LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Friday night the Lufkin Panthers faced the Woodlands Highlanders in arguably their biggest game of the year. It was such a big game in fact, that Cowboys Wide Receiver and former Panther Dez Bryant decided to show up and watch from the sidelines.
With a chance to move to 2-0 in 14-5A play and take control of the district the Panthers allowed 617 yards by the Highlanders and were blown out at home by a final of 49-21.
Bryant could be seen throughout the game speaking with many players on the sidelines, even offering words of encouragement during times when Lufkin was losing. Bryant also took plenty of time out for his many Lufkin fans, taking countless pictures and signing several autographs.
Bryant and the Cowboys will travel to face the Ravens on Sunday as Dallas hopes to bounce back in Baltimore after a tough loss two weeks ago.
"I feel like that bye week was big for us," said Bryant during halftime of the Panthers game. "We are a strong mentally tough team so those loses don't really affect us."
The Baltimore Ravens have a very impressive home winning streak of 13 games on the line. But Bryant said that the Cowboys never back down to a challenge.
"Baltimore can be an intimidating team, but we are also intimidating," said Bryant. "We are going to go out there and put up a good fight no matter who or where we play."
Bryant has had an off season full of negative news and admitted that it is nice to get to come home, especially to see his Panthers play football.
"It is so fun, I get chills just being back home and driving up to the stadium," said Bryant. "I love the people, I love being home and these are moments I just can't forget."
Bryant has 21 catches for 269 yards so far in 2012, but has yet to make a touchdown catch. The Cowboys kickoff against the Ravens at noon on Sunday.