 INTs)
- DB Tyrrell Kyle, Jr., 5-10, 190 (2 INTs)
- OL Brandon Mickens, Jr., 6-6, 320
- DL Isadore Outing, Jr., 6-4, 220
Just the facts
- Lufkin averages 37.9 points per game and allows 26.3.
- Spring Dekaney averages 32.9 points per game and allows 20.9.
- After starting the season 3-3, Lufkin has won four consecutive games, outscoring its opponents 166-28 in that span.
- After starting the season 3-0, Dekaney has last three of its last six games.
- Lufkin QB Tyler Stubblefield has accounted for more than 2,600 total yards and 31 total touchdowns.
- Dekaney tailback Demarcus Felton averages 7.8 yards per carry.
- Dekaney lost its regular-season finale 28-14 to Spring Westfield, which beat Dekaney 38-31 in the 2011 regular-season finale before Dekaney recovered to win six consecutive games en route to the 5A Division II state championship.
- Dekaney avenged that loss to Westfield with a 28-18 win in the 5A Division II Region II championship.
- Texas A&M freshman running back Trey Williams ran for 3,890 yards and 48 touchdowns and returned three kicks for scores as a senior for Dekaney in 2011.
Key matchup: Lufkin's defensive front vs. Spring Dekaney's running game. Lufkin has been on a roll on both sides of the ball lately, scoring at will offensively and holding its last four opponents to no more than 14 points in any of those contests. But the Panthers should a weakness earlier in the season against teams such as Longview and The Woodlands: stopping the run. Longview's Tory White gashed Lufkin in a 45-14 Panther loss, while The Woodlands' Patrick Carr did the same in a 49-21 Highlander victory, which was Lufkin's lone District 14-5A loss. Lufkin faces a Spring Dekaney offense that rides junior tailback Demarcus Felton, who averages almost 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns per game. Felton is a diminutive runner, which is something he has in common with White and Carr, who are each 5-foot-9 and about 175 pounds. Lufkin has talented players on its front line, such as veteran defensive end Demontrai Lewis and underclassmen D.J. Williams and James Moreland, but they'll need be more consistent and play their run keys better against Dekaney than they did against Longview and The Woodlands.
Don't be surprised if: This game comes down to the wire. There's an interesting contrast in styles in this game, which features Dekaney's strong running game and Lufkin's high-flying passing game. JaBryce Taylor has been one of the best receivers in East Texas in 2012, and sophomore KeKe Coutee has emerged as a big-time playmaker who Panther fans can count on for the next two years. But can Lufkin's defense force Dekaney's offense into difficult situations and get the Panthers' offense the ball? That's the big question. If Lufkin's defensive front can assembled a strong performance, then the Pack has a shot at ousting the defending state champion in the first round. That would give Lufkin the opportunity to possibly beat another defending champion -- five-time defending 4A champion Lake Travis, now in 5A -- in the second round. This game should be a fun one.