COLLEGE STATION – With the defending state champions hosting one of the most talented teams in the state, something had to give when the Lufkin Panthers took on the College Station in a highly anticipated showdown.

It was the Panthers that gave the Cougars a thorough beating as they dominated in all phases on their way to a surprising 35-3 decision Friday night.

Lufkin’s defense held College Station to fewer than 200 total yards along with a single late field goal, and the offense did all of its damage in the first half on the way to the win.

“The guys came out focused from the start,” coach Todd Quick said. “I thought they showed what type of team we can be.”

Kewone Thomas led the Panthers with 170 yards and two touchdowns on 7-of-11 passing while running for another score.

Qu’vontae Smallwood ran for 110 yards and a touchdown and 19 carries, Ja’Lynn Polk hauled in a 94-yard touchdown, and the Panthers got their backups in the game by the end of the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, College Station was left to settle for an Alan Guerrieri 30-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter that provided little solace for a team that had its 18-game winning streak come to an end.

It was a thorough pummeling of the Cougars for Lufkin in the opening half.

After the defense forced a three and out on the opening drive. Thomas hit Williams on a perfect 35-yard scoring strike for a 7-0 lead.

Lufkin’s defense then did the scoring work on its own with Ja’Vasia Brunson tipping a pass to himself that he intercepted and returned 40 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 advantage.

Another defensive stop gave Lufkin a chance to score with Qu’vontae Smallwood running from one yard out to make it 21-0 with five seconds left in the third quarter.

The Panthers then went to the deep ball with Thomas hitting a wide open Ja’Lynn Polk for a 94-yard touchdown that upped the margin to 28-0.

A College Station muffed punt gave Lufkin one final scoring opportunity and the Panthers took advantage with a Thomas one-yard quarterback sneak with eight seconds remaining, pushing the margin to 35-0.

In the opening half, Thomas accounted for 212 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers while Smallwood ran for 74 yards and a score.

The Lufkin defense told much of the story as it held College Station to 85 yards on 28 plays while forcing three turnovers.

The Cougars gained just 16 yards on 10 carries while throwing for 85 yards on 18 attempts.

A missed 19-yard field goal by the Panthers midway through the second quarter kept them from opening it up even more.

However, Lufkin ended that momentum when Logan Harville recovered a fumble for the Panthers’ fourth forced turnover of the night.

Lufkin (5-1, 3-0) returns to action on Friday when it hosts Tomball.

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