Paschal Panthers shut out in season opener

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Mistakes and turnovers plagued the Paschal Panthers as they were shut out 52-0 by the Birdville Hawks Thursday night at Farrington Field.

The game was over shortly after it started, as Birdville finished the first quarter with a 28-0 lead. The Hawks’ offense was unstoppable, powered by their one-two punch at running back of Tyler Klutts and Xavier Turner. Klutts finished the game with 122 rushing yards and four touchdowns and Turner turned in 115 yards and one touchdown.

The key factor in Birdville’s victory was the Hawks’ ability to capitalize on Paschal’s mistakes. Poor snaps and ball security by the Panthers led to two lost fumbles in the first half, one of which resulted in a 47-yard recovery for a touchdown by Birdville’s Cody Frye. Defensive back Andrew Miller also had an impressive defensive performance, grabbing two interceptions.

Paschal finished the game with five turnovers. Paschal Head Coach Matt Cook said he wants his team to be more detail-oriented and take better care of the football as the season progresses.

Paschal’s offense struggled to find any rhythm, posting a less-than-meager 15 yards rushing in the first half. The Panthers finished the game with only 141 yards of total offense.

Paschal showed signs of life in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 46-yard pass from Quarterback Chris Hanson to Rory Ginsburg. However, the drive ended in a missed field goal.

“We’ve got to put together first downs. That’s the big deal,” Cook said. “We put our defense in a jam.”

Despite only 33 total yards rushing, perhaps the biggest surprise on Paschal’s offense was senior running back Jamison Spearman, who showed exceptional speed on two carries for 24 yards. Cook said that fans should expect to see much more of Spearman in the coming weeks.

“We’ve just got to come out faster and stronger,” said Quarterback Chris Hanson. “It’s the little things that kill us. We just have to keep working.”

Hanson went 9 for 21 with 108 yards passing and threw three interceptions. After Thursday’s rough outing, he anticipates a much better performance next Saturday.

The 0-1 Panthers look to rebound next week when they continue non-district play against the Burleson Elks on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Farrington Field. Hanson recalled that last season his best offensive performance came against Burleson. He said he hopes that will be the case again this year.
 

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