Lufkin Looks to Take Care of Business on the Field After Securing “Coin Toss” Win
Corsicana Tigers (6-2, 3-2)
Lufkin Panthers (5-3, 4-1)
2 p.m. Saturday
Abe Martin Stadium, Lufkin
- Corsicana: Steve Hoffman
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- Corsicana: vs. Ennis, Nov. 6
- Lufkin: at Jacksonville, Nov. 6
- QB Kishawn Kelley, Jr., 6-2, 202 (29 of 73, 453 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT; 115 carries, 623 yards, 8 TDs)
- RB JaMicha Polk, Jr., 5-6, 160 (134 carries, 1,014 yards, 7 TDs)
- RB John Woods, Jr., 5-8, 165 (80 carries, 617 yards, 10 TDs)
- WR Daveon Crawford, Jr. (60 carries, 293 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR/DB Trevor Denbow, Jr., 6-0, 190 (6 catches, 185 yards, 4 TDs)
- LB Desmond Hawkins, Jr., 5-10, 215
- OL Jonathan Estrada, Sr., 6-4, 270
- DL Devarius Colbert, Sr., 6-0, 245
- DL Bronson Massie, Sr., 6-3, 210
- OL Jerrod Johnson, Sr., 6-3, 285
- QB Kordell Rodgers, Jr., 6-0, 175 (105 of 174, 1,649 yards, 17 TDs, 8 INTs; 87 carries, 432 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR Dhailon Phillips, Jr., 6-3, 195 (28 catches, 512 yards, 4 TDs)
- WR/DB Jeremiah Davis, Soph., 6-0, 175 (11 catches, 148 yards, 2 TDs)
- WR Malik Jackson, Soph., 5-11, 175 (28 catches, 328 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Ellis Jackson, Sr., 5-8, 170 (101 carries, 561 yards, 1 TD; 7 catches, 127 yards, 1 TD)
- DB Savon Fields, Soph., 5-8, 165
Just the facts
- This is the seventh all-time meeting between Lufkin and Corsicana. Lufkin leads the series, 4-2.
- Since 1980, Corsicana and Lufkin have combined for 49 playoff appearances.
- Corsicana averages 35.3 points and 393.4 yards per game -- 336.8 rushing and 56.6 passing.
- The combined record of the teams Corsicana has beaten this season is 13-36.
- Corsicana has four juniors with at least 293 rushing yards on the season.
- Lufkin averages 37.3 points and 439.4 yards per game --- 198.7 rushing and 240.7 passing.
- The Panthers' defense is yielding 26.4 points per game, not counting its 2-0 victory over Ennis last week, which was decided on a coin toss.
- Lufkin's three losses have come by a combined 12 points.
Key matchup: Corsicana rushing attack vs. Lufkin defensive front. Plain and simple: the Corsicana Tigers must be able to run the ball effectively if they wish to pick up a much-needed road victory Saturday. Corsicana has attempted just 74 passes all season long, and only 14.4 percent of the Tigers' offense comes through the air. As one might expect, Corsicana has several productive options in the running game. Junior featured back JaMicah Polk is now north of 1,000 yards for the season and has rushed for seven touchdowns. Meanwhile, fellow juniors John Woods and quarterback Kishawn Kelley have each run for more than 600 yards and combined for 18 touchdowns thought eight games. Despite being on the short end of a 36-14 loss to John Tyler on Monday, Corsicana still rolled up 276 rushing yards against a solid Lions' defensive front. Surprisingly, Corsicana tossed a touchdown pass for just the sixth time this year in last week's loss, but the Tigers' relative success in moving the ball was negated by three turnovers. The Tigers need to steer clear of those this week.
Lufkin's defense has improved as the season's progressed. The Panthers allowed 49 points and 375 rushing yards in a come-from-behind overtime win over Tyler Lee in Week 2, and was hit for a season-worst 441 rushing yards in a 44-36 loss to West Monroe (La.) the next week. Since then, it's been a different story. Lufkin enters Saturday's game winners of four of its previous five games, and has allowed an average of just 17.8 points per game. That does not include last week's 2-0 victory over Ennis, which was decided on coin toss because of severe weather. Whether it's senior defensive tackle Eric Smallwood or senior defensive end Bronson "Boom" Massie, Lufkin has plenty of talented playmakers along its defensive front. And all of them will need to play big in order to contain a powerful Corsicana rushing attack.
Don't be surprised if: Lufkin begins Saturday's game faster than Corsicana. The Panthers have not played on the field since Oct. 16, a 28-27 win over Lindale, which ended with Lindale missed a potential game-winning field goal as time expired. Lufkin was hoping to improve upon some of its mistakes that nearly cost the team a home victory last Friday night against Ennis, but was never given that opportunity because of the weather. With two full weeks and a day since its last experience between the sidelines, Lufkin should be rested and well-prepared for the challenge Corsicana presents. The Tigers, meanwhile, will be playing this game on just four days rest, the absolute minimum that is allowed by the UIL. Since Corsicana's game against John Tyler, originally scheduled for last Friday night, was postponed all the way to Monday of this week, rules stipulate that Saturday is the earliest the Tigers can play. If Corsicana is a little sluggish out of the gate, that is to be expected.