Lufkin Hopes to Bounce Back at Home in District 14-5A Opener Against A&M Consolidated
District 14-5A Opener
College Station A&M Consolidated Tigers (2-1)
Lufkin Panthers (1-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday
John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
- A&M Consolidated: David Raffield
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- A&M Consolidated: idle
- Lufkin: lost 55-30 at Longview
- A&M Consolidated: vs. The Woodlands
- Lufkin: idle
- QB Kobe Miller, Sr. (72 of 112, 926 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs; 3 rush TDs)
- RB Brandon Jackson, Sr. (56 carries, 322 yards, 3 TDs; 6 catches, 89 yards)
- WR Daniel Zivney, Jr. (22 catches, 310 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Derrick Dick, Jr. (17 catches, 258 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Kerry Thomas, Sr. (19 catches, 179 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Corey Dukes, Sr. (5 catches, 57 yards, 2 TDs)
- DB Riley Garner, Jr. (2 fumble recoveries)
- DT D.J. Jackson, Sr., 6-2, 295 (1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- WR KeKe Coutee, Jr., 5-10, 160 (committed to Texas)
- WR Jamal Jeffery, Sr., 5-10, 165 (committed to Texas A&M)
- QB Trey Cumbie, Jr., 6-1, 187
- DT D.J. Williams, Sr., 6-4, 293
- OT Erik McCoy, Jr., 6-4, 282
- WR Terry Mark, Jr., 6-1, 180
- S Michael Farley, Sr., 6-0, 180
- RB Steven Sowell, Jr.
Just the facts
- A&M Consolidated is 5-3 against Lufkin since 1990.
- Last year's meeting went four overtimes and ended in a 71-68 Lufkin victory.
- Both teams won nine games a year ago. A&M Consolidated reached the second round of the playoffs, while Lufkin went to the third round.
- A&M Consolidated is an even 120-120 in points for/points against for the season entering Friday night's game, giving the Tigers an average score of 40-40 in their first three games of the year.
- Despite a 1-3 record, Lufkin is only minus-17 points in points for/points against as opponents have outscored the Panthers 153-136, an average score of 38.4-34.0.
- After a season-opening 52-28 victory at home against John Tyler, Lufkin has been outscored 125-84.
- In those three games, Lufkin has allowed an average higher of more than 260 rushing yards.
- A&M Consolidated recorded back-to-back 44-41 wins against Copperas Cove and Waco Midway to start the season before falling 38-32 at Austin Westlake on Sept. 13.
- Junior receiver Derrick Dick scored with no time remaining after multiple laterals following a squib kick for A&M Consolidated's season-opening three-point win against Copperas Cove, which had kicked a field goal with one second remaining for a 41-38 lead.
- Both teams face The Woodlands in their next games. A&M Consolidated plays the Highlanders next week before the Panthers travel to The Woodlands for a Saturday afternoon game Oct. 12. Lufkin has a bye next week.
Key matchup: Lufkin's defense vs. A&M Consolidated's spread offense. That matchup may seem a bit too general, but given the vast differences in Lufkin's defensive consistency when comparing the Panthers' victory to their three losses, it makes sense.
Lufkin's pass rush dominated John Tyler in the season opener. The Panthers accumulated a staggering 16 sacks, resulting in negative rushing yardage for the Lions.
Since, Lufkin has struggled to contain opponents, especially on the ground, where Tyler Lee eclipsed 300 yards, Nacogdoches approached 200, and Longview gained almost 300. There's no doubt a banged up defense that has lacked all of the experienced playmakers it's accustomed to having has had a negative impact on the Panthers' ability to get stops, but, obviously, opponents aren't gonna dial it down.
A&M Consolidated possesses a spread offense with a quarterback who's taking care of the ball and a group of receivers making plays after the catch. While the Tigers' rushing yardage accounts for less than 30 percent of their total offense, A&M Consolidated forces opponents to respect the ground game. Senior Brandon Jackson averages 107.3 rushing yards per game and almost six yards per carry.
Lufkin needs a big bounce-back game from its defensive, especially its front seven, to get back in the win column.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game looks a lot like last year's. Well, that doesn't necessarily mean a four-overtime, 139-combined-points game. But given each team's defensive struggles during the first few weeks of the season -- and the talented offensive players each possesses -- another high-scoring affair seems likely.
Perhaps that's Lufkin's best shot at opening the District 14-5A schedule with a victory: winning a shootout. After all, the Panthers are the team with three eventual college-level receivers -- Texas A&M-bound Jamal Jeffery, Texas-bound KeKe Coutee, and Terry Mark.
Lufkin fans shouldn't let this season's slow start discourage them too much. Two of the Panthers' losses came to vastly improved Tyler Lee and Nacogdoches teams, and the other came to a Longview team that is a few plays away from being 4-0 and probably ranked high in the Associated Press Class 5A poll. Also, Lufkin started last season 3-3 before reeling off six consecutive wins and barely losing to Plano West in the 5A Division II Region II semifinals.
In other words, it's definitely no time for panic. The district schedule is a long road, and the Panthers have the talent -- especially once they're fully healthy -- to make some noise. The best way for that to start is with a win Friday.