Sports editor Josh Havard held a question-and-answer session with Lufkin head coach Todd Quick on Tuesday afternoon. The Panthers moved to 1-1 on the season with a 44-0 win over the Nacogdoches Dragons on Friday night. Lufkin is now the No. 5 team in the state in the latest Dave Campbell’s Texas Football rankings as well as the No. 3 team in the Class 4A/5A/6A #bEASTTexas Fabulous 15 poll. The Panthers will host Redskins del Estado de Mexico at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Q After reviewing Friday’s win over Nacogdoches, what were you most pleased with?
A Going back to last week, our emphasis was on communicating better offensively and getting lined up better on defense. Everybody was ready to go when the ball was snapped much better than we were last week. I thought we were most efficient there on both sides of the ball.
Q With the team recording its first shutout of the season and the third in the past two years, what was the overall impression of the defense?
A I was very pleased with our fits. The gaps weren’t open for them, which meant all 11 guys were doing their job. The speed of the game was good from a defensive standpoint and I thought we had a good tempo.
Q As several players stepped into different types of roles, what was your overall impression of the offense?
A We’ve still got guys that are virtually new at some spots. It was the first game for some of them, so there are still things we’ve got to work on. I was happy with the speed, tempo and communication. We were able to capitalize on a few short fields, then we were also able to drive it the length of the field. We kept our penalties down. Overall, I was pretty pleased with them.
Q With Caleb Berry missing a few weeks with an injury, how much emphasis was put on finding new ways to establish the ground game?
A We’ve got packages where we can shoot (A.J.) Montgomery into the backfield. We can run the fly sweeps or things like that. When he lines up in the backfield, it can be hard for the defense to take him away as well. He’s a playmaker that gives us a little more depth back there in addition to being a receiver. He’s very fast and strong, and we’re confident he can be a weapon for us.
Q Was there any certain key in the kicking game, which helped set up a variety of short fields throughout the night?
A That was a lot better for us on Friday than it was the first week. At some point, we feel like we’ll win a game when we execute well there.
J.P. (Ja’Lynn Polk) has punted for two games and he’s already telling me he can be a punter in the NFL. But in all seriousness, having him back there is a threat. It makes people be honest. We can use his athletic ability to open up a few things. I’ve been very pleased with him back there, and he’s just gaining confidence every time out.