ARLINGTON– It was a rainy Thursday night, but the game still had to be played. Paschal was looking to end its six game losing streak, while Arlington was looking to finish off the year with a winning district record.
After forcing a Paschal three and out, Arlington was held to what was thought to be a 3 and out of their own. Instead, Arlington elected to go for it on 4th down on their opening drive of the game from their own 34 yard line. They failed to pick up the first down and gave the Panthers great field position.
The Panthers were unable to do anything with that great field position and after losing 6 yards on the drive, they elected to punt the ball back over to the Colts. Colt QB Colton Day led them down the field, connecting on 5 passes for 75 yards, including the final pass for 6 yards and a touchdown. He found Rashad Anderson open and put the Colts up 7-0 with 5:09 remaining in the opening quarter.
Another quick three and out for Paschal gave the Colts the ball right back and in Panther territory. Their next drive started from the Panthers 36 yard line and they didn’t take long to get right back in the end zone again. This time Kenland McCray ran the ball in from 1 yard out to give the Colts a 14-0 advantage with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
On their next possession, it would be the Panthers who would strike quickly, taking only two plays to score on the drive. After a 9 yard completion on first down, Edwin Allen finished off the drive with a 51 yard run to pay dirt. The Panthers now trailed 14-7 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
Not to be outdone, the Colts answered right back with another scoring drive of their own, also only taking two plays. After a 7 yard rush on first down, Day connected with Ronterrius Williams for a 71 yard passing score to push the Colt lead back up to 14 points. The score was now 21-7 with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
The first quarter came to a close with the score of 21-7 in favor of Arlington.
The next Panther drive came to an end when Cooper Bates fumbled the ball and the Colts recovered it and took it back to the Panther 14 yard line. Paschal’s defense would come up with a stop and held the Colts to only a field goal. After the Chris Naggar 25 yard field goal was successful, the Colts held a 24-7 lead with 9:17 left in the second quarter.
For the second consecutive drive, Arlington would force and recover a Paschal fumble and yet again begin another drive already in Panther territory. One play later, Day hooked up with D’Montae Davis for a 44 yard pass and another Colt touchdown. The rout was on and the score was now 31-7 with 6:52 remaining in the second quarter.
Paschal was putting together a nice drive on their next possession, but as the rain picked up, it also brought on a lightening delay and put a pause on the drive. After about a 45 minute lightening delay, the two teams resumed playing and it was decided that there would be no halftime break due to the delay.
Paschal got the action back underway facing a 3rd and 25 from the Colt 34 yard line. Two incomplete Bates passes turned the ball back over to the Colts and once again they wasted little time putting up more points. On third down, Alan Braxton broke free on a 66 yard run and picked up right where they left off before the delay. That score now put the Colts up 38-7 with 1:20 left in the first half.
The second quarter came to an end and the Colts held a 31 point over the Panthers, 38-7.
The Colts received the ball first in the second half and they kept pouring it on. Day led them right back down the field and they put up yet another touchdown. Day connected with Anderson again, this time on a 35 yard touchdown pass to put the Colts up 45-7 with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter. The pass was tipped by another Colt player as well as a Paschal defender and Anderson was able to keep his eye on the ball and bring it in.
The Panthers looked to be back in business as they were able to pick up two first downs to begin their next drive and move to the ball to midfield, but a QB sack on a third down stalled the drive. They elected to go for it on 4th down but Bates was unable to connect with his receiver and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs on their own 41 yard line.
Three plays later, the Panthers would come up with a stop as they intercepted a Day pass and took over on their own 20 yard line. Paschal could not take advantage of the turnover and they were forced to a quick three and out. On 4th down, Paschal was set up to punt the ball back over to the Colts, but the snap on the play sailed out of the end zone for a Colt safety. The score was now at 47-7 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
Four plays later, the Colts found themselves in the end zone again. Day and Anderson linked up for their third touchdown from 20 yards out to give the Colts a 54-7 advantage with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
Paschal answered right back with a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff as Kaylon Geiger returned the ball 92 yards for the Panthers second score of the night. The Panthers now trailed 14-54 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
The third quarter came to an end with the Colts leading the Panthers 54-14.
It was at this point that Arlington put in its reserves.
The Colts reserves picked up right where the starters left off and drove the ball right down into Panther territory. It looked like they were going to score, but the drive stalled at the Panther 18 yard line and they settled for a field goal attempt. The kick was missed and the score remained the same. Paschal took over at their own 20 yard line.
Paschal was able to drive the ball all the way down to the Colts 10 yard line before turning the ball over on downs on their next drive.
After picking up two first downs, the Colts drive stalled and they were forced to punt the ball back over to the Panthers. A bad snap on the punt saw the ball go all the way back to the Colt 3 yard line, the Colts were able to recover, but the Panthers took over since it was 4th down. The Panthers took over at the Colt 3 yard line with just under 3 minutes remaining in the game and their season.
Two plays later Geiger got his second touchdown of the game when he ran the ball in from 3 yards out. After a missed extra point, the score was now 20-54 in favor of Arlington with 2:37 remaining in the game.
The Colts ran the ball four straight times on the next drive to run the remaining clock out in the game. The final score was 54-20 as Arlington topped Paschal to improve to 5-5 overall and 4-3 in district play. Paschal finished the year 3-7 overall and 0-7 in district play and closed the season with a 7 game losing streak.
Writers note: I wanted to take this time to say thank you to the Fort Worth Paschal school, coaching staff and all of the players for allowing me to cover them and helping me out whenever I was in need. I want to give a special thank you and wish a speedy recovery to QB Dylan Thomas and a very special thank you to Reilly Fox, for both allowing me to interview them for my “Cerda-Fied Talks” series. Also, one final thank you to offensive line coach Bobby Tapia.