LUFKIN — Bryson Donnell had more than 200 yards of offense and found the end zone three times as the Tyler Legacy Red Raiders picked up their first win at Abe Martin Stadium since 2003, 35-17 over the Lufkin Panthers.
“We definitely came together as a team,” Donnell said. “We dominated offensively and defensively, and we came out with the win.”
Donnell carried the ball 19 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and he had seven receptions for 129 yards and another score. Donnell’s backfield mate, Jamarion Miller, finished with 14 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown, and he had three catches for 28 yards.
“Those guys not only had some big runs where they broke tackles, but they also caught the ball out of the backfield,” Willis said. “Those are things we’ve got to do. Both of those guys have worked incredibly hard on developing that skill set. That’s something going forward we’re going to make teams respect is we’re going to throw the ball to those two dudes.”
Legacy had a late addition to the roster just before kickoff as Aaron Olivares took over placekicking duties. Olivares delivered an onside kick on the opening kickoff, and Legacy’s Adariyan Scott was there for the recovery.
“Aaron created a turnover on the onside kick, and he really did a good job on most of his kicks as far as pinning them deep, putting the ball through the first line and getting it to pop around,” Willis said. “And of course, he made all of his extra points tonight. I was really pleased with his performance.”
Legacy took advantage and Miller used a 22-yard run to get to the 15 and then scored on the next play to give the Red Raiders a quick 7-0 lead.
The Red Raiders lost a fumble on their next possession, and Lufkin scored on a 1-yard run by Kedren Young to tie the score at 7 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders then grabbed the lead for good 30 seconds into the second quarter when Bruce Bruckner connected with Donnell for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
Legacy recovered a fumble at the 50-yard line and scored on an 11-yard run by Bruckner to go up 21-7 with 7:43 left in the first half.
The Panthers scored on their ensuing possession as Brandon Cano kicked a 36-yard field goal with 3:22 on the clock.
Cano also got a 33-yard try in the final seconds of the half, but the ball hit the left upright to give the Red Raiders a 21-20 halftime lead.
Legacy got the ball first in the second half, and Donnell used catches of 12 and 23 yards to set up his 2-yard touchdown run too make the score 28-10.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders recovered another fumble, and Miller ran 44 yards to the 10-yard line one play after having a touchdown run called back by penalty. Donnell finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-10 with 10:32 to play.
Jett Stanger force another Lufkin turnover midway through the final quarter as Jett Stanger recovered a fumble. The Red Raiders turned the ball over on downs at their own 7, and Lufkin scored on a 6-yard run by Elijah Moody with 3:38 remaining.
“We played with physicality,” senior LaBrendo Flowers said. “That was our main thing. While I was on the field, I preached to get the ball out, get the ball out, get the ball out, and that’s what we did. Although they did score those two times, we had multiple three-and-outs and multiple turnovers. All in all, I felt like we did pretty good.”
“I thought we battled all four quarters,” Willis said. “I thought we played physical on both sides of the ball really. Defensively, we created some turnovers with that physical play. Offensively, I thought our offensive line grew up a lot tonight, really good job of dominating the first level and the second level of the defense at times. Our running backs broke tackles, extended plays and made some good things happen. I thought Bruce Bruckner did a great job as far as the option game and the read game. I think that made a big ifference early in the game when he got the pull. He pitched a couple of those things out there in the triple option, and that’s going to make a big difference for us along the way.”
Bruckner finished 12 of 18 for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Legacy finished with 369 yards of offense. Lufkin was held to 192 yards of offense. Moody ran for 56 yards and a touchdown and was 9 of 18 passing for 71 yards.
Legacy (1-0) will be at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday to take on rival Tyler.
Tyler Legacy 35, Lufkin 17
Legacy 7 14 7 7 — 35
Lufkin 7 3 0 7 — 17
TL — Jamarion Miller 15 run (Aaron Olivares kick), 10:14
LUF — Kedren Young 1 run (Brandon Cano kick), 1:23
TL — Bryson Donnell 36 pass from Bruce Bruckner (Olivares kick), 11:30
TL — Bruckner 11 run (Olivares kick), 7:43
LUF — Brandon Cano 36 FG, 3:22
TL — Donnell 2 run (Olivares kick), 8:30
TL — Donnell 4 run (Olivares kick), 10:32
LUF — Elijah Moody 5 run (Cano kick), 3:30
First Downs 19 11
Rushes-Yards 39-220 36-121
Passing Yards 164 71
Comp.-Att-Int. 12-18-0 9-18-0
Punts-Ave. 2-43 2-32.5
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-2
Penalties-Yards 12-83 4-35
RUSHING — Legacy, Jamarion Miller 14-142; Bryson Donnell 19-84; Bruce Buckner 5-minus 1; Luke Wolf 1-minus 5. Lufkin, Elijah Moody 16-56; Kedren Young 15-39; Justavian Fann 2-11; Zach Sigler 2-11; Javorie Garrett 1-4.
PASSING — Legacy, Bruce Buckner 12-18-0-164. Lufkin, Elijah Moody 9-18-0-71.
RECEIVING — Legacy, Bryson Donnell 7-129; Jamarion Miller 3-28; KJ Humber 1-10; Aaron Sears 1-minus 3. Lufkin, Cameron Jackson 4-20; Kedren Young 2-16; Amarion Campbell 1-16; Zach Sigler 1-11; Journie Thomas 1-8.