The 0-8 Paschal Panthers suffered their largest margin of defeat this season, as they were crushed by the 5-3 Arlington Colts, 69-7, on Thursday night at Cravens Field.
Arlington’s starters put on a clinic in the first half, entering halftime with the score 49-0. Out of the Colts’ first 12 plays, four of them resulted in touchdowns. Their offense did not face a third down until 3:27 left in the first quarter.
Running back and three-star recruit Tavarreon Dickerson led the way with six rushes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He showed stunning speed and strength, as his first three carries resulted in runs of 43, 28, and 61 yards, two of which were scores.
Equally impressive was quarterback Josh Greer, another FBS prospect, who matched his season-high for touchdown passes in a game with four. Greer also completed 15 of 24 passes for 206 yards, shrugging off any attempts at pressure from the Panthers’ defensive line.
Although their starters were benched for the second half, the Colts continued to impress. Junior running back Brandon Washington shredded the Panther defense with exceptional speed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries.
“They’re a great team and they play lights-out. We’ll probably see a lot of them playing college ball,” running back and co-captain Matthew Young said.
Paschal could not find any rhythm on either side of the ball for most of the game.
Young shined brightest in a dim performance, scoring the Panthers’ only touchdown in the fourth quarter. Young rushed for a season-high 48 yards on four carries.
“Proud of him, excited for him, happy for him,” head coach Matt Cook said. ”He’s just been a leader all year long. He’s committed, works as hard as he can, and when good things happen to boys like that it’s pleasing to see.”
Despite being under constant pressure from the Colts’ defensive line, quarterback Chris Hanson completed 13 of 27 passes for 116 yards with one interception and one fumble.
“They are just loaded with talent,” Hanson said. “I was really impressed with how their ends came off the ball and shot up field coming for me.”
Cook said he wanted his players to keep this loss in perspective and was proud of the way they played.
“Football teaches a lot of life-skills and hopefully this is one that our boys will take with them for a long time,” Cook said. “We faced a really good football team, maybe one of the best I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching. What I take away from this is that our kids don’t quit. They played hard and that’s all I can ask them to do.”
As Panthers put Thursday’s loss behind them, they will shift their focus to yet another extremely talented district opponent in Arlington Bowie. While injuries have kept the Volunteers out of the spotlight, they are still in the heat of the District 4-5A race and have their share of FBS prospects.
“We have to be on top of our game in practice and do everything perfect,” Hanson said. “We can’t have any turnovers or mistakes to have a chance [to beat Bowie].”
The Panthers’ quest for their first win continues against the Arlington Bowie Volunteers (4-3) on Friday, Oct. 28, at Wilemon Field in Arlington.