|LONGVIEW - The high-scoring Lufkin Panthers, top-ranked Class AAA team in the state, lived up to their reputation in every respect by trouncing the Longview Lobos here Friday night before a sellout crowd, 48 to 7, to take over undisputed possession of first place in the District 4-AAA race.
It was the eighth consecutive victory for the undefeated and untied Panthers over the full season route and their fourth in the conference race, leaving only defending champion Kilgore and their arch rivals, the Nacogdoches Dragons, barring their path to the district championship. The defeat was Longview's third of the season and the first for the Lobos in conference play after two wins to open the race and dropped them into a four-way tie with Kilgore, Texarkana and Nacogdoches for second place in the standings.
With quarterback Robert Stroud directing their razor-sharp offense with flawless precision, the powerful Panthers smashed their way to two touchdowns in the first quarter and three more in the second to take an insurmountable 35 to 0 lead at the half as halfbacks Biff Perdue and Charles Fredrick and fullback Bobby Bounds pulverized the Longview forward wall with their dazzling runs and end sweeps.
Fredrick, Perdue and Bounds, the latter the district's leading individual scorer, each chalked up two touchdowns for Lufkin,while end Corbett Anderson tallied the seventh by returning an intercepted pass 27 yards in the fourth quarter.
Bounds, who also leads the conference in extra point conversions, booted six more in seven attempts to give him a total of 25 for the season.
The Lobos scored their only touchdown early in the third quarter on a 66-yard drive and appeared head for a roaring comeback, but after that their offense bogged down in the face of stubborn resistance by Lufkin's fine line.
Roy Taylor scored for Longview on a 10-yard sweep at right end and quarterback Bobby Randel booted the extra point from placement
An alert pass defense considerably helps the Panthers along the road to their win as they intercepted no less than four Longview aerials, two of them by Bounds. Lufkin,on the other hand, met with no success whatever in the air as the Panthers completely only two aerials and wound up with a loss of six yards on them.
Lufkin piled up 19 first downs to 14 for Longview and showed a net of 436 yards while the Lobos gained 184 yards rushing and 142 passing for a total of 326 yards.
Perdue turned in the longest run of the night with a 74-yard jaunt for Lufkin's second touchdown and scored his other on a 46 yard scamper.
The Lobos threatened ton two other occasions without scoring.
They reached Lufkin's five late in the first quarter, but lost the ball on a fumble and also were halted just before the end of the half on Lufkin's 25-yard stripe.
The Panthers scored every time they got the ball in the first half with the exception of two occasions. They had to punt on the first play of the second quarter and had time to run only one play before the second period ended after they had held for downs to take possession on their own 25-yard stripe.
Lufkin needed only nine plays to drive 65 yards for the Panthers' first touchdown after taking the opening kickoff. With Fredrick and Bounds reeling off great chunks of yardage, the Panthers hit pay dirt with 7:23 still left to play in the first quarter with Fredrick skirting right end from the 12 to score standing up. Bounds booted the extra point to give Lufkin a 7 to 0 lead.
The next time the Panthers got the ball after Randel's 44 -yard kick to their own 26-yard stripe, Perdue took a handoff from Stroud and raced 74 yards for a touchdown. Bounds converted again to hike Lufkin's lead to 14-0.
Late in the period, Longview lost a golden scoring opportunity when Randel fired a 38-yard pass to end Chuck Brown but he fumbled Lufkin's five-yard line and the Panthers recovered.
Bounds set up Lufkin's third touchdown early in the second period when he intercepted Randel's pas and returned it 11 yards to Longview's 24. Four plays later Bounds skipped over right tackle from the eight to score and Bounds again covered to run the score to 21 to 0.
The Panthers used only eight plays to push 60 yards for still another touchdown midway in the second quarter despite two penalties, one for 15 yards and another for five. Bounds ripped over from right tackle from the 36 to score and converted for the fourth straight time.
Another intercepted pass which Bounds speared on his own 46-yard line and returned 24 to Longview's 30-yard line led to Lufkin's fifth touchdown late in the second quarter with Fredrick blasting over right tackle from the 15 to score. Bounds kicked his fifth consecutive conversion to hike Lufkin's lead to 35 to 0.
Longview made its first scoring gesture late in the second quarter when Taylor return the kickoff after Lufkin's fifth touchdown 24 yards to Longview's 32.Randel's pass to Rothrock picked up 17 yards and a 15 yard penalty against the Panthers moved Longview to Lufkin's 34, but the Lobos could gain only nine yards in four plays and Lufkin took over on his own 25 one play before the end of the half.
The Panthers 185 yards in the first quarter and boosted that total to 325 at the half with 15 first downs thrown in for good measure.
Longview opened the second half in impressive fashion by driving for its only touchdown with 7:24 left in the third period. With Dub Thomas and Tony Rothrock eating up most of the yardage, the Lobos marched down to Lufkin's ten with three straight first downs and from there Taylor took a pitchout from Randel and skirted right end for a touchdown.
The Panthers, however, required only four plays to go 74 yards for their sixth touchdown,which Perdue scored on his 46-yard run. This time Bounds' placement kick on the try for extra point was low and wide.
Lufkin's fail touchdown came on Corbett's intercepted pass return with 2:05 left to play.
The Lobos almost got another touchdown in the fading moments of play when Randel connected with Taylor on a 34-yard pass and the little halfback almost shook loose before finally being brought down by the safety on Lufkin's 33-yard stripe.