NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Monday might have been a holiday for schools, but the football players for Lufkin and Nacogdoches were on the field preparing for the 101st Angelina River Rivalry game.
The two teams will meet up Friday night at Dragon Stadium where both look to get in the win column after losing week 1. Nacogdoches to Kilgore 17-14 and Lufkin to Longview 24-21.
"It was a tough game, " Nacogdoches quarterback Jake Smith said. “We had a lot of mental errors in the game. Hopefully we can come out and fix those. Every day is a work day so we have to get better. We are going to be a lot better. Wehave been watching the Lufkin film and preparing.”
“We have to get physically and mentally ready,” Lufkin quarterback Jordan Moore said. “At the same time we have to be smart and know what to do at any point of the game.”
Lufkin leads the overall series 71-23-6.
“It is a great rivalry,” Lufkin head coach Todd Quick said. “It is real real close. The kids know each other. When you are that close and familiar with each other they are going to play hard and we are going to play hard too.”
Nacogdoches head coach Darren Allmen is new to the rivalry game but in his time at Brownwood, Odesa Permian and Austin Westlake he had plenty of rivalry games.
“My first rivalry game was at Brownwood and we were playing Stephenville,” Allmen said. “It was so loud the coaches could not hear each other talking about the plays. It brings out some of the old fans that don’t go to every game. it is a momentum builder because you win that rivalry game and a lot of teams come out of those rivalry wins and get on long runs.”
Lufkin has hosted the last two matchups so a change in venue is nice for the Nacogdoches players.
“I have been looking forward to this the whole year," Smith said. "Finally getting to play Lufkin here. I am looking forward to the home crowd.
Lufkin is not ready to let the team north of the river get win No.24 in the storied rivalry.
“We got to come out and hit them in the mouth and let them know we are the better team,” Moore said.
The game between Lufkin and Nacogdoches will kickoff 7:30 pm Friday night at Dragon Stadium.