No. 2 Lufkin Panthers (2-0)

vs.

River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Patriots (1-0)

2 p.m. Saturday
Independence Stadium, Shreveport

Coaches
  • Lufkin: Todd Quick
  • John Curtis: J.T. Curtis

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Lufkin: idle
  • John Curtis: vs. Reserve (La.) East St. John, Sept. 19

 

Playmakers

Lufkin

  • WR KeKe Coutee, Sr., 5-10, 165
  • WR Terry Mark, Sr., 6-1, 190 (committed to Houston)
  • OL Erik McCoy, Sr., 6-4, 297
  • OL Brandon Larue, Sr., 6-3, 321
  • DE/LB Bronson "Boom" Massie, Jr., 6-3, 202
  • QB Trey Cumbie, Sr., 6-2, 200
  • RB Steven Sowell, Sr.
  • DL Tyrique Spencer, Sr.
  • DB Mister Calloway, Jr., 6-2, 175
  • DB Dre Hooper, Sr., 5-11, 180

 

John Curtis

  • DB Hunter Dale, Sr., 5-11, 195 (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 PBU; offers from 22 FBS programs)
  • LB Bo Wallace, Sr., 6-4, 190 (4 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB pressure; offers from 12 FBS programs)
  • QB/RB Myles Washington, Sr., 5-9, 207 (4 of 4, 40 yards; 9 carries, 62 yards; offers from Louisville and Kent State)
  • LB Joshua Schweiger, Sr., 6-2, 220 (5 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack; offers from Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton)
  • OL Willie Allen, Jr., 6-7, 300 (offers from nine FBS programs)
  • RB Devon Benn, Jr., 5-9, 172 (14 carries, 79 yards)
  • RB Dontae Jones, Sr. (10 carries, 144 yards, 2 TDs)
  • LB Nathaniel Evans, Jr., 6-2, 225 (11 tackles)
  • DB Theodore Stamps, Jr., 6-0, 180 (4 tackles, 1 INT)
  • LB Mike Corcoran, Sr., 6-1, 200 (8 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 QB pressure)

 

Just the facts
  • Lufkin is 3-2 all-time against schools from Louisiana. Its last matchup against a team from Louisiana occurred in 2006 -- a 24-14 win over Shreveport Evangel.
  • The last time John Curtis played a team from Texas was in 2008 when the Patriots lost to Euless Trinity, 28-12 -- the only loss of their state-championship season.
  • Through two games, Lufkin is averaging 43.5 points per game in wins over Longview and Tyler Lee.
  • Despite making the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season last year, Lufkin finished with a losing record for the first time since 1995.
  • From 2004-13, when Lufkin shared a district with Houston area schools, the Panthers were 95-27. In the 10 previous years, Lufkin was 88-34.
  • Lufkin is seeking its first 3-0 start to a season since 2011.
  • John Curtis, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, has won three consecutive state championships and 26 overall.
  • John Curtis is a private school with an enrollment of 850 located in River Ridge, a New Orleans suburb of 13,494 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
  • The Patriots are coached by J.T. Curtis, who has an overall coaching record of 530-56-6, according to information provided by the Battle on the Border website.
  • John Curtis 2016 offensive lineman Willie Allen currently holds FBS offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Southern Miss, Tulane and UCLA.

 

Lufkin QB Trey Cumbie. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Lufkin offense vs. John Curtis defense. The Lufkin offense figured to be a strength before the season began, and through two games, it's been exactly that. The Panthers have put up 87 points in wins over Longview and Tyler Lee, averaging 397 yards per game in the process. Lufkin has talent at every position on offense, beginning with its senior quarterback Trey Cumbie. A Houston commit for baseball, the left-handed signal-caller is off to a fine start this football season with 350 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-39 passing. Cumbie has two outstanding receivers to work with in seniors KeKe Coutee and Terry Mark. Coutee, who has FBS offers from Louisville, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech and Tulsa, has also been a serious threat in special teams with two punt returns for touchdowns already. Mark, meanwhile, is a tall and rangy receiver who is currently committed to Houston. Senior running back Steven Sowell has gone over 100 yards rushing in each of Lufkin's first two games, and has been the driving force behind a Panthers offense averaging 222 rushing yards per game. The Lufkin offensive line is stout as well, led by senior tackle Erik McCoy, who has FBS offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Kansas, New Mexico State, North Texas, Oklahoma State and ULL. Senior O-lineman Brandon Larue is another top-notch player up front, who has a future at the next level as well.

Lufkin WR KeKe Coutee. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Lufkin will be working against a stout John Curtis defense that's coming off a shutout of Mandeville in its season opener last week. The Patriots surrendered just 172 total yards and eight first downs for the game. The strength of John Curtis' defense is at linebacker and in the secondary. Senior linebacker Bo Wallace holds offers from 12 FBS programs, including Arizona State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA. Senior linebacker Joshua Schweiger is an Ivy League recruit, while junior linebacker Nathaniel Evans is receiving interest from some of the top Division I programs in the country. Senior safety Hunter Dale, who pulled down an interception last week, is the most prized recruit in the 2015 class for John Curtis. Dale is ranked No. 20 on Rivals.com's list of the top safeties in his class. His offer list of 22 schools includes Florida, Miami, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee and UCLA. Junior defensive back Theodore Samples is a potential player to watch in the 2016 class.

Lufkin OL Erik McCoy. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Don't be surprised if: Saturday afternoon's matchup between Lufkin and John Curtis ends up being the best of the six games this weekend at the annual Battle on the Border from Shreveport's Independence Stadium. Lufkin has looked awfully dominant in its first two games of the season, having climbed to No. 2 in the latest Associated Press Class 5A poll after beginning the year outside the top 10. John Curtis, meanwhile, is football royalty in Louisiana and enters this weekend's clash as the No. 1-ranked team in 3A by the LSSWA. This game also features two vastly different offensive philosophies. Lufkin typically operates out of the spread formation, which has become the norm across the state of Texas in the last decade. John Curtis, however, runs the split-back veer option, an offense rarely seen these days at the high school level. The Patriots rolled up 306 rushing yards last week on 42 carries, while attempting just four passes on the evening. And while the key matchup will be Lufkin's offense vs. the John Curtis defense, in reality, the outcome of this game will come down to which defense adjusts the best. Lufkin operates out of the no-huddle with an emphasis placed on a quick tempo, while the Patriots rely on ball-control and grinding minutes at a time off the clock. Limiting the amount of time Lufkin's offense is on the field will be an obvious key for John Curtis on Saturday.