[By Josh Havard, Special to ETSN.fm]

LUFKIN -- The Lindale Eagles headed to Lufkin with the hopes of knocking off a perennial powerhouse in front of a homecoming crowd. They made the trip back to Lindale thinking about what might have been.

After standing toe-to-toe with the Panthers in front of a home crowd that included Dez Bryant and Jorvorskie Lane, the Eagles found themselves a single play away from coming up with their biggest win of the season. A kick that was a mere inches away left them with a frustrating loss instead of a defining win.

Jordan Lawless' 43-yard field goal attempt hit off the left upright , leaving Lufkin with a thrillling 28-27 win in District 16-5A action at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium on Friday night.

Lufkin's Kordell Rodgers led the Panthers with 154 yards on 8-of-16 passing. Khalil Brown led the Pack ground game with 67 yards on 11 carries while Ellis Jackson had 54 yards on 10 carries.

Lindale's Montana Meador threw for 197 yards on 24-of-36 passing. Kendrick Price hauled in 15 catches for 122 yards.

Ryan Taylor added 116 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.

The opening half featured plenty of momentum changes with Lindale being unfazed by the Panthers homecoming crowd.

Lindale's offense put together a nice opening drive before throwing an interception on a fake punt attempt near the Lufkin goal line.

The Panthers moved the ball as well, eventually punching in an eight-play, 79-yard drive with a Dalvin Smith five-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.

Lindale finally got on the board with the help of a Lufkin special teams miscue. After being unable to take advantage of a Lufkin fumble on a punt, Lindale blocked a Panthers' punt on the following possession to take over at the 13-yard line.

After a Lufkin penalty, Tayton WIlliams took a short pitch from Montana Meador and sprinted in for a six-yard score, knotting the game at 7-7 with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.

After forcing a Lufkin punt, Lindale continued its offensive momentum with a Ryan Taylor one-yard run capping a five-play, 51-yard drive that gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead with 9:49 left in the first half.

The Panthers had a quick answer with an efficient 10-play, 75-yard drive with Kordell Rodgers diving into the corner of the end zone for a 25-yard run that knotted the game for the second time at 14-14.

Lufkin got the lead for the second time with Khalil Brown running right up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown, giving the Pack a 21-14 lead with 2:58 left in the half.

Lindale put together another nice drive before the end of the half, settling for a Jordan Lawless 24-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 21-17 at the half.

In the opening half, Lufkin outgained the Eagles 228-190 with Rodgers throwing for 106 yards on 6-of-10 passing and running for 42 yards and a touchdown on five carries.

Lindale's defense set the tone early in the second half with Carson Mizell intercepting a pass and Bryce Barkowsky recovering a fumble.

Following the second turnover, Taylor ran in for an 11-yard touchdown run as Lindale regained the lead at 24-21.

Lufkin answered with its only touchdown drive of the second half with Dalvin Smith scoring from one yard out for a 28-24 advantage.

Lindale cut into that lead with a Lawless 42-yard field goal that made it 28-27 with 4:29 remaining.

After the Eagles' defense came up with a stop, the offense got in position for the potential game-winning kick with Kendrick Price catching a fourth-down pass and Lufkin being called for a facemask penalty. Tayton Williams caught a 19-yard pass to move into field goal territory.

After Lufkin head coach Todd Quick called two timeouts to ice Lawless, he responded with a kick that had plenty of leg but just bounced off the upright.

Lufkin (4-3, 3-1) will play at Ennis on Friday night. Lindale (4-3, 2-2) will host Nacogdoches.