A sluggish first half couldn’t keep the Blanco Panthers from improving to 4 and 0 on the year as they traveled to Jarrell and spoiled the Cougar’s homecoming. Following a slow first half, which saw both teams go to the locker rooms knotted at 6 a piece, the Panthers would roar back in the second half to claim a 32 to 20 victory to finish their non-district schedule undefeated.
With a little offense and a lot of defense in the first half of play, Blanco managed to find the end zone just once at the start of the second quarter via a 45 yard touchdown run from Layton Dworaczyk. The Cougars struck back at the end of the half on a one yard run that was set up by a 59 yard pass play. With both teams failing to convert their extra point attempts, the score was 6 to 6 at the half.
For the first time this year, the Panthers were facing a fight as they came out for the second half. It wouldn’t take long for the Panthers to answer as Blanco scored on its first three possessions of the second half. Seniors Derek Tesch and Kevin Gray each picked up a touchdown on runs of two and one yards respectively to help put the Panthers ahead. Once again, Blanco had trouble converting the two point conversions, but would lead 18 to 6 going into the fourth quarter.
In the final quarter of play, Dworaczyk and Gray each managed to score their second touchdowns of the night on runs of three and five yards a piece. Kicker Dal Dechert converted both PAT’s. The Cougars also managed to do the same in the period, putting two scores on the board. However, it would prove to be too little too late, as Blanco ran out the clock to remain perfect on the season.
Statistically, Layton Dworaczyk would lead the way for Blanco with 116 yards rushing on nine carries. Gray also topped the 100 yard mark with 111. Quarterback Derek Tesch accounted for an additional 72 yards on the ground, while Anthony Vela and Hunter Elrod would also contribute to the Panthers’ 375 yards rushing. On the night, Blanco finished with 400 yards in offense, picking up 25 first downs, while the Panther defense held Jarrell to just twelve first downs and less than 100 yards rushing.
The Panthers will now bring their 4 and 0 record and #10 state ranking back home for homecoming this week to take on the Randolph Ro-Hawks in the District 27-AA opener. Randolph comes into the game with a 1 and 3 record following a 28 to 7 loss to Navarro last week. Kick-off is set for 7:30pm.