Rivals Lufkin + Nacogdoches Meet Following Impressive Week 1 Wins
Lufkin Panthers (1-0)
Nacogdoches Dragons (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Dragon Stadium, Nacogdoches
- Lufkin: Todd Quick
- Nacogdoches: Bobby Reyes
- Lufkin: vs. Bossier City (La.) Parkway, Sept. 10
- Nacogdoches: at Tyler Lee, Sept. 9
- QB Kordell Rodgers, Sr., 6-0, 175 (9 of 19, 184 yards, 1 TD; 11 carries, 24 yards, 2 TDs; committed to Texas State)
- WR Dhailon Phillips, Sr., 6-3, 195 (4 catches, 67 yards)
- WR Malik Jackson, Jr., 6-0, 170 (2 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD)
- RB Khalil Brown, Sr., 5-10, 193 (19 carries, 81 yards, 2 TDs)
- DB Savon Fields, Jr., 5-9, 168
- WR/DB Jeremiah Davis, Jr., 6-0, 180 (1 catch, 5 yards)
- OL Hunter Hollis, Jr., 6-3, 295
- WR Javante Ellington, Sr., 5-5, 140 (2 catches, 37 yards)
- DB Josh Thompson, Sr., 6-0, 187 (9 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery; committed to Texas)
- WR/DB Jaylon Maxie, Sr., 5-11, 180 (8 catches, 100 yards, 1 TD)
- QB Noah Hildebrand, Sr., 6-1, 180 (18 of 24, 245 yards, 2 TDs; 3 carries, 28 yards)
- RB Phillip Jones, Sr., 5-9, 163 (18 carries, 120 yards, 1 TD)
- DL Brad Phillips, Sr., 6-3, 210 (5 tackles, 1 sack)
- LB DaRyan Williams, Jr., 5-11, 185 (4 tackles)
- DL Ben Gibbs, Sr., 5-9, 180
- LB Derrick Wright, Sr., 5-9, 215 (1 tackle)
Just the facts
- This is the 67th meeting between Lufkin and Nacogdoches since World War II. Lufkin leads the all-time series, 57-8-1, during that span.
- Nacogdoches has won two of the last three meetings. Its 2013 win was its first over Lufkin since 1992.
- Lufkin opened the season last week by defeating Longview for the first time in three tries. The Panthers had last defeated the Lobos in the 2014 season opener.
- The Panthers are 7-8 in non-district games under head coach Todd Quick.
- Lufkin is currently riding a 18-year streak of reaching the playoffs.
- Nacogdoches began the year with an impressive 27-point win over Class 4A Kilgore.
- The Dragons are 9-8 in non-district games under head coach Bobby Reyes.
- Nacogdoches is hoping to make the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons. It would be the first time in school history.
Key matchup: Lufkin passing game vs. Nacogdoches secondary. In what could be one of the best one-on-one matchups in East Texas all season long, Lufkin receiver Dhailon Phillips goes head-to-head with Nacogdoches cornerback Josh Thompson. Phillips, the owner of a handful of Division I offers including Air Force and Texas State, is one of the area's most physically gifted receivers. Thompson, on the other hand, might be East Texas' top pound-for-pound defender. The Dragons' defensive back currently leads the region in scholarship offers (24) and is currently committed to Texas.
The Panthers possess one of the area's best dual-threat quarterbacks in Kordell Rodgers, who has committed to Texas State. Last week, in a season-opening win over Longview, Rodgers had a significant impact by accounting for three of the Panthers' five touchdowns -- throwing one and rushing for two. And while Rodgers is a gifted runner, his big arm lends itself to explosive plays through the air, evidenced by last week's 75-yard touchdown strike to junior receiver Malik Jackson.
Nacogdoches has been a hotbed for college coaches looking for men in the secondary over the last couple of seasons. In fact since 2014, the Dragons have had three DB's become the region's leader in scholarship offers -- Jaylon Lane (Oklahoma St. commit), Brandon Jones (Texas signee), and Thompson. The Dragons could have another big-time prospect out of the 2018 class waiting in the wings in safety/linebacker DaRyan Williams, who tested well at May's ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's game features a steady diet of rushing attempts. Both Lufkin and Nacogdoches have talented backfields, led by senior running backs. Khalil Brown sparked the Panthers on the ground last week with 81 yards and two touchdowns, while Nacogdoches' Phillip Jones ran for a team-best 120 yards and a score in the Dragons' blowout of Kilgore. Each team also features a quarterback capable of picking up big chunks of yardage on the ground as well. Rodgers only put up 24 rushing yards a week ago, but was able to run for a pair of touchdowns, while Dragons QB Noah Hildebrand -- despite being a pass-first quarterback -- gained 28 yards on just three attempts last week.