LUFKIN – Needing only a win to secure its first outright district title in seven years, the Lufkin Panthers delivered in emphatic fashion as their raced to a 56-0 lead midway through the second quarter before coasting to a 63-0 victory against Caney Creek.

With the win, Lufkin won its eighth straight game while clinching the District 8-5A DI title with a week still remaining in the season.

It did so by delivering yet another dominating defensive performance in its most lopsided district win of the season.

“You could see that they were ready to play tonight from the time we were in the tunnel, “Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. “With this being Senior Night and having the gold ball here, it was a big one.”

The Panthers’ defense held Caney Creek to a total of 48 yards on 43 plays.

Lufkin forced five first half turnovers and returned three of those for touchdowns.

Kewone Thomas completed each of his five passes for 128 yards and four scores before watching the final three quarters from the sideline.

Caleb Berry ran for 106 yards on eight carries and Titan Williams had two catches for 88 yards and two scores.

It was all Lufkin almost from the opening kickoff. The Panthers forced a three and out on the first drive then Thomas hit Kelton Wright for an 18-yard touchdown pass and an early 7-0 lead.

The Panthers increased that lead to 21-0 with a pair of Thomas touchdown strikes to Titan Williams.

On Lufkin’s second offensive play of the game, Thomas hit a wide open Williams for a 28-yard score.

On the next drive, Thomas hit Williams on a short pass, and he did the rest of the work from there, racing in for a 60-yard touchdown pass.

The lead grew to 28-0 when Terrance Fields scored on a two-yard touchdown run.

Looking for some kind of spark, Caney Creek tried a reverse on the following kickoff, but a fumble led to Fields recovering it and returning it 11 yards for a touchdown that made the score 35-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.

That lead ballooned to 42-0 in the final minute of the first half when Ja’Lynn Polk found himself wide open for a 23-yard touchdown reception from Thomas that made it 42-0.

Lufkin got its final two touchdowns of the first half from their defense.

Christian Garner got the first defensive score when he picked off a pass that was deflected by Jerrin Thompson before returning it 22 yards for a score that made it 49-0.

Deandre Bagley then stepped in front of another pass and returned it 37 yards for a 56-0 advantage.

In the opening half, Lufkin scored 56 points despite running only 18 offensive snaps.

It did that work in large part to a defense that allowed 36 yards on 30 plays while forcing five turnovers, three of which were returned for touchdowns.

In a fast-moving second half that featured a running clock, Lufkin found the end zone on the final play of the third quarter when Jadarius Morris ran in for a 16-yard touchdown run that made it 63-0.

The Panthers (8-1, 6-0) will close out the regular season at 7:30 Friday night when they travel to face Waller.