lufkin panthers
john tyler lions

7:30 p.m. Friday
TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler. RADIO: KYKS 105.1-FM, Lufkin

Lufkin: Todd Quick
John Tyler: Ricklan Holmes

Next week
Lufkin: vs. Tyler Lee
John Tyler: at Lancaster


  • DE Demontrai Lewis, Sr., 6-3, 215
  • WR JaBryce Taylor, Sr., 6-1, 180 (committed to SMU)
  • DT D'vante Botley, Sr., 6-4, 255
  • WR Jamal Jeffery, Jr., 5-9, 170
  • QB Tyler Stubblefield, Sr., 6-5, 190
  • WR Terry Mark, Soph., 6-2, 185
  • OL Michael Traylor, Sr.

John Tyler

  • QB Greg Ward, Sr., 5-10, 160 (committed to Houston)
  • WR Fred Ross, Sr., 6-1, 185 (committed to Oklahoma State)
  • DE Tyus Bowser, Sr., 6-3, 205
  • DB Traven Johnson, Sr., 6-1, 175
  • WR Darion Flowers, Sr., 6-0, 165
  • WR Justice Liggins, Sr., 6-1, 192
  • LB Richard Gipson, Sr., 6-1, 205

Just the facts

  • This will be the first Lufkin game not coached by John Outlaw since 1994. Outlaw passed away last December from an apparent heart attack. Longtime assistant Quick has taken over the program.
  • The Panthers' strength on offense appears to be their receiving corps. Taylor, Jeffery and Mark are all speedsters capable of stretching opposing defenses thin.
  • Lufkin is giving the keys to its offense to Stubblefield, who has already committed to play baseball at Texas A&M next fall. He's a tall, left-handed thrower, similar in makeup to New England Patriots backup QB and former Texas High and Arkansas standout Ryan Mallett.
  • John Tyler has 35 wins over the last three seasons, its best three-year stretch since Allen Wilson's teams from 1995-97 also won 35.
  • The Lions' first-year head coach Holmes is trying to improve an historical trend. The most wins a JT coach had in his first year on the job was eight, accomplished by Thomas Brooks in 2005.
  • It's hard to find a more explosive and accomplishes group of offensive skill players than that of John Tyler. Ross and Flowers each topped 1,000 receiving yards in 2011, while Ward totaled more than 5,000 yards of offense and 50 touchdowns.

Key matchup: Lufkin secondary vs. John Tyler receivers. The Lions' receivers will make their fair share of plays, but the trick for Lufkin's defensive backs will be limit the amount of big plays. That's easier said than done. In last year's season opener, Ross broke loose in a big way against the Panthers, going for 199 combined yards on just six touches with three touchdowns covering 89, 73 and 18 yards. And as mentioned above, Ross isn't the only JT receiver capable of doing damage. Flowers had eight catches for 132 yards in that game as well, so making sure the Lions' wideouts are contained will be priority No. 1 for the Pack.

Chalk talk

  • Holmes and John Tyler think success could be had in the passing game. "They look solid," Holmes said of Lufkin's secondary. "They're a little bit young back there, so hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of that."

Don't be surprised if: This game comes down to which teams has the ball last. The offenses for both teams, especially through the air, are explosive and can score from any point on the field. Neither defense played particularly well in last season's encounter, so we could be looking at another shootout following 2011's 34-31 Lufkin victory.