Blanco faced a determined Florence team this past Friday as the Panthers had to battle the elements and a very determined Buffalo team to escape with a 22 to 14 win and improved to 2 and 1 on the season.
The game started with a bang for the Panthers, as QB Tanner Rogers connected for a 45-yard scoring toss to TE Travis McClinton, who was making his first start of the season after returning from an injury. Blanco added a two-point conversion on a pass play from Layton Dworaczyk to Corey Dowlearn to go up 8 to 0. The Panthers continued to pour it on in the first quarter, with the defense adding a score via a 40-yard interception return by Dworaczyk. Cody Barnett added the PAT and the Panthers led 15 to 0 at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter of play, Florence took advantage of a botched punt by the Panthers to take over deep in Blanco territory and get into the end zone with a one-yard pass play. The Buffaloes missed the extra point attempt, but the score was now 15 to 6.
Although the Panther offense began to struggle late in the half, Corey Dowlearn added Blanco’s final score of the night, bulling his way in from four yards out. Barnett again proved successful on the PAT to give Blanco a 22 to 6 lead at the half.
Following halftime, the second half of play saw the Panthers struggle to move the ball, with turnovers playing a key role in killing several drives. However, Blanco’s defense rose to the occasion and forced two more interceptions to help shut down the Buffaloes, although Florence managed to close the gap to 22 to 14 with a 50-yard scoring pass and successful two-point conversion.
Offensively, Dworaczyk led all ball carriers with 157 yards on 31 carriers. Dowlearn followed next in line totaling 66 yards, along with the Panthers’ only rushing TD. As a team, Blanco picked up 274 yards and 20 first downs.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers limited Florence to just 10 first downs and only 35 yards rushing, while Dworaczyk, Dowlearn, and Henry Greathouse each came up with key interceptions.
The Panthers will return home this Friday for their final non-district game against Jarrell. Jarrell comes into the game following a two-week lay-off after last week’s game was canceled due to heavy rains. Kick-off is set for 7:30pm at Panther Stadium.