LUFKIN - Longview and Lufkin both knew they were headed for the playoffs next week regardless of Friday's outcome, but good luck convincing anyone on either sideline Friday's game didn't count.
Terrance Parks rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another, and the Lufkin Panthers held off a late Longview rally Friday to notch a 29-20 win over the Lobos in the regular season finale for both teams at Abe Martin Stadium.
The Lobos end the regular season with a 7-3 record overall and a 3-3 mark in District 11-5A. Longview will open postseason play with a 7 p.m. bi-district contest next Saturday (Nov. 16) at Tyler's Rose Stadium against Garland.
Lufkin (8-2, 4-2) will meet North Mesquite at 2 p.m. that day at Mesquite Memorial Stadium.
Parks proved to be the difference Friday, putting the Panthers on top 15-0 at halftime on a 6-yard run and then hitting Quentin Holman on an 86-yard scoring strike just over a minute into the second half. After the Lobos rallied with two touchdowns in the third period to pull to within eight points (22-14), Parks sprinted in from 7 yards out to put the game out of reach.
The Lufkin senior quarterback rushed for 59 yards and completed 14 of 18 passes for 184 yards. Holman finished with four catches for 125 yards and the one touchdown.
The Lobos put together a solid ground attack with 182 yards on 38 attempts. Fullback Fred Hawkins was the workhorse for Longview with 109 yard and one touchdown on 15 carries. Quarterback Joel Armstrong rushed for 28 yards and a pair of short touchdowns, while completing 6 of 14 passes for 93 yards.
Longview mounted a good drive to open the contest, but Armstrong was sacked on fourth-and-6 from the Lufkin 35 to turn the ball over on downs. Parks went to work quickly, completing four passes for 40 yards as the Panthers drove 61 yards in 12 plays to get on the board. Jorvorskie Lane did the scoring honors on a 1-yard run, and Parks hit Holman for the two-point conversion to put the Lobos in an 8-0 hole with 3:43 left in the initial quarter.
The teams traded punts and turnovers, with the Lobos missing out on a golden scoring opportunity after Jarrell Wilson recovered a Brian Rogers fumble on the Lufkin 6-yard line. Tow plays later, however, the Lobos fumbled the ball back tot he Panthers and this time Lufkin marched 94 yards in 14 plays to add to its lead.
Parks completed five passes for 28 yards and added 18 yards on the ground, scoring from 6 yards out with just 21 seconds remaining in the half. Jonathan Hale booted the PAT and the Lobos trailed 15-0 at intermission.
Lufkin struck quickly to open the second half when Parks hit Holman on a short pass and Holman broke a few tackles before outrunning the Lobo secondary for an 86-yard scoring strike that made it a 22-0 contest.
Longview answered with two touchdowns in the final 3:02 of the quarter, driving 50 yards in nine plays to get on the board and then moving 52 yards in six plays after recovering an onside kick.
On the first scoring drive, Armstrong had the key play on a 21-yard run, and he later did the scoring honors with a 1-yard run. Alex Cammack added the extra point to make it a 22-7 contest, and Robert Henson recovered the onside kick near midfield to put the Lobos back in business.
Armstrong went up top to Rogers Taylor on first down, and Taylor brought the ball down in the middle of two Lufkin defenders for a 38-yard gain. Hawkins carried twice for 11 yards, and then two plays later Armstrong scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run. Cammack's PAT pulled the Panthers to within eight points, 22-14, with 31 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Parks led Lufkin on another long scoring drive, this time directing a 59-yard, 10-play drive that he capped with a 7-yard run at the 8:29 mark of the fourth quarter to put the Panther lead to 29-14.
The Lobo defense set up the final score of the game when Brandon Templeton hit Rogers in the backfield to force a fumble and Quintele Jackson recovered at the Panther 37-yard line. After Armstrong threw incomplete on first down, Chris Jones picked up seven yards before Hawkins rambled straight up the middle for 30 yards and the touchdown. The try for two failed, but the Lobos trailed by just nine points, 29-20, with 2:32 to play.