For the second year in a row, the Blanco Panthers defeated the Vanderbilt Industrial Cobras to advance to the Region IV Championship Game. The Panthers scored four times in the first half to build a lead the Cobras could never catch. In collecting their 12th win of the year, Blanco will now face Refugio in a rematch of last year’s regional championship, which the Panthers won 27 to 7.
After turning the ball over on downs on their initial possession, Blanco would score on their next two offensive drives with QB Tanner Rogers hitting TE Travis McClinton for the game’s first TD from 49 yards out.
Rogers would add the two point conversion run himself to give Blanco an 8 to 0 lead early. The Panthers’ defense would follow up forcing an Industrial fumble, which was recovered by LB Ethan Evans, giving Blanco excellent field position at the Cobras’ 13 yard line.
From here, the Panthers would waste little time in adding another score, as senior Layton Dworaczyk would bull his way across the goal line on Blanco’s second play of the drive.
Rogers would then pass to Kyle Garrow to increase the Panther lead to 16 to 0 at the end of the first quarter.
Blanco would open the second quarter with Tanner Rogers finding Travis McClinton for another long score covering 61 yards.
Following a failed PAT, the Panther lead was now 22 to 0. On the ensuing possession, Industrial would finally manage to find some offense putting together a long drive to get on the score board with an 8 yard pass play.
After a successful two point conversion pass, the Cobras were on the board cutting the Blanco lead to 22 to 8 with just seconds remaining in the half.
However, following an excellent kick off return by Dworaczyk to set up the Panthers at mid field, Blanco would cover the remaining 47 yards in just 4 plays and 39 seconds with Rogers pushing his way into the end zone from a yard out with only 10 seconds left in the half.
Although the Panthers would fail on their second consecutive PAT, the halftime score was increased to 28 to 8.
The second half would see each team struggle offensively with Industrial managing another score in the third quarter on a 31 yard pass play. However, a failed extra point attempt would close out the Cobras’ scoring at 14.
Blanco would then answer with a TD as Kyle Garrow would score from 4 yards out with just seconds remaining in the game.
Blanco’s conversion pass would fall incomplete leaving the final score at 34 to 14.
For the game, Blanco’s offense would pick up 399 yards and 15 first downs.
Leading the way for the Panthers would be Layton Dworaczyk with 159 yards on 24 carries, in addition to picking up another 96 yards on 6 returns.
QB Tanner Rogers would also have a solid night connecting on 5 of 10 passes for 130 yards and 2 TD’s, in addition to rushing for another score and playing a role in both of Blanco’s successful two point conversion attempts.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers would hold the Cobras to 13 first downs and 252 yards of offense, while forcing 8 punts, 1 turnover, and causing Industrial to turn the ball over on downs 3 times.
Blanco will now prepare for their toughest game of the year as they travel to Victoria on Friday to take on Refugio.
The state ranked Bobcats come into the game at 13 and 0 following last weeks 21 to 14 win over Altair Rice. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm.