Thanks to some late heroics, the Lufkin Panthers’ 7-on-7 football team is headed back to the state tournament.
Hosting their own qualifier on Saturday, the Panthers used some late-game magic to lock down a 33-32 win over Atascocita. The Panthers got a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of the game before Atascocia answered back with a touchdown on the last play of the game.
However, Lufkin prevented the extra point in getting the win that clinched a spot in the upcoming state tournament in College Station.
The Panthers opened the day in impressive fashion as they rolled to a 65-20 win over The Woodlands’ Cooper.
The Panthers saw somewhat of a closer test in the following game against Huntsville before taking a 53-39 victory.
Lufkin stayed hot in the last pool game, taking a 51-43 win over College Station.
That allowed Lufkin to clinch the top seed in its pool and a spot in the semifinals against Atascocita.
In the other semifinal, Whitehouse took a 32-27 win over Beaumont West Brook to clinch its own spot in the state tournament.
Due to both semifinal winners already having a spot in the state tournament, no championship game was played.
The state tournament is set for June 30-July 1 in College Station.