PREVIEW: Lufkin Faces Tough Task Against Spring Westfield
CLASS 6A DIVISION II
REGION II SEMIFINAL
Lufkin Panthers (10-2)
Spring Westfield Mustangs (11-0)
1:30 p.m. Saturday
Texan Drive Stadium, Porter
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- Spring Westfield: Matt Meekins
- Lufkin: def. Richardson Pearce, 35-18
- Spring Westfield: def. San Marcos, 47-3
- Winner faces either Longview or Klein Collins, regional championship
- WR Malik Jackson, Sr., 5-11, 170 (59 catches, 773 yards, 8 TDs; 12 carries, 112 yards, 2 TDs)
- DL Carl Williams, Jr., 6-4, 306 (32 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles)
- RB Isaiah Phillips, Sr., 5-9, 185 (222 carries, 1,568 yards, 23 TDs; 4 catches, 37 yards, 0 TDs)
- DB Jeremiah Davis, Sr., 6-0, 180 (69 tackles, 2 for loss, 2 INTs, 8 PBUs, 4 forced fumbles; committed to Louisiana-Lafayette)
- WR Ja'Lynn Polk, Soph., 6-2, 175 (31 catches, 547 yards, 4 TDs)
- DB Savon Fields, Sr., 5-9, 168 (60 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB pressures, 1 INT 6 PBUs, 2 fumble recoveries)
- QB Kewone Thomas, Jr., 6-2, 190 (149 of 258, 2,044 yards, 18 TDs, 6 INTs; 119 carries, 383 yards, 10 TDs)
- QB Terrance Gipson, Jr., 6-1, 180 (111-of-181, 1,900 yards, 19 TDs, 1 INT; 136 carries, 391 yards, 5 TDs)
- RB/DB Rayshawn James, Jr., 5-9, 165 (88 carries, 594 yards, 7 TDs; 7 catches, 101 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Edwin Allen, Sr., 5-10, 193 (58 carries, 434 yards, 9 TDs)
- WR Noah Massey, Sr., 6-3, 215 (22 catches, 539 yards, 6 TDs)
- WR Ali Walter, Sr., 5-9, 170 (31 catches, 542 yards, 7 TDs)
- DL Keondre Coburn, Sr., 6-2, 310 (46 tackles, 19 for loss, 2 PBUs)
- DL Chris Robinson, Jr. (24 tackles, 16 for loss, 4 sacks, 5 forced fumbles)
- DL Josh Carr, Sr., 6-4, 220 (33 tackles, 12 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 8 QB hurries, 7 PBUs, 1 forced fumble)
- DB Josh Jones, Sr., 5-10, 175 (35 tackles, 1 for loss, 4 QB hurries, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs)
Just the facts
- Lufkin is scoring 36.5 points per game and giving up 20.5.
- The Panthers run a fairly balanced offense, averaging 219.6 rushing and 175.8 passing yards per game.
- Lufkin is holding opponents to 82.9 rushing yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry.
- The Panthers have converted than half (52 percent) of their fourth downs this season.
- Spring Westfield is giving up only 7.9 points per game and has not lost this season.
- The Mustangs are scoring 40.1 points per game for an average margin of victory of 32.2 points per game.
- These teams met last in 2011, with Spring Westfield coming out on top, 30-27.
- Spring Westfield spread the ball around, with five receivers having more than 200 yards this season.
Key matchup: Lufkin rushing attack against the Spring Westfield front four. Lufkin coach Todd Quick said after the Panther's victory last week he understands how important it can be for a team to effectively run the ball. That should be stressed even more heavily this week.
Lufkin faces a Mustang defense that boasts a stout defensive line. The top three players have combined for 46 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Teams have not had much success running against Spring Westfield this season.
Lufkin comes into the game averaging more than 200 yards on the ground. Isaiah Phillips is one of the premier running backs in the region as a senior, nearing 1,600 yards on the ground and 20-plus touchdowns. Kewone Thomas joins him as a mobile quarterback capable of running when he sees an opening.
The combination of those two has proven tough to defend this season, and led the charge this past week against Richardson Pearce. That said, Spring Westfield is a different beast. Lufkin will need to mix some pass plays in to keep this defense honest, something it struggled to do in Week 13.
Whichever side can get the better of the other in this matchup has a much greater chance to win the game.
Don't be surprised if: Saturday's game is low scoring. Spring Westfield's defensive pedigree has already been alluded to. Lufkin has been playing solid defense of late as well.
The Panthers have allowed only 25 points throughout the first two weeks of the playoffs. Against Richardson Pearce the Panthers even managed to force three interceptions. They will surely look to keep the stingy play up against Spring Westfield.
In fact, it is imperative they do to have a chance at victory. Scoring will not be easy for either team in this matchup.