Following this past Friday’s 49 to 14 loss at the hands of the Lago Vista Vikings, the Blanco Panthers must win this Friday against the Luling Eagles to secure a spot in the state play-offs. The loss to the Vikings drops the Panthers to 4 and 5 on the year, while evening their district mark at 2 and 2.
The game at Lago Vista started well for the Panthers as Blanco took the opening kick-off and drove 57 yards in 10 plays, eating 5:33 on the clock to take a 7 to 0 lead on a Tanner Rogers 1-yard run, followed by a TJ Raby extra point. However, the Panthers’ lead was short-lived as the Vikings answered on their next two drives, scoring on the first play of each drive on runs of 56 and 34 yards. Lago added a third score before the end of the first quarter on a 37-yard run to end the opening quarter of play with a 21 to 7 lead. Blanco closed the gap late in the second quarter on a 13-yard pass play from Rogers to Kyle Garrow. Following Raby’s second PAT of the night, the score going into halftime looked to be 21 to 14. However, the Vikings drove 61 yards in just 5 plays to score on a 20-yard pass play just before the half. Another successful extra point gave the Vikings a 28 to 14 lead at the break.
The second half of play proved to be all Lago Vista, as the Vikings added three more scores on runs of 2, 41 and 6 yards while holding the Panthers to just 4 first downs in the half. Although Blanco threatened to score again on the game’s final drive, Blanco came up short as time ran out in a 49 to 14 Viking win.
Offensively, Blanco picked up almost 300 yards on the night to go along with 12 first downs. Sophomore Tim Goodman led the way on the ground, gaining 72 yards on 24 carries, while Tanner Rogers accounted for both of Blanco’s scores, 1 passing and 1 rushing, while completing 9 passes for 159 yards through the air. On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers gave up 20 first downs and over 480 yards to the Vikings while forcing one turnover, an Ethan Evans fumble recovery.
With the victory, Lago Vista clinches the District 13-AA Championship while improving to 9 and 0 on the year and securing a first round bye in the play-offs. Blanco, who will host the Luling Eagles this Friday, will need to win to lock down second place in the district. Kick-off at Panther stadium is set for 7:30pm.