The Canyon Lake Hawks used an efficient and effective passing game to amass over 300 yards through the air and avenge last year’s 63 to 0 season opening loss to the Panthers by coming from behind to claim a 21 to 14 victory. Although Blanco scored first, and then regained the lead in the second half, the Panthers could not hold on for the win.
After kicking off to start the game, Blanco’s defense started strong with the first play of the season, resulting in a Matt Pepper sack for an eight yard loss. Senior LB Corey Dowlearn also picked up the season’s first turnover for Blanco with a drive killing interception. However, the Panthers would not fair much better as they were forced to punt after going three and out on their first three possessions. Defensively, though, Blanco was able to shut down the Hawks’ ground game while LB Ethan Evans scored the Panthers’ first touchdown on a 54 yard interception return. Cody Barnett added the extra point to give Blanco a 7 to 0 lead at the end of the first quarter. As the second quarter began, Canyon Lake wasted little time in tying the game on a three yard scoring run and extra point to close out a 15 play, 86 yard drive.
Blanco opened the second half with a 10 play, 54 yard drive, only to fumble deep in Canyon Lake territory. The Panthers managed to reclaim the lead on their next possession, as Corey Dowlearn found the end zone on a 28 yard run to complete an 8 play, 59 yard drive. Barnett added his second PAT of the night and Blanco led 14 to 7 going into the final quarter. However, the Hawks answered with two long drives of their own. After finishing off a 6 play, 75 yard drive with an eight yard scoring pass to tie the game, Canyon Lake answered again with a 28 yard TD pass to complete a 7 play, 82 yard drive and took the lead with just over eight minutes to play. Finally, Blanco managed to threaten on its last possession, driving deep into Hawks’ territory with less than a minute to play, only to see their hopes of a comeback disappear with an interception at the two yard line.
On the offensive side of the ball, Blanco picked up 229 yards and 16 first downs. Layton Dworaczyk led all rushers with 89 yards on 18 carries to pick up the bulk of the Panthers’ 161 yards on the ground.
Defensively, the Panthers forced three turnovers, interceptions by Dowlearn and Evans, in addition to a David Hostetler fumble recovery, while also allowing just 26 yards on the ground. Also having a strong night was Matt Pepper, who totaled three quarterback sacks.
Blanco will now return home with hopes of winning its home opener as the Panthers host the Luling Eagles this Friday at 7:30pm. Luling will come into the game looking for their first win of the season as well, following last week’s 53 to 20 loss to Wimberley.