[By Josh Havard, Special to ETSN.fm}

LUFKIN -- In a game that meant nothing in terms of playoff positioning, the Lufkin Panthers took care of business anyway Friday night.

Using a prolific offense combined with a stout defense, Lufkin scored early and often before coasting to a 48-27 win over Montgomery at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium on Friday night.

Isaiah Phillips ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries and the Panthers finished with 269 yards on the ground in finishing the regular season with their eighth win in the last nine weeks.

Kewone Thomas threw for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 11-of-24 passing. He also ran for another score on the ground. His top target was Malik Jackson, who caught three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, all of those coming in the first half.

"The kids are playing hard," Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. "We just have to clean up some things. We'll start over again next week."

Lufkin will open the playoffs on Friday night as it takes on Rockwall Heath in Class 6A Region II Bi-District action. That game will be played at 7:30 Friday night at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium.

On the defensive side, Lufkin allowed Montgomery to gain a total of 396 yards, including 355 through the air. However it needed 90 plays and 63 pass attempts to get to those totals.

Montgomery QB Jordan Hood, the leading passer in the district, completed 40-of-61 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns to go along with an interception. Caleb Campbell had 10 catches for 106 yards.

With Montgomery already eliminated from the playoff chase, it didnt hold anything back against the Panthers as it tried an onside kick to start the game that was recovered by Lufkin's Tyler McNeal.

After Phillips followed with a 28-yard run, Lufkin was forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Rodrigo Molina for a 3-0 lead just 1:30 into the game.

After Jeremiah Davis picked off a pass, Montgomery's offense finally got going late in the first quarter with Alex Nunn scoring on a one-yard run. Jody Miller caught the two-point conversion to put the Bears on top 8-3, a lead that would be their only one of the game.

Lufkin didn't take long to regain the momentum thanks to a few unorthodox plays. On a third down, Kewone Thomas was sacked and fumbled, but the ball eventually rolled to Phillips, who was there to run for 16 yards. That allowed the Pack to go for it on fourth down when Thomas hit Titan Williams for a 24-yard pass.

That drive finished with Lufkin's first touchdown of the night when Phillips scored on an eight-yard run that put the Panthers on top for good at 10-8 in the last minute of the first quarter.

Lufkin took under two minutes to add another touchdown to its total with Thomas hitting Jackson on a short pass before he sprinted 26 yards to the end zone for a 17-8 lead.

On the following drive, Jackson had the big play again, making a nice over-the-shoulder grab for a 26-yard pass that eventually set up a Thomas one-yard plunge on fourth down that made the score 24-8 with 2:31 left in the half.

The Pack defense gave a hand on the next score as Jacourtney Calvin sacked Hood on fourth down.

Lufkin got some good fortune on the following drive as Thomas sent a pass that went through Rylee Holt's hands. However, Ja'Lynn Polk was in the right place at the right time, making the catch before sprinting in for a 21-yard touchdown pass and a 31-8 lead at the break.

Lufkin was led by Phillips, who ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Thomas completed 8-of-19 passes for 121 yards and two scores while Jackson added three receptions for 68 yards and a score.

Jordan Hood led Montgomery with 166 yards on 21-of-27 passing.

The Panthers extended that margin to 34-8 early in the second half when Molina connected on a 32-yard field goal.

Montgomery finally ended a stretch of 31 straight Lufkin points when Hood hit Daniel Dobis in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass that capped off a 16-play, 62-yard drive, making hte score 34-14 with 3:31 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers only took 28 seconds to answer as Jeremiah Davis returned the following kickoff 43 yards and Phillips scored on a two-yard run three plays later to extend the margin to 41-14.

The Bears added a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when Hood hit Alex Nunn for a four-yard touchdown pass to make the score 41-21.

Once again, the Panthers had an immediate answer as Tre Grant went untouched for a 43-yard touchdown just over a minute later, extending that lead back to 27 at 48-21.

Montgomery got on the board one final time when Hood hit Nunn for a 13-yard touchdown, narrowing the margin to 48-21 with 4:51 left in the game.

More From East Texas Sports Network