Lufkin Keeps Rolling in District With 34-7 Rout of Conroe Oak Ridge
[By Josh Havard, Special to ETSN.fm]
LUFKIN -- A week after hitting the road for a 50-7 win over the Beaumont West Brook Bruins, the Lufkin Panthers returned home for an encore performance.
Using an offense that racked up just under 500 yards and a defense that forced six turnovers, the Panthers steamrolled the Oak Ridge War Eagles on their way to a 34-7 win at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium on Friday night.
Isaiah Phillips ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, Malik Jackson caught eight passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and Kewone Thomas threw for 251 yards and a score for an offense that finished the night with 487 yards.
"I thought we ran the ball well and that set everything else up," Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. "I'm proud of our running backs and I'm proud of our offensive line. We blocked their butt from the first play on."
On defense, Lufkin forced six fumbles, recovering four of those, and intercepted two passes. On the night, Oak Ridge finished with 241 total yards of offense, only 41 of those coming after halftime.
"The kids went out there and got the ball on the ground," Quick said. "We were proud of that. They didn't overplay themselves in the second half."
In the opening half, a Lufkin defense that held Beaumont West Brook scoreless for 48 minutes the previous week gave up 200 yards in the first two quarters. It didn't matter thanks to a defense that forced five fumbles, four of which they recovered
Lufkin got the early momentum as it forced a three and out on Oak Ridge's first drive before the War Eagles' punt hit the wind and only traveled eight yards.
The Pack took advantage with a Rodrigo Molina 38-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers then forced the first of their turnovers but fumbled the fumble return to give the War Eagles the ball back. Oak Ridge capitalized with Blane Romero hitting Tanner Lacy for a short pass before he broke a tackle and ran 28 yards for a touchdown for a 7-3 lead.
The Panthers used the big play to strike back as Thomas hit Jackson for a 40-yard pass and Phillips scored from 21 yards out on the next play for a 10-7 lead.
After Lufkin's defense forced a fumble deep in its own territory and Breylon Garcia ended a drive on a sack on fourth down, the Panthers' offense went back to work.
Facing a third and 15 from its own 15 after a bad snap, Jackson caught a 33-yard pass over an Oak Ridge defender.
Phillips then capped a 12-play, 83-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 lead.
After the Panthers recovered another fumble, Rodrigo Molina kicked a 29-yard field goal against a stiff wind in the final minute of the first half for a 20-7 lead.
In the opening half, Jackson caught six passes for 136 yards and Phillips ran for 59 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Thomas completed 12-of-18 passes for 190 yards.
Meanwhile Romero completed 10-of-12 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown to lead the way for Oak Ridge.
Lufkin appeared to start the second half in style before Phillips had a 64-yard touchdown run called back on a holding penalty.
However, that just delayed the offense momentarily as Thomas hit Jackson for a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth and five that gave the Pack a 27-7 lead with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
Tre Grant then got in on the scoring act as he punched in a two-yard touchdown run that made it 34-7 with 8:54 left in the game.
Lufkin (6-2, 3-1) returns to action on Friday night when it travels to face Conroe.