Sports Editor Josh Havard held a question-and-answer session with Lufkin head coach Todd Quick on Tuesday afternoon. The fifth-ranked Panthers improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in district play with a 24-18 win over the Magnolia Bulldogs on Friday night. Lufkin returns to action at 7:30 Friday when it hosts the College Station Cougars.
Q After erasing a deficit in the final five minutes for a victory, what does it say about the team’s resiliency in getting a road win?
A Having a group of kids that finds a way to win is something special. It wasn’t easy, but the kids made plays when they had to make them. When guys went out with injuries, other guys were there to step in.
Q With the team taking the lead for the fourth time, it was Jerrin Thompson’s interception that proved to be the deciding factor . What can you say about having a playmaker like him step up in that situation?
A Bugg did exactly what he’s coached to do. He rubbed the curl man on that route and they threw it right to him. That play put them on their heels. Instead of controlling the tempo, it put them on the defensive. That play was huge, and it’s what we’ve come to expect out of him.
Q What was the biggest key for the defense in dominating the first half of action before Magnolia finally got going after halftime?
A The biggest reason why we dominated is they didn’t have the ball. I think in one quarter, they might have had the ball for a total of two minutes. We were putting together long drives where we would end them with field goals, but at the minimum we were keeping them off the field. We had a couple of three and outs, and when the offense is controlling the ball like that, that’s almost the best defense you can have.
Q Jordan Moore threw for over 300 yards for the second straight week while the running game struggled. What was the overall impression of the offense?
A We went out there and put up those long drives. We got field goals, but we still got points on the board. That is a credit to what their defense was able to do. But we have to be able to finish drives. That’s a big emphasis for us this week. When we get in the red zone, we have to be able to stick it in there.
Q How big of a win was it to get a road victory in Magnolia against a team picked to make the playoffs?
A That’s a tough place
They’re well coached and have a good football team. We knew it would be intense with it being our first real road trip. We had to focus on what we were doing when everything wasn’t going our way, and the kids found a way to win.