Lufkin Looks to Snap Two-Game District Streak vs. Oak Ridge
Lufkin Panthers (4-3, 1-2)
Conroe Oak Ridge War Eagles (4-4, 2-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Woodforest Bank Stadium, Shenendoah
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- Oak Ridge: Dereck Rush
- Lufkin: lost to Beaumont West Brook, 70-63
- Oak Ridge: lost to The Woodlands, 42-2
- Lufkin: vs. Conroe, Oct. 28
- Oak Ridge: at Beaumont West Brook, Oct. 27
- QB Kordell Rodgers, Sr., 6-0, 175 (146 of 221, 2,392 yards, 25 TDs, 2 INTs; 51 carries, 174 yards, 6 TDs; committed to Texas State)
- RB Kahlil Brown, Sr., 5-10, 193 (124 carries, 687 yards, 13 TDs; 6 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD)
- WR Dhailon Phillips, Sr., 6-3, 195 (46 catches, 797 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Malik Jackson, Jr., 6-0, 170 (31 catches, 743 yards, 8 TDs)
- WR Javante Ellington, Sr., 5-5, 140 (22 catches, 298 yards, 3 TDs)
- WR Breylon Garcia, Soph., 6-4, 210 (19 catches, 215 yards, 2 TDs)
- OL Hunter Hollis, Jr., 6-3, 295
- CB Jeremiah Davis, Jr., 6-0, 180
- RB Jimmie Moore IV, Sr., 5-7, 175 (71 carries, 513 yards, 7 TDs)
- WR Tanner Lacy, Jr., 6-0, 160 (13 catches, 210 yards, 3 TDs)
- RB/LB Grant Stuard, Sr., 6-0, 200 (17 carries, 68 yards; 3 catches, 55 yards, 1 TD; 54 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumble recoveries)
- DE Joseph Ossai, Jr., 6-4, 200 (37 tackles, 15.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
- OL Tyler Johnson, Soph, 6-4, 275
- QB Bishop Durst, Jr., 5-9, 170 (52 of 101, 697 yards, 8 TDs, 5 INTs)
- DE Gavin Franklin, Sr., 6-1, 225 (31 tackles, 8 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
- LB Kendall Wells, Sr., 5-10, 175 (33 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries)
Just the facts
- Lufkin is averaging 47 points and 504 yards per game -- 152.3 rushing and 351.7 passing.
- The Panthers defense is allowing 39.7 points and 499.6 yards per game -- 288.5 rushing and 211.1 passing.
- In Lufkin's last two losses (The Woodlands, Beaumont West Brook), the Panthers allowed a total of 133 points and 1,417 yards.
- Lufkin's final three opponents -- Oak Ridge, Conroe, and Montgomery -- have a cumulative record of 12-10 (4-6 in district).
- Oak Ridge is averaging 22.5 points and 234.4 yards per game -- 117.4 rushing and 117 passing.
- The most the War Eagles have allowed in a game this season is 42 -- last week against The Woodlands. Oak Ridge allows 23.3 points per game on the year.
- Oak Ridge's final two games come against Lufkin and Beaumont West Brook (7-1, 3-1).
- The War Eagles are coached by Dereck Rush, who was 42-23 as head coach at John Tyler from 2007-11. He was 1-3 vs. Lufkin while at John Tyler.
Key matchup: Lufkin passing attack vs. Oak Ridge secondary. The Panthers haven't had any trouble putting points on the board this season. Lufkin enters Friday's pivotal District 12-6A clash with Conroe Oak Ridge averaging close to 50 points per game and more than 500 yards of offense. Most of the damage has been done through the air, thanks to senior quarterback and Texas State commit Kordell Rodgers. Not only is Rodgers averaging more than 340 passing yards per game, he completes two-thirds of his attempts, and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 25:2. Lufkin might have lost its last two games, but it's been through no fault of Rodgers, who threw for 772 yards and eight touchdowns in 63-42 and 70-63 losses to The Woodlands and Beaumont West Brook, respectively. As one might expect, there are some gaudy numbers being produced by the Lufkin receiving corps. Dhailon Phillips (46 catches, 797 yards) leads the team in receptions and yardage, while Malik Jackson is second in both categories and averages an astounding 24 yards per catch with a team-best eight touchdowns.
The task is tall for Oak Ridge, but the War Eagles have been leaning on their defense all season long. Despite averaging less than 23 points and 300 yards per game, Oak Ridge comes into Friday's game at .500 both in district and overall. Take away last week's 42-2 loss to district-leading The Woodlands, and the War Eagles have surrendered an average of just 20.5 points per game. And while applying a steady pass rush to Rodgers will be definitely be a point of emphasis for the Oak Ridge defense, there will be a ton expected from the War Eagles' defenders in the back end. It's asking a lot for any defensive backfield to shut down a passing game as prolific as Lufkin, so turnovers could be a key component to the Oak Ridge game plan. However, as noted above, Rodgers has thrown only two interceptions in 221 pass attempts all season. And the War Eagles have just three picks as a defense in eight games.
Don't be surprised if: Oak Ridge relies heavily on its ground game Friday night. And the reasons for that are two-fold. No. 1: the best way for the War Eagles to keep Lufkin's high-powered offense in check is to limit the number of possessions, and to do that, Oak Ridge must have long, sustained drives that result points. And secondly, running the football might be the best way to attack Lufkin's defense. The Panthers' defensive struggles the last two weeks only magnify the problem they've had for most of the season: stopping the run. On the season, Lufkin is allowing an average of almost 290 rushing yards per game. Last week against West Brook, the Panthers gave up a crippling 443 yards on the ground. Expect the War Eagles to feature senior running back Jimmie Moore IV (513 rushing yards, seven touchdowns) as much as possible.