CLASS 5A DIVISION I
Region II Area Playoff

Frisco Lone Star Rangers (9-2)

vs.

No. 5 Lufkin Panthers (10-1)

2 p.m. Saturday
McLane Stadium, Waco

Coaches

  • Lone Star: Jeff Rayburn
  • Lufkin: Todd Quick

Last week

Next week

  • Winner vs. John Tyler or Lancaster, 5A Division I regional semifinal

Players to watch

Lone Star

  • WR Marvin Mims, Jr., 6-1, 165 (52 catches, 919 yards, 11 TDs; 2 carries, 34 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Julian Larry, Jr., 6-2, 170 (126 of 217, 1,847 yards, 19 TDs, 7 INTs; 127 carries, 646 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Quinn Maloney, Sr., 5-10, 165 (75 carries, 499 yards, 7 TDs)
  • RB Darrin Smith, Sr., 5-10, 189 (67 carries, 334 yards, 5 TDs; 7 catches, 62 yards)
  • DB Trey Taylor, Sr., 6-0, 186
  • WR Ife Opere, Sr., 5-11, 150 (28 catches, 497 yards, 5 TDs)

Lufkin

  • QB Kewone Thomas, Sr., 6-2, 170 (63 of 89, 1,086 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs; 70 carries, 317 yards, 8 TDs)
  • WR Ja'Lynn Polk, Jr., 6-2, 175 (29 catches, 586 yards, 8 TDs)
  • NG Carl Williams, Sr., 6-4, 306 (27 tackles, 5 for loss, 4 sacks, 4 QB pressures; committed to Arkansas)
  • S Jerrin Thompson, Jr., 6-0, 170 (87 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 INT, 15 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery)
  • DE Breylon Garcia, Sr., 6-4, 230 (58 tackles, 12 for loss, 8 sacks, 15 QB pressures)
  • DE Javasia Brunson, Sr., 6-4, 235 (38 tackles, 4 for loss, 3 sacks, 12 QB pressures, 2 INTs, 4 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 defensive TD)
  • LB Deandre Bagley, Sr., 5-11, 185 (90 tackles, 12 for loss, 7 sacks, 7 QB pressures, 1 INT, 3 PBUs, 1 forced fumble, 1 defensive TD)
  • WR Titan Williams, Sr., 5-9, 166 (35 catches, 581 yards, 8 TDs; 12 carries, 226 yards, 3 TDs)

Just the facts

  • Lone Star is averaging 32 points and 361.1 yards per game -- 167 rushing and 194.1 passing.
  • The Rangers have limited six opponents to seven points or less this season.
  • The cumulative record of Lone Star's opponents is 53-62 (.461).
  • Lone Star is allowing 8.9 points per game.
  • Lufkin is averaging 43.9 points and 408.9 yards per game -- 229.7 rushing and 179.2 passing.
  • Panthers senior defensive linemen Carl Williams, Breylon Garcia, and Javasia Brunson all have double-digit Division I FBS offers.
  • The cumulative record of Lufkin's opponents is 58-48 (.547).
  • Lufkin is allowing 13.6 points per game.
Lufkin RB Quvontae Smallwood. (© Artie Guerrero, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Lufkin rushing attack vs. Lone Star defensive front. Both defenses are among the best in the entire state, so a big play here or there on offense could make the difference in Saturday's playoff game. Lufkin is coming off a 541-yard output in the bi-district round against McKinney North, including 356 yards on the ground. The Panthers' backfield is led by running back Quvontae Smallweood, who has run for 785 yards and four touchdowns this season. He's coming off a 180-yard effort last week, and could be a big weapon for the Panthers' offense. Other options out of the backfield include Caleb Berry (553 yards, four TD's), quarterback Kewone Thomas (317 yards, eight TD's), and receiver Titan Williams (226 yards, three TD's). Lufkin has plenty of weapons in the passing game with Ja'Lynn Polk, Williams, and Christian Reggie at receiver, but they become even more dangerous when the running game is having success.

Lufkin DE Javasia Brunson. (© Clint Buckley, ETSN.fm)

Running against the Lone Star defense won't be easy. The Rangers are allowing just 79.4 rushing yards per game, and only 2.4 yards per carry. When Lone Star has success stopping the run, the pass defense becomes even better. The Rangers allow opposing quarterbacks a completion percentage of just 53.5, and have intercepted 16 passes in 11 games. If Lone Star can turn Lufkin one-dimensional by taking away the run, the Rangers could be in prime position to pull off the upset.

Don't be surprised if: Saturday's game is low-scoring. While both offenses are solid, both Lone Star and Lufkin are led by their outstanding defenses. The Rangers allow less than nine points and just 224.8 yards per game. More than half of Lone Star's opponents have failed to score more than seven points in 2018. Lufkin, meanwhile, surrenders 13.6 points and 230.1 yards per game. The Panthers are even more difficult to run against than Lone Star, holding teams to 67.6 rushing yards per game and 2.1 yards per attempt. The first team to 17 points might win this one.