[By Joe Harrington, Special to ETSN.fm]

BRYAN -- The Lufkin Panthers advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2005 on Saturday as Tyler Stubblefield threw seven touchdown passes to beat Pflugerville, 56-43, in a Class 5A Division II Region II area playoff.

After knocking off perianal playoff power Lake Travis in the bi-district round, Pflugerville (8-4) couldn’t repeat its playoff magic as Lufkin (9-3) found success in the air in the first half to build a 35-17 hafltime lead.

“They’re feeling good about themselves and they’re flying around,” Lufkin coach Todd Quick said. “We’ve just got to keep it going.”

Lufkin will play Plano West at 2 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.

Pflugerville scored early and took a 7-0 lead as senior Adrian Dilworth rushed for a 61-yard touchdown on the game’s second drive.

It was the only time Pflugerville led as Lufkin answered back with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Stubblefield to Jamal Jeffery two drives later. Pflugerville punted on three straight drives and turned the ball over on downs, while Lufkin scored on four straight possessions in a 28-point second quarter.

“It was huge,” Quick said of scores following Dilworth’s run. “It takes all the momentum away.”

SMU-bound JaBryce Taylor dominated the first half, catching five passes for 142 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass.

Pflugerville’s Preston Iioka tried to breathe life into Pflugerville with a 72-yard run five minutes before halftime, and Josh Iano cut the halftime score even more with a 29-yard field goal, but Pflugerville still trailed 35-17 at half.

Stubblefield added two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in the second half as he finished with 327 yards on 14-of-21 passing with touchdown throws of 18, 29, 40, 31,24, 34 and 3 yards.

“He’s done it all year long,” Quick said. “We don’t want him to stop now.”

Pflugerville scored several long touchdowns in the second half, including a 48-yard strike by quarterback Blaine Kruecke to Noah Menke, but each time the Panthers scored, Lufkin answered back. A 34-yard touchdown shovel pass to Jeffery in the fourth quarter capped the scoring as it followed a failed onside kick by Pflugerville.

Kruemcke finished with a season-high 36 passing attempts with a season-high 19 completions for 246 yards. Dilworth, one of 46 seniors, finished his career with 173 yards and three touchdowns.

“There’s no doubt we didn’t give up in this game,” Pflugerville coach George Herrmann said. “Our seniors led us through, we just got outscored today … it wasn’t for a lack of effort.”

Lufkin running back Kendrick Mapp looks for running room against Pflugerville on Saturday. (Retha McClinton, ETSN.fm)