The Paschal Panthers remained winless after a 52-12 loss to the Arlington Lamar Vikings Friday night.
The first few possessions were promising for the Panther defense, but the Vikings’ balanced running attack and potent passing game proved too much to handle. Arlington Lamar quarterback Conner Berry passed for 210 yards while remaining a threat in the run game.
Berry is also the Arlington Lamar punter, but he was only forced to punt once.
Although the Vikings lacked big plays, the offense remained consistent throughout the night, wearing down the Panther defense with long drives.
“We had trouble stopping them on third and fourth down. That’s unacceptable. It’s something we will be ready for next week,” senior captain Andrew Pillow said.
The Panther defense was also led by senior Ben Hoyt and junior Alfredo Retana. Retana displayed his athleticism by recovering a fumble from the ground early in the game. He was thrown to the ground by an offensive lineman, but still managed to stretch out his hand and grab the loose ball.
The Paschal offense, still trying to find its identity, struggled to run the ball but found its groove in the passing game. Senior Chris Hanson passed for 180 yards with the bulk of it going to junior Ben Noel, who caught 5 passes for 74 yards. Noel is two weeks back from an injured finger.
“The finger feels fine now, and glad to be out here with my boys,” said receiver Ben Noel.
The Panthers relied heavily on Hanson and the passing game due to the ineffectiveness of the running game. The leading rusher was Justin Woodard, who finished with just 7 carries for 12, but did manage to get in the end zone.
The passing game mainly consisted of short- to mid-range passes, but Hanson connected with senior Rory Ginsburg on a 50-yard touchdown pass late in the game. In the third quarter Ben Noel made a miraculous catch along the sideline to keep a drive alive on third down. On the next play Hanson scrambled to the 1-yard line, where Woodard punched it in for six.
Next week is Homecoming for the Panthers as they welcome the Weatherford Kangaroos (1-5, 0-3) into Farrington Field for a district 4-5A clash.
“It will be a spirited game, and I know our boys will be fired up like they are every week,” head coach Matt Cook said after the game. “It will be something special; the game is at our house. It should be a good night.”