The 8th graders played away this week, visiting an expected tough opponent, the Marion Bulldogs. The first half displayed high-powered offense by both teams, with each one scoring on each possession… almost. The leading rusher for Blanco was Adrian Dominguez, stacking up 180 rushing yards; altogether, the Panthers combined for over 370 yards of offense.
The Panthers started first by putting together a quick dive to go on top 6 – 0; however, the Bulldogs answered right back and marched down to put up 6 of their own. Neither team was able to get the extra point. The Panthers’ next drive started from Marion’s 35, thanks to a big kickoff return by Chase Horton. Two plays later, the Panthers ran a reverse with running back Eddie Torres dashing 35 yards for Blanco’s 2nd TD and going up 12-6. Marion was quick to respond with another touchdown, putting the score at 12 each. The Panthers’ next drive started at their 34. First, a carry by running back Eddie Dominguez up the middle for 6 yards, then quarterback Jordan Wagner got sacked for 5 yards but came right back and launched a bomb to Eddie Torres, good for a 65-yard touchdown; extra point no good. The Panthers up 18-12. The Bulldogs’ next drive started at their 30 and again they answered with their own touchdown drive, tying the score [again] 18-18. With about 3 minutes left in the second period, the Bulldogs successfully executed an onside kick and regained possession at their 49 yard line, but an interception by corner back Trent Dechert ended their drive. Blanco’s offense picked up at the Bulldogs’ 47 and, with little time left, the Panthers successfully executed the last scoring drive of the first half. This time the extra point was good, putting the Panthers out front 26-18 at the half.
The 2nd half began with the Bulldogs’ offense starting at their 37 yard line, but a fumble recovered by Adrian Dominguez ended that drive. Blanco took over at their 30 and on the first play running back Adrian Dominguez bounced outside for 70 yards for the touchdown, extra point good, Blanco out front 34-18. The Bulldogs’ next drive took them as far as Blanco’s 25, but it ended with another fumble, this time recovered by defensive lineman Hugo Rodriguez. The Panthers burned the clock on their last drive, marching the ball all the way down to Marion’s 5 yard line, but with only seconds left on the clock, Blanco elected to kneel down and run out the clock, with the final score being Panthers 34, Bulldogs 18.
Offense Stats: Dominguez – 12 carries for 180 yards, 2 touchdowns; Torres – 3 carries for 60 yards, 2 reception for 70 yards, 3 touchdowns; Horton – 1 carry for 23 yards; Ronces – 4 carries for 37 yards; Wagner – passing 2 for 3 for 70 yards.