LUFKIN - After knocking off Westfield in the regional round of the playoffs. The Lufkin Panthers find themselves facing their long time rival in the quarterfinals, the Longview Lobos
"We've known each other for a long time we try to play every year just because we know we're going to get tested we know we're going to figure out if we play them early we're going to figure out what we need to work on, you know we always get what we always get what we want to get out of it," says head coach Todd Quick.
The panthers lost to the lobos week one of the regular season. But for players like quarterback Kewone Thomas and linebacker/safety Savon Fields, this rematch couldn't come soon enough.
"We wanted to play them again because of what happened the first game we knew we had the chance to meet them in the whole playoffs," says Thomas.
"We don't want to lose and they don't want to lose so we both come out to compete and we always give 110 percent every play," explains Fields.
One of the best aspects of this rivalry isn't just about the game. It's about the respect both teams have for each other while representing the best of East Texas football.
"Last Week when they played Klein Collins I text one of the players that I know pretty good and I told him good luck and I wished and hoped they'd win so we can compete against them this week," says Fields.
"You know you have East Texas kids you have the same type of fan-base for both schools you have great support there's a line of cars going where ever they go it doesn't matter if it's preseason or playoffs so, it's just a great situation a great thing for both schools," explains Quick.
For now the panthers will do what they do best, which is to continue to prove the critics wrong.
"Both of the teams have made it so far throughout the whole season and we've just been working to get to this point, really nobody ever thought that we were going to get this far and we proved them wrong," says Thomas.
"Every time someone says we can't do it, it gives us a lot of momentum and it helps us to show them we can step up to the challenge," explains Fields.
Both teams will play this Saturday at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches at Stephen F. Austin University. Kickoff is at 2:00 p.m.