After two straight losses to Comfort and Lago Vista, the Panther football team was faced with a must win situation this past Friday when they hosted the Luling Eagles in their final home game of the season. Although Blanco held a slim lead at the half, the Panthers pulled away in the third and fourth quarters to post a 36 to 7 win and clinch second place in District 13-AA behind Lago Vista. With Blanco’s win, Luling and Comfort were eliminated from play-off contention leaving Marion with 3rd place as the Bulldogs defeated Ingram.
The Panthers started strong against Luling, driving 68 yards on 12 plays to open the game with Sophomore Tim Goodman completing the drive with a 15 yard run. Blanco scored again in the second quarter when QB Tanner Rogers connected with Kyle Garrow for a 36 yard TD. Although Blanco failed to convert either PAT, the Panthers held an early 12 to 0 lead before Luling scored on a 4 yard pass play. A successful extra point by the Eagles cut into the Panther lead and made the halftime score 12 to 7.
Blanco returned for the second half and dominated the remainder of the game, scoring 24 unanswered points. The first of four scores in the last half came on the arm of Tanner Rogers as he found SE Grant Weaver for a 23 yard score. Kyle Holmes then added TD runs of 5 and 10 yards with Gavin Garrow adding a 10 yard scoring run as well. Blanco’s extra point woes continued as the Panthers failed to convert all four attempts. However, the 6 Panther TD’s proved too much for the Eagles to overcome as Blanco closed out the game with a 36 to 7 win.
Offensively, Blanco totaled almost 400 yards in the game. Leading the way for Blanco was Kyle Holmes and Tim Goodman totaling 93 and 91 yards respectively. QB Tanner Rogers continued his strong season finishing with 123 yards on 7 completions and 2 touchdowns. On the defensive side for the Panthers, Blanco held the Eagles to less than 200 yards and forced 3 turnovers, a Mike Garza fumble recovery and interceptions by Gavin Garrow and Ecce Bradfute.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 5 and 5 on the year and close out district play at 3 and 2. Blanco will now begin preparations for Vanderbilt Industrial. The Panthers have faced the Cobras (7 and 3) twice in recent years defeating them both times in the play-offs. Kick-off is set for this Friday in Halletsville at 7:30pm.