The Blanco Panthers and Johnson City Eagles met for the first time in a long time to revive their rivalry on the football field this past Friday night. After a scoreless first quarter, it looked like fans were in store for a hard-fought game. However, the Panthers scored three times in both the second and third quarters to pull out an easy victory and clinch a spot in the state play-offs.
After struggling to move the ball in the opening quarter of play, Blanco came to life in the second quarter as Sam Isenberg, Tim Goodman and Colton Childress all scored on runs of 15, 41 and 63 yards respectively. Isenberg passed to Colton Elrod for the first two-point conversion, while Aikman Elrod converted two PATs to give the Panthers a 22 to 0 lead. The Eagles managed to avoid the shut-out as Preston Workman capped off a 6-play 68-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run; however, a missed extra point kick left JC at 6.
The second half began the same way the first half ended, with Blanco scoring three times in the third quarter. Goodman and Childress each scored for a second time, with Goodman bulling his way in from 3 yards out, Childress scoring on a 10-yard run. Isenberg then connected with Quin Dillard on a 13-yard TD pass. Although the Panthers failed on the first two-point conversion, Elrod remained perfect on the night, making both PATs on the Panthers’ final two scores to complete the scoring and give Blanco a 42 to 6 win.
Offensively, Blanco totaled 390 yards for the night, with Tim Goodman and Colton Childress each rushing for over 100 yards and 2 TDs. Goodman led all rushers with 154 yards on 18 carries, while Childress totaled 121 yards on 8 carries. As a team, the Panthers also picked up 21 first downs on the night.
On the defensive side of the ball, Blanco kept the Eagles under 170 yards for the game, while allowing just 8 first downs and forcing two turnovers, a McKay Adamson interception and a Noah Tresselt fumble recovery. The Panthers also forced JC to punt 6 times.
With the victory, Blanco improves to 6 and 3 on the season and 4 and 1 in district play, while also clinching second place in the district. The Panthers will travel to San Antonio this week to take on the Randolph Ro-Hawks in their final regular season game before starting the play-offs next week. At this time, the Panthers will most likely see Danbury in the bi-district round of the state play-offs; however, nothing is official at this time, as Danbury still has to win this week. Kick-off for the Panthers at Randolph is set for 7:30pm.