It was an all-too-familiar scenario for the Paschal Panthers – walking off the field after a Friday night game and looking up at the scoreboard to see another loss by a lopsided score.
The Panthers recorded their 18th consecutive loss, falling to the Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets, 41-9.
Junior Gibson Duwe started at quarterback in place of senior Alfredo Retana. Retana had a shoulder injury that he suffered in the final scrimmage of the preseason, Paschal head coach Matt Cook said.
Duwe completed 13 out of 22 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions.
Cook said Duwe performed well under the circumstances, but he was forced to pass more than Cook wanted.
The game started off well for the Panthers when sophomore place-kicker Andrew Vazquez kicked a field goal to end a long opening possession. The Panthers went 59 yards in seven plays, with and a 52-yard pass from Duwe to junior wide receiver Darrell James highlighting the drive.
Later in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets scored a touchdown on a 1-yard sneak from senior quarterback Vincent Berrones to give Heights a 6-3 lead.
The Yellow Jackets scored again in the opening moments of the second quarter on a 4-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Doak Dozier to sophomore wide receiver Brandon Bibbs. A 44-yard run from Dozier set up the score.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff led to another Yellow Jackets’ score, an 8-yard touchdown pass from Berrones to senior running back Sammy Webb to give the Yellow Jackets a 19-3 lead.
Paschal responded with a 13-play touchdown drive that closed the score to 19-9. Ben Noel caught a 19 yard touchdown pass from Duwe, after he converted two long fourth downs with catches earlier in the drive.
Noel had 6 receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in his first game as a senior. Arlington Heights closed the first half with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Dozier to senior wide receiver Devon Doggett to make the score 25-9 Yellow Jackets at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets put the game out of reach with a 21-yard touchdown run from junior running back Kameron Hill to open the second half.
The opening drive of the second half for the Panthers ended with an interception returned for a touchdown by senior defensive back Lenzy Singleton. That score gave Arlington Heights a 38-9 lead.
Paschal had trouble running the ball all night with negative 2 yards on the ground. Heights rushed for 227 yards against the Panther defense.
Both teams struggled with penalties in the game. The teams combined for 20 penalties for 164 yards.
Cook said he believes he needs to coach better to avoid penalties, but the Panthers have to know the rules of the game.
Paschal’s next game is Thursday night against Joshua at Handley Field.