A week after getting a taste of Louisiana pigskin, the Lufkin Panthers will get a flair for some international football as they welcome in the Monterrey Prepa Tec Borregas for a non-district contest on Friday night.
Monterrey is a Mexican football powerhouse that has made trips to Texas for several years in search of some better competition. Monterrey has won 12 national championships in Mexico.
It should find plenty of competition against a Lufkin team that is 2-1 on the season and looking to bounce back from a 69-54 shootout loss to Parkway at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium last week.
While it will be a unique experience for the Panthers, the main focus will be on their final tuneups before district play starts next week.
“It will be a unique experience that most Texas players won’t have the chance to go through,” Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. “Our focus is to get better as a football team against some different competition.”
This will be the second game for Monterrey in Texas this year. The Borregos dropped a 26-24 decision to Uvalde on Aug. 26. In that game, Monterrey held a late lead before Uvalde’s Leo Rodriguez caught the game-winning touchdown pass with 6.4 seconds remaining.
Quick said the Panthers can’t take the Borregos lightly if they hope to improve to 3-1 on the season.
“I really don’t know what to expect other than it being another football game,” Quick said. “They’ve played good teams here for quite a while so they know what to expect.”
Monterrey’s highlight came in 2012 when it took down Stephenville, the top-ranked Class 3A team in Texas.
Since then, it has had some struggles against Texas competition, including a series against Lufkin’s district rival, The Woodlands. Those teams last met in 2013 with The Woodlands picking up a 31-0 win.
On the offensive side of the ball, Monterrey uses more of a two-back approach, although it can go to the spread at different times.
Victor Andres Puentes Vera is the signal caller for the Borregos, which led for most of their previous game against Uvalde.
“Their quarterback is pretty good and they’ve got a couple of receivers that run good routes,” Quick said. “They’ve got some big kids on the line. From what we’ve seen, they’ll run more than pass, but we’ll be ready for anything.”
Monterrey runs a 4-3 scheme on defense, which was solid against Uvalde before allowing the late game-winning touchdown.
“It’s a pretty standard defense,” Quick said. “They’re similar to what we do. Their defensive line is active and their mike linebackers aren’t bad. We need to keep executing on offense.”
Kickoff for Friday night’s game at John Outlaw Memorial Field at Abe Martin Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.