The eighth-grade Panthers looked to start the new season where they left off last year-undefeated. Alex Juarez provided the initial spark by returning the opening kick-off 55 yards into Lion territory. Aikman Elrod completed passes to Devlin Moore and McKay Adamson, and Logan Dodd scampered 22 yards on a counter to the end zone, putting Blanco up 6-0. The Lions answered quickly with a 60-yard touchdown pass, but Carson Kipp stopped the 2-point try with an outstanding solo tackle. In the second quarter, the Panthers answered with a 35-yard touchdown run by Elrod, giving the Panthers a 12-6 edge at the half.
Blanco added to the lead with a 10-yard touchdown run by Elrod in the fourth, but the Lions responded by scoring on a trick play to narrow the score to 18-12 late in the game. Blanco recovered an on-side kick and ran out the clock to end the game victorious.
The Panther secondary had outstanding play from Colton Perkins, who knocked down several deep passes and intercepted one, along with Alex Juarez who made a pick as well. McKay Adamson showed great hands with two receptions for 51 yards, and Kyle Gray shone on special teams. Carson Kipp shredded the Lion defense throughout the game, gaining 116 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Panthers travel to Sonora to face the Broncos for game #2.