After allowing Van Vleck to be the first opponent to score on the Panthers in 5 weeks and the first to take an early lead, Blanco settled down and went on to defeat the Leopards 18-7 to claim the Bi-District Championship and advance to face the Taft Greyhounds in the Area round of the play-offs.
The Leopards scored on their first offensive drive of the night on an 8 yard run to take a 7-0 lead following the PAT in the first quarter of play. Blanco finally came to life and answered with two scores of their own in the second quarter on a 4 yard pass play from Jordon Wagner to Jared Mayfield and a 14 yard Ryan Ronces' run. The Panthers failed on both extra point attempts leaving the score at 12-7 going into halftime.
Following an uneventful third quarter, in the fourth quarter the Leopards threatened to take the lead late in the game before Cross Caldwell grabbed a deflected pass and return it 52 yards for the touchdown to help seal the victory for the Panthers, even though another missed PAT would keep the final score at 18-7.
Although the Panther offense struggled at times, Blanco still managed to pick up over 250 yards and 18 first downs with Ryan Ronces leading the way on the ground with 124 yards on 23 carries. Eddie Torres and Chase Horton contributed 38 and 32 yards, respectively, while Jordon Wagner completed passes to Jared Mayfield, Aaron Uballe and Kelby Cox for another 44 yards.
Defensively, the Panthers held Van Vleck to 232 yards and 12 first downs, while forcing 4 punts and 3 interceptions. Of the 3 INT's, each proved to be crucial as Jordon Wagner was credited with the first at midfield to set up the Panthers with great field position, followed by Cross Caldwell's game clinching interception and Justin Requenes' game ending INT.
The Panthers will now prepare for a rematch of last year's Area round play-off game versus the Taft Greyhounds. Taft comes into the game following a 48-27 win over Freer and will no doubt be looking to get even with the Panthers for ending their season last year. The game is set for Friday at Gustafson Stadium in San Antonio at 7:30 pm.

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