After dropping their first two district contests to Rogers and Schulenburg and stuck in a four-game losing streak, the Blanco Panthers traveled to Jarrell to take on the 6 and 1 Cougars, who, like Rogers and Schulenburg, were undefeated in district play. Although the first two quarters of play were evenly matched, the Panthers blew open the game after halftime to bring home a much needed 36 to 15 win.
The first quarter proved to be the only scoring to be had in the first half as each team traded scores, with Blanco striking first on an 80-yard run by Logan Dodd. McKay Adamson then passed to Alex Palos for the 2-point conversion to give Blanco an 8-0 lead with just under 2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter of play. However, the Cougars answered on the ensuing possession, driving 51 yards on 4 plays to score on a 21-yard run with just 23 seconds remaining. After a successful PAT, the score at the half was 8-7 in favor of Blanco.
Following halftime, the Panthers returned and played by far their best half of football in the past 5 weeks, as they scored 28 unanswered points to pull away for the victory. Adrian Dominguez scored the first TD of the second half on a strong 36-yard run. Adamson then added the 2-point conversion run to extend Blanco’s lead to 16-7. After a quick 3 and out by the Panther “D,” Blanco scored quickly on a 42-yard run by Colton Elrod. Although the 2-point conversion attempt failed, the Panthers now led 22-7 at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter of play saw Colton Elrod add two more touchdowns on back-to-back possessions as he scored on runs of 2 and 11 yards. Blanco converted 1 of 2 conversion attempts when Adamson passed to Palos. The Cougars managed one final score on an 84-yard kick-off return and then added a 2-point conversion. However, it proved to be too little too late as Blanco closed out the final seconds for a 36 to 15 win.
Offensively, Blanco picked up over 400 yards in offense, with Logan Dodd and Adrian Dominquez rushing for 106 and 103 yards respectively. Colton Elrod followed closely adding 86 yards on the ground. As a team, the Panthers picked up 24 first downs.
On the defensive side of the ball, Blanco limited the Cougars to just 127 yards in offense and only 5 first downs, none in the second half. The Panthers also forced 3 turnovers, a fumble recovery by Jake Breeding, and interceptions by Dodd and John Hodge.
With the win, Blanco improves to 3 and 4 on the season and 1 and 2 in district play. The Panthers return home this week to host the Lexington Eagles. A win would put the Panthers in sole possession of third place and in excellent position to wrap up a play-off spot the following week at Johnson City. Kick-off this Friday at Panther Stadium is set for 7:30 pm.