LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin is in unfamiliar territory as they play Westfield Saturday in New Caney.
No one on the team has been this far in the playoffs since going to high school. The team has not made it past the first round since 2012.
"The seniors on this group stepped up and worked hard all summer," Jackson Treadwell said. "We did not want to end our career like people thought we would."
In their 35-18 victory over Richardson Pearce last Saturday, the team felt like they needed to make a statement after the Mustangs came on the field after throwing down a sledge hammer as a way to intimidate the Pack. Treadwell laughed as he recalled the moment.
"It felt really goo to get that win," Treadwell said. "Then when we saw Braylon go down we knew we had to win it."
The Panthers defense has done a complete turn around this season from last year's squad that seemed to not be able to stop a drive. Still, they have doubters and are ready to prove them wrong again.
"We really woke up after The Woodlands game<" Treadwell said. "They have doubted us all year. They predicted Beaumont to beat us because that quarterback was fast and we laid it on him. I think we will do the same on Saturday."
The offense has also come alive. Lead by Kewone Thomas, Isaiah Phillips and Malik Jackson, the Panthers have dominated the clock in their playoff games and had good ball control.
"It helps us out when we know the defense is doing good," Phillips said. "We just want to go out and do good too. It is a playoff game so the starters got to shine."
Coach Todd Quick said the game will come down to who can make adjustments on the go and that his team is only worried about what they need to do which is execute the plan.
"If rankings meant anything then we should just phone in the score," Quick said. "We are not going to phone in the score. We are going to go down there and hit them in the mouth. We are going to hit them in the mouth and we are going to see which team reacts the best to it. They are a good team. We have played that school over the years and they are always tough. It will be a good game. I expect to see a line of cars stretched down highway 59 going to New Caney."
Kickoff for the game is 1:30 p.m.