After opening the 2009 season with a disappointing loss to Canyon Lake, Blanco returned home and picked up their first win of the year against the visiting Luling Eagles. The Panther ground game proved to be too much for the Eagles, as the Panthers racked up over 400 yards on 58 carries with Senior Layton Dworaczyk leading all rushers with over 300 yards.
The first quarter of play set the pace of the game with the Eagles and Panthers trading scores all night. Luling was the first to strike pay dirt when, following a 72 yard interception return, the Eagles scored on a 13 yard run to go up 6 to 0 following a failed PAT. Blanco answered on the ensuing drive, going 72 yards in 9 plays to tie the game on a Dworaczyk seven yard run. Blanco would also be unsuccessful on its PAT. Finally, with the quarter winding down, Luling scored once more on a 29 yard pass play. This time, the Eagles converted the point after to take a 13 to 7 lead at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Blanco benefited from excellent field position after forcing an Eagle fumble to score on just three plays from 19 yards out, as Dworaczyk bulled his way in from 9 yards. The Panthers still struggled with their PAT, leaving the score at 13 to 12. On the Eagles next possession, Luling added to its lead after completing a 9 play, 62 yard drive ending with a two yard scoring pass. Once again, Luling added the extra point and extended their lead to 20 to 12. However, with time running down in the half, Blanco tied the game once again with Dworaczyk’s third score of the half on a six yard run to complete a 7 play, 61 yard drive. This time, Dworaczyk ensured that the Panthers did not leave any points out on the field as he added the two point conversion himself to knot the score at 20 as the first half came to an end.
The second half saw the pace of the game slow down a bit with each team scoring just once in the third. Luling began the second half in much the same fashion as the first, by reclaiming the lead on a nine yard run. Blanco, however, blocked the extra point attempt to keep the score at 26 to 20. Then, with time running down in the third quarter, Blanco drove 66 yards to tie the game on a Dworaczyk two yard run, then took their first lead of the night on a successful PAT by Cody Barnett to end the quarter with a 27 to 26 lead.
Finally, Blanco closed out the game with some added insurance in the fourth as Dworaczyk added another two yard scoring run for the half. Although Blanco failed on the point after attempt, the Panthers had extended their lead to 7 points at 33 to 26. However, the Eagles threatened one more time, driving deep into Panther territory only to see their hopes of tying or winning the game fall short on a pass play into the end zone on 4th and long. From here, Blanco ran out the clock and evened its season record at 1 and 1 with a hard fought 33 to 26 victory.
Offensively, Layton Dworaczyk scored 32 of the Panthers’ 33 points with five touchdowns and a two point conversion run, while rushing for 317 yards on 39 carries. Corey Dowlearn added to the Panther ground attack, picking up 60 yards on just nine touches. As a team, the Panthers picked up 29 first downs and 420 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Blanco limited the Eagles to 16 first downs, while also forcing two turnovers and holding Luling to less than 300 yards for the night.
Blanco will now return to the road, traveling to Florence this Friday to take on the 1 and 1 Buffaloes. Florence comes into the game after a lopsided loss to Crawford last week. Kick-off is set for 7:30pm.