This rivalry dates back to 1920. Lufkin and Nacogdoches are in bordering counties and this game is for a year’s worth of bragging rights. The state’s longest running rivalry, this east Texas matchup has been an annual battle for more than 90 years. After the Panthers took 19 straight (1993-2012), the Dragons re-ignited the rivalry with a 28-24 win in 2013. Nacogdoches added a 38-35 victory in 2014, but the Panthers have taken the last two including a 42-28 win in 2016.


Isaiah Phillips


Cody Hayes


Cody has been a part of the Lufkin/Nacogdoches rivalry for two years. Hayes plays receiver for the Lufkin Panthers and is also a member of the Panther track team. He is a leader on and off the field. Cody is a complete role model for his peers and other student athletes.
Austin Burton


Austin has played football for four years at Nacogdoches. He is a two-year letterman in football and has narrowed his college choices down to the University of Texas or Rice University.


Ju Parks


Ju Parks played in the rivalry series three years during high school helping lead his team to three consecutive victories in the series. His fourth down stop against Spring Westfield in the state semifinals in 2001 launched the Panthers into the state championship game, where he played a pivotal role in securing the 2001 state championship for Lufkin. He is now a member of Lufkin ISD and is still shaping the lives of future Panthers.
Brandon Jones


Brandon played in this rivalry all four years of high school. In 2013, his interception put the winning points on the board to defeat Lufkin for the first time in 22 years. He was also an integral part of the team his junior year helping the team win back-to-back games in the rivalry for the first time since 1935. Brandon now attends the University of Texas where he starts at safety for their football team.


Action packed from the very beginning, the opening drive Nacogdoches drove straight down the field and scored to take an early first quarter lead. From there, the first half was a game of cat and mouse with both teams trading blows in the trenches. With under a minute and a half left in the first half, Nacogdoches scored on a gutsy drive to even the score up at 21. Lufkin, however, had clearly been practicing their two minute drill driving the length of the field to put themselves inside the 5 yard line with less than three seconds on the clock. Opting not to take the easy points, coach Todd Quick called on running back Isaiah Phillips, later named MVP of the game who pushed through for the touchdown as time expired to give the Panthers a 28-21 lead going into the locker room. When the teams came back out for the second half you could tell who wanted this more from the kickoff as Lufkin outscored the Dragons of Nacogdoches 17-7 in the second half to clinch the 45-28 victory.