Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Plano West loses 24-point lead but scores with 1:12 left and holds off Lufkin, 55-52, in regional semis
WACO — Plano West scored the winning touchdown with 1:12 remaining and survived a game-tying field goal attempt as time expired in a 55-52 victory over Lufkin in a Class 5A Division II regional semifinal at Waco ISD Stadium. West (9-4) advances to play Austin Westlake (9-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD.
West drove 75 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run by sophomore running back Sotonye Jamabo. Lufkin coach Todd Quick said it was a “tough decision” to have defenders let Jamabo into the end zone “but odds are they’re going to score and run out the clock.”
Lufkin’s strategy worked well enough to advance to West’s 12-yard line with three seconds remaining, but a 29-yard field goal attempt to go into overtime was pushed right after a high snap and shaky hold affected the timing.
West had built a 48-24 lead early in the third quarter but had to put together a rally itself as Lufkin took a 52-48 lead with 3:28 left.
Led by Jamabo’s combination of strength and speed, including a 32-yard run to the Lufkin 4-yard line, West’s final drive was similar to high-scoring playoffs wins over Lake Highlands and South Garland.
“We’ve had games like this,” Jamabo said. “You just have to keep the pressure on the pedal. We never think about letting up.”
A 6-2, 190-pounder, Jamabo has sparked the Wolves’ school-best playoff run. His three touchdowns against Lufkin gave him 13 for three playoff games. Coaches from Ohio State and Texas A&M were among the colleges visiting West this week to check in on Jamabo, who had touchdown runs of 28, 2 and 1 yards and totaled 162 yards on 22 carries.
With Lufkin focusing on Jamabo, West rolled up 584 yards. West scored on its first seven possessions to lead 41-24 at halftime. After an early third-quarter interception, West quarterback Travis Korry scored on a 2-yard turn for a 48-24 lead. Korry was 15-of-24 passing for 250 yards.
Junior running back Auston Anderson had 145 yards and two touchdowns. Jamabo, Anderson and Korry totaled seven rushing touchdowns. West won in first downs 31-25 in an offensive duel, but Lufkin had more total yards, 615-584.
Lufkin rallied behind speedy junior receiver Jabryce Taylor’s 237 yards with three touchdowns on nine catches. Lufkin trailed by 17 points until late in the third quarter. He had touchdown catches for 55, 33 and 47 yards.
West built up its lead with field position, set up by defensive backs Logan Caillouet, Davis Roeschke and Collin Eberle. West scored 17 points after turnovers.
“This is a credit to the kids and the assistant coaches,” West coach Mike Hughes said. “We had so many make big plays when we needed them.”