The Blanco Panthers traveled to Comfort this past Friday with hopes of getting one step closer to clinching a spot in the state play-offs. However, after a late Bobcat rally, the Panthers will have to wait another week to punch their ticket to the play-offs as Comfort defeated Blanco 25 to 20, giving Blanco its first district loss of the season.
The first half of play saw each team trade scores, with Comfort striking first on a 51-yard Reid Barker run. Barker added the PAT to put Comfort ahead 7 to 0 in the opening quarter of play. Blanco answered in the second with a 1-yard plunge by Panther QB Tanner Rogers. Jr. TJ Raby tied the score at 7, after converting the extra point attempt to close out the first half scoring.
Both teams returned for the second half and did no more than trade field position as the score stayed knotted at 7 going into the fourth. However, with one quarter left, both teams’ offenses came to life as the Bobcats started the scoring on a Reid Barker 3-yard run. After missing the extra point, the Bobcats took a 13 to 7 lead. The Panthers answered quickly though, scoring on the second play of the ensuing possession when Rogers connected with TE Travis McClinton for an 80-yard TD. Raby added his second PAT to put the Panthers back on top at 14 to 13. Then, on the Bobcats’next drive, Sr. Gavin Garrow added to his area-leading interception total, grabbing his ninth interception of the season and returning it 33 yards for the score and a 20 to 13 Blanco lead after a missed PAT. With time running out, the Bobcats had to score quickly and get the ball back. Although Comfort took off over 4 minutes on an 11 play 85-yard drive, it ended with Barker’s third TD of the night from 18 yards out. Comfort then went for the lead, only to be stopped short on the 2-point conversion as Blanco held on to a 20 to 19 advantage. On the ensuing kick-off, Comfort converted a successful onside attempt to regain possession of the ball at the Blanco 44 yard line. It took 8 plays for the Bobcats to cover the distance and regain the lead on an 18 yard TD pass, making the score 25 to 20 after falling short on the two point conversion run. The Panthers however threatened driving inside the Bobcat 30 yard line with less than a minute to play before two costly holding penalties and three incomplete passes sealed the Panthers’ fate.
Offensively on the night, Blanco totaled almost 300 yards, with QB Tanner Rogers supplying most of it through the air covering 161 yards while also picking up 40 on the ground. Soph. Tim Goodman also added to the Panthers’ total with 43 yards on 10 carries as Blanco was held to just 10 first downs. On the defensive side of the ball, Blanco forced three interceptions by Gavin Garrow, Ethan Evans, and Weston Copenhaver while giving up just over 350 yards to the Bobcats.
With this loss, Blanco’s record drops to 4 and 4 overall as they prepare to take on the state ranked Lago Vista Vikings in Lago Vista. The Vikings come into the game with a perfect 8 and 0 record on the year, needing just one more win to clinch the district title. Although the Panthers’ loss to Comfort clouds the district play-off picture, Blanco still controls their own destiny and is very much in the hunt for the district crown and a play-off spot.
Kick-off Friday in Lago Vista is set for 7:30pm.