The 8th grade Panthers roared into Lago Vista to see which 6-0 team was most deserving of their record. Playing an undefeated team on their home turf was tough enough, but the Panthers also faced a Lago Vista officiating crew that threw unsubstantiated flags for Panther penalties throughout the game.
Nonetheless, Blanco took the opening kick-off and easily marched down to the Viking 7 yard line, but turned the ball over on downs. The Vikings gained one yard on three plays and punted, but the common yellow flag gave Lago a first down to try again. This time the Vikings had negative 8 yards on three plays, with Jake Breeding making a key solo tackle for a 12-yard loss. After forcing another punt, Blanco marched down to the Viking 1 yard line behind tough running from Carson Kipp, and Aikman Elrod bulled his way in for the first Panther TD, making the score 6-0. The Panther ‘D’ forced another 3 and out, with McKay Adamson making a solo tackle for a 6-yard loss. Adamson then took a reverse for 27 yards down to the Viking 31, but time expired for halftime.
Lago received the second half kick and drove to the Panther 24, but a hit by Aikman Elrod caused a fumble, recovered by Blanco’s Grant Garrow. After enduring more penalty flags and faced with 3rd and 14, Kyle Gray picked up 15 yards and a first down on another reverse play. Aikman Elrod picked up 27 yards on two carries, with the second being a 7-yard TD run, putting Blanco up 12-0 at the end of the third quarter. On the Vikings’ next drive, Elrod forced another fumble, this time recovered by Carson Kipp. The Lago defense stiffened and forced a fourth down on Blanco’s 36 yard line, but the Panthers executed a perfect fake punt, with Devlin Moore going 47 yards deep into Viking territory. Carson Kipp again provided tough running down to the 5 yard line, and from there Elrod passed to Devlin Moore for another TD. Kyle Gray kicked a perfect PAT, putting the score at 19-0.
Kipp eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark again, this time gaining 109 yards on 17 carries in leading the Panthers rushing attack. Along with Breeding and Adamson, Grant Calzoncit, Grant Garrow, and Alex Juarez played great defense in forcing the first shutout for the Vikings this year, as they were held to 79 yards of total offense for the game. The 8th graders moved to 7-0 on the year, and will face the Luling Eagles at home in Blanco for their final game of the year.