LUFKIN -- The Woodlands didn't have its head coach, and its quarterback missed last week's District 14-5A loss to College Station A&M Consolidated.

Neither of those facts mattered Friday.

Senior quarterback Blaine Gillespie showed no rust after missing a week, teaming with sophomore running back Patrick Carr to gash Lufkin's defense on the ground en route to a 49-21 road victory in a pivotal 14-5A contest.

The Woodlands (4-3, 2-1) amassed 617 yards of offense, including 445 rushing yards, despite not having head coach Mark Schmid on the sidelines. He missed the game with an illness. The Highlanders dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half with a 331-3 rushing advantage in the final two quarters.

Carr ran 31 times for 237 yards and one touchdown, an impressive, 68-yarder in which he fended off two Lufkin defenders while in a full sprint to provide the dagger with 3:39 left in the game. Gillespie ran 12 times for 169 yards, including a crushing 67-yard edge read option touchdown run that gave The Woodlands a 35-14 lead with 7:10 left in the third quarter. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Houston Brown for 30 and 40 yards, respectively.

Brown finished with five catches for 104 yards, while teammate Sean McCanna caught three passes for 31 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown strike for the game's first score.

The win propels The Woodlands back into the 14-5A championship race with A&M Consolidated and Lufkin. The Panthers beat A&M Consolidated two weeks ago 71-68 in four overtimes.

The teams played to a 14-14 tie through the game's first 13 minutes. Then The Woodlands outscored Lufkin 28-0 from the 6:34 mark of the second quarter to the 2:14 mark of the third.

Lufkin WR JaBryce Taylor. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Lufkin (3-3, 1-1) tried to rally late, cutting the deficit to 42-21 on a four-yard Kendrick Mapp run, his second touchdown of the game, with a 1:07 left in the third quarter. The Panthers forced a turnover on downs at the 23-yard line, then got consecutive plays of 20, 23, and 28 yards on passes from Tyler Stubblefield to Mapp, KeKe Coutee, and JaBryce Taylor, giving the Pack the ball at The Woodlands' 9-yard line. But linebacker Cole Little picked off Stubblefield on the next play with 6:01 remaining to preserve the three-score lead. Five plays later, Carr delivered the knockout blow with his 68-yard run.

Taylor had a strong night in the loss. The SMU commit caught 10 passes for 146 yards, and Coutee, a sophomore, caught four passes for 101 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown on Lufkin's first possession that tied the score 7-7. Mapp carried 12 times for 60 yards, but was held to no yards on two second-half carries. Stubblefield completed 15 of 26 passes for 273 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Lufkin linebacker Kevin Moore had a sack, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Defensive end Demontrai Lewis recovered that fumble.

Little, Tyler Patrick, and Kolbi Brown had an interception apiece for The Woodlands, which got strong special teams play from Jack Morris.

Former Lufkin star and current Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant attended the game, watching from the Panthers' sideline.

Lufkin visits Bryan next Friday. Bryan hosts The Woodlands.

The Woodlands 49, Lufkin 21
John Outlaw Memorial Field
at Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
The Woodlands -- 14 7 21 7 -- 49
Lufkin -- 7 7 7 0 -- 21

First quarter
TW -- Sean McCanna 16 pass from Blaine Gillespie (Alex Garcia kick) -- 8:35
LFK -- KeKe Coutee 59 pass from Tyler Stubblefield (Luis Garcia kick) -- 7:54
TW -- Gillespie 13 run (A. Garcia kick) -- 0:28
Second quarter
LFK -- Kendrick Mapp 20 run (L. Garcia ) -- 11:01
TW -- Houston Brown 30 pass from Gillespie (A. Garcia) -- 6:34
Third quarter
TW -- Patrick Carr 2 run (A. Garcia kick) -- 10:34
TW -- Gillespie 67 run (A. Garcia kick) -- 7:07
TW -- Brown 40 pass from Gillespie (A. Garcia kick) -- 2:14
LFK -- Mapp 4 run (L. Garcia kick) -- 1:07
Fourth quarter
TW -- Carr 68 run (A. Garcia kick) -- 3:39

TW                LFK
First downs                   27                  15
Rush Yards-Att.        52-445            20-63
Pass Yards                  172                 292
Comp.-Att.-Int.         12-21-0        17-29-3
Penalties-Yards           8-50              8-62
Fumbles-Lost               1-0                0-0
Punts-Avg.                  1-42.0           4-44.0

INDIVIDUAL
Rushing -- The Woodlands: Patrick Carr 31-237, Blaine Gillespie 12-169, Garrett Harvey 4-20, Jayme Taylor 2-15, Houston Brown 1-4, Ryan Trauffler 2-0. Lufkin: Kendrick Mapp 12-60, Tyler Stubblefield 5-4, KeKe Coutee 2-5, TEAM 1-(-6).
Passing -- The Woodlands: Blaine Gillespie 12-21-0 172. Lufkin: Tyler Stubblefield 15-26-2 273, Trey Cumbie 2-3-1 19.
Receiving -- The Woodlands: Houston Brown 5-104, Sean McCanna 3-31, Jayme Taylor 2-19, Patrick Carr 1-15, Bayley Novak 1-6. Lufkin: JaBryce Taylor 10-146, KeKe Coutee 4-101, Kendrick Mapp 1-20, Jamal Jeffery 1-13, Kyler Henson 1-12.