LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin Panthers are about to embark on what will no doubt be their toughest district matchup. Not only are The Woodlands picked to win this district, they've got a stout defense.
With seven defensive starters returning to their lineup, they've only allowed 11 points against on average and even held Katy to just three points.
At least the Panthers have a duo that leads the offensive stats of this district, with quarterback Kordell Rodgers and receiver Dhailon Phillips.
Rodgers has 92 completions for over 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns in just five games. Phillips has 586 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
When going against a team that's ranked 7th in the state by the AP Texas Football Poll, Lufkin said they're going to have to spread the ball around and be balanced.
"They have a couple defensive ends that are high level guys with real good motors. The linebackers take advantage of that because you have to occupy those guys up front and that allows their linebackers to run," said Lufkin head coach Todd Quick. "They're very sound in what they do secondary wise. They keep people in front of them and they make you throw the ball and complete the ball all the way down the field. They don't give up that real long pass."
"It'll be really exciting for us to see where we stack up against a great defense like that. We know we're going to have to force them into open field and not make many mistakes. We can't afford a lot of mistakes on the offensive side. We got to make them play out of their comfort zone," said Phillips.
While the Pack have 1-0 start in district, this will be the Highlanders district opener. Lufkin will be at The Woodlands Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff time.