WALLER – Playing for nothing but momentum, the Lufkin Panthers used a dominating first quarter in closing out the regular season with a 38-7 win over the Waller Bulldogs at Waller ISD Stadium Friday night.

With the win, Lufkin closed out a perfect district slate a week after wrapping up the 8-5A DI crown.

“We wanted to close it out with another win,” Lufkin coach Todd Quick said. “Now we’ve got six more to go.”

On offense, Jordan Moore got the start for the Panthers. He responded by completing 6-of-10 passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns.

Ja’Lynn Polk was his top target with four catches for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Titan Williams added 75 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, on just two carries.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ defense was up to the challenge once again in holding Waller to 139 total yards. More than half of that came on a second-quarter drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock and resulted in the Bulldogs’ only touchdown of the night.

In a bizarre first half, Lufkin held the ball for only 3:49 but still managed to hold a 21-7 lead after two quarters.

The Panthers got off to a quick start as they forced a three and out before Jordan Moore hit Ja’Lynn Polk for a 23-yard touchdown that made it 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

The Panthers needed only three plays to get back on the board on the following possession as Moore hit Torrance Agnew in stride for a 45-yard touchdown strike that made it 14-0.

Lufkin’s defense came up with its third straight three-and-out before the special teams got into the scoring act with Christian Reggie returning a punt 57 yards for a touchdown that made it 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Waller’s offense, which was stuck in neutral throughout the first quarter, then controlled the ball and the clock throughout the second quarter.

On a drive that spanned 72 yards on 15 plays with Waller never putting the ball in the air, Jateaveon Bailey capped it off with an 8-yard touchdown run that cut the margin to 21-7 with 2:07 left in the half.

The Panthers were unable to answer as Waller stayed within striking distance in the first half.

Lufkin was held to only 10 plays in the opening half while gaining 74 yards. The Panthers biggest bright spot was sophomore QB Jordan Moore, who threw for 68 yards and two touchdowns on 5-of-7 passing.

Meanwhile, Waller had 83 yards on 28 carries while only attempting one incomplete pass before the half.

The Panthers continued to use the big play as Titan Williams lined up in the backfield and took a handoff 68 yards on their first offensive play of the second half to up the margin to 28-7.

A 33-yard field goal by Leo Acevedo upped the margin to 31-7 with 6:30 in the third quarter.

Lufkin made it 38-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Moore hit Polk in stride for a 59-yard touchdown with 11:52 left in the game.

Lufkin (9-1, 7-0) will open the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday as it hosts McKinney North in bi-district playoff action.

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