With Lufkin harboring state title aspirations and the Nacogdoches Dragons looking to make their season, the stakes were high when the District 12-5A portion of the schedule kicked off in Nacogdoches. When a bad snap led to Reggie McNeal being sacked in the end zone for a safety in the opening seconds of the game, the Dragons’ fan section exploded, dreaming of one of the biggest upsets in school history. As it turns out, that play was simply a wakeup call for a Lufkin team that was simply too good for a determined but ultimately overmatched group of Dragons.
The Panthers reeled off the next 42 points, including 36 in a four-minute span, to roll to a 42-2 win in the district opener in Nacogdoches. Lufkin got the scoring started midway through the first quarter when Quentin Holman hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Reggie McNeal. Just over two minutes later, McNeal took off and scored on a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. Both of Lufkin’s biggest playmakers had big games as McNeal threw for 230 yards and two scores on 12-of-14 passing to go along with 69 yards on seven carries. Holman caught four passes for 102 yards.
The Panthers got one more touchdown before the end of the first quarter as Holman caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from McNeal. Lufkin added a two-point conversion on its swinging gate formation when Vincent Watt hit Terrance Parks for a 22-2 lead. The Panthers’ defense also outscored Nacogdoches’ offense when Carlus Anders intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. Stephen Coker got into the end zone by running the two-point conversion in for a 30-2 lead. The score was 36-2 at halftime when Terrance Mott caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from McNeal. The Pack closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter when Jerome Gardner ran for a five-yard score. With the win, Lufkin moved to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in district. Nacogdoches would eventually finish with a 1-9 record.