LUFKIN (KTRE) – For the second consecutive year the Lufkin Panthers fall in the first round against the Klein Bearkats the year a heartbreaker at Abe Martin Stadium 44-38. Lufkin's quest of hoisting another state championship was foiled but it was not for the lack of effort. Lufkin lead 7-0 early in the game but that was the last time they would have a lead as it disappeared by halftime the pack entered the locker room down 21-7.
Receiving the opening kickoff to begin the third quarter Lufkin lost their starting quarterback Deauntre "Bush" Smiley with an apparent knee injury and he never returned. Klein then put their foot on the panthers throat or so they thought Lufkin trailed in the second half 44-19, when junior quarterback Nick Cox and running back Jamarcus Walker almost pulled off an amazing epic comeback. Cox, threw two touchdown passes and Walker had over 290 yards combined rushing and receiving and scored three times.
Panther nation saw a 44-19 deficit erased in a matter of minutes when Lufkin scored fast and frequently slicing the lead like swiss cheese. You blinked and it was 44-25, then a few minutes later another score when Cox found Javante Mack to cut the lead to 44-31. Then "bam" another stop by the pack defense and Walker added his third touchdown of the day to cut it to 44-38. Lufkin could not complete the comeback when Cox had one final attempt with eleven seconds remaining to get the Panthers into the end zone for the game tying score his pass fell incomplete and the clock hit triple zeroes. Lufkin ends the season with a 9-2 record a one game improvement from a year ago when they concluded the 2009 campaign 8-3.
Klein advances to the area round and will play against the winner of Leander or Austin High. The Bearkats improve their record to 8-3 on the season.