The Paschal Panthers played a rough game both mentally and physically Friday night, losing to the Azle Hornets 28-6 at Hornet Field.
The game featured 16 total penalties, including eight in the first quarter. Despite a solid start, the Panthers couldn’t keep control of the game. On the first drive the Panthers executed a fake punt to kick-start the offense. But the team failed to capitalize on Hornet personal fouls and only came away a field goal.
Both teams had trouble maintaining their composure as eight personal fouls were called throughout the game.
“Penalties came at inopportune times and that’s something that needs to change,” senior quarterback Chris Hanson said.
The Panther offense had trouble in the red zone and even more trouble inside the 5. For the second time this season the Panthers failed to get into the end zone. A bright spot for the Panther offense is newly added sophomore running back Justin Woodard. Recently called up from the junior varsity, Woodard got the bulk of the carries and provided speed and efficiency in the running game –something the Panthers have lacked so far this season.
Woodard’s night was highlighted by a 50-yard run in the second quarter.
“I give all credit to my offensive line and downfield blocking,” Woodard said. “They did a great job for me all night. They opened up holes for me and I tried to finish all my runs.”
The Panther defense kept Paschal in the game for three quarters. The Panthers have allowed more than 40 points in their first two games, but Friday the defense held Azle to just 28 points.
Senior captain Andrew Pillow recorded three tackles for loss, including a sack and a timely stop on third down.
“Our M.O. is keeping the little things in mind while limiting mistakes,” Pillow said.
Even allowing just a couple of big plays, the Panthers had trouble stopping the Hornets’ consistent running game. The Hornet offense was led by running back Zach Wood and quarterback Corbyn Koiner, who continued to break off solid gains all game. Koiner completed the rare feat of recording a rushing, receiving, and passing touchdown.
Zach Wood played both sides of the ball Friday night, making his presence felt in both the Azle backfield and the Panther backfield. Wood had a sack in the fourth quarter that put any Panther comeback out of reach.
Paschal, who has a bye week next week, hopes to have receiver/kick returner Ben Noel back in the lineup and another solid game from Woodard.