The Harper Longhorns were fired up playing their last game of the season at home, and were looking for revenge against the Panthers. After kicking off to the Longhorns, the Panther ‘D’ quickly forced a 3 and out, with Grant Calzoncit and Jake Breeding making tackles for no gain; but the Harper defense proved equally tough in forcing the Panthers to punt for the first time this year on their opening series. The Longhorns, however, weren’t prepared for a 40 yard kick that pinned them at their 6 yard line. On their first play, Dylan Bates recovered a fumble, setting up Blanco’s first score with Aikman Elrod on a 6 yard run; putting the Panthers up 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. After forcing another 3 and out, the Panthers drove inside the 20 with great running from Devlin Moore and Carson Kipp. Aikman Elrod scored on an 18 yard run, giving Blanco a 12-0 halftime lead.
On the 2nd play after the half, Carson Kipp broke out of a pile of Longhorn defenders and raced 47 yards for another Panther TD, and with the 3rd PAT no good, Blanco was up 18-0. After giving up two first downs, Blanco held on a 4th down attempt, and took over at midfield in the fourth. Devlin Moore broke off a 20 yard run, followed by Dru Ramirez and Jake Breeding pounding the ball down to the 15 yard line. The Panthers chose to kneel out the game, with the final score 18-0, giving the 7th grade a 9-0 record. For the season, the 7th grade outscored their opponents 221-16.
The 8th grade defense, led by defensive ends Brian Brecka and Mason LeBlanc, quickly forced a 3 and out after Blanco kicked off to start the game. The Panther offense wasted no time in driving the field, with Grant Eickenloff pounding out gains up the middle, and finally bruising his way in for an 8 yard TD run. Alex Palos dashed around the left side for the PAT, and Blanco went up 8-0. The Panther ‘D’ then forced a Harper punt, and David Ramirez returned the kick 53 yards on an electrifying run for another TD, but the score was nullified by a penalty. After picking up 20 yards on runs by Dakota Perkins and Eickenloff, Alex Palos dashed 30 yards for another TD, giving Blanco a 14-0 halftime lead.
The 3rd quarter would see Harper with three possession opportunities, one coming after a Blanco fumble. But the Panther ‘D’ held on all occasions, and at the start of the final quarter Blanco was still on top 14-0. After driving the field, Eickenloff broke free up the middle for his 2nd TD of the game on an 21 yard run, making the score 20-0. Harper answered with their first drive of the game, resulting in a 14 yard TD run, and with the conversion good, cut Blanco’s lead 20-8. The Panthers recovered an on-side kick attempt at the 44 yard line, and from there David Ramirez scored Blanco’s final TD on a 56 yard run, giving Blanco a 26-8 victory to close out the season at 8-1. The 8th grade finished their Jr. High career with a 16-2 record, and outscored their opponents 206-54 this year.