The 2011 Panther football season kicked off at Canyon Lake High School this past Friday. After a fast start by the visiting Panthers, Blanco was unable to find the end zone again while the Hawks scored twice in the second half to pull off a 14 to 7 victory.
After a 26 yard kick-off return by Weston Copenhaver to open the game, QB Tanner Rogers connected with Copenhaver on the Panther’s first offensive play for a 49-yard pass play. Blanco completed the six play 74-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run by Tim Goodman. TJ Raby added the extra point to give the Panthers an early 7 to 0 lead.
Blanco held the lead until late in the third quarter when the Hawks’ QB Branson Belcher scored on a three-yard run with 49 seconds left. Jake Robinson followed with the extra point to tie the game at 7 each. The Panthers managed several drives throughout the game, only to come up short. Blanco’s final threat went down to the Hawks’ 10 yard line before turning the ball over on downs. Canyon Lake eventually took advantage of good field position and drove 33 yards on just three plays to score the deciding touchdown on a 13-yard run by Edwardo Calvarubias. Robinson converted his second PAT of the night and the Hawks held on for a 14 to 7 win to start the season.
For the Panthers, Weston Copenhaver led the way with 116 all-purpose yards. Tim Goodman added 108 yards on the ground on 18 carries, while Tanner Rogers connected on 7 of 14 passes to five different receivers for 104 yards. As a team, Blanco picked up 13 first downs and over 260 yards.
Defensively, the Panthers allowed 306 yards, most of which came in the second half on two long runs by the Hawks. Colton Childress was credited with the Panthers’ first take-away on an interception that he returned 21 yards. As a unit, the Panther defense forced three punts and held the Hawks on downs three times as well.
Blanco will again be on the road this week as they travel to Lexington to take on the #10 ranked 2A team in the state. Lexington also lost in their opener as they fell to Smithville last week on the road. Kick-off is set for 7:30pm.