Panthers lose in final seconds

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Paschal lost a heartbreaker to Weatherford on Friday, going down to defeat on a last-second field goal, 31-28.

The loss was tough because the Panthers played as well they could play, Panther head coach Matt Cook said.

The loss drops Paschal to 2-5 and 0-4 in the district. Weatherford improved to 2-5 and got its first win in district play.

Paschal took its first drive into Weatherford territory, but sophomore kicker Christian Vazquez missed a 35-yard field goal.

On the Kangaroos’ first possession, senior linebacker Marcus Nava recovered a fumble from senior quarterback Colton Mallory and returned it 65 yards to the Weatherford 5 yard line. Junior running back Darrell James then scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run.

The Kangaroos scored a touchdown on their next drive to tie the game on a 5-yard run by junior slot back Chris Whitling.

The Panthers took the lead in the second quarter on a 9-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback William Floyd to senior wide receiver Ben Noel. The play started in a formation where the entire offensive line, with the exception of the center, positioned itself wide to the left.

“What do we have to lose?” Cook said.

The Panthers were able to use more trick plays because they had an extra day of practice, he said.

Noel caught 9 passes for 104 yards.

Weatherford tied the game with 25 seconds left in the first half on a 13-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Grant Wertz to junior slot back Fred Brownlee.

The Kangaroos drove deep into Panther territory on their first drive of the second half. Mallory then fumbled the ball away to Paschal at the Panther 5-yard line.

Floyd threw an interception to senior defensive back Jaakan Norwood on the ensuing drive.

Junior quarterback Gibson Duwe was available, Cook said, but he did not play.

The Kangaroos then took their first lead of the game. Freshman running back Jeuqwan Brownlee scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-14 Weatherford.
Jeuqwan Brownlee then lost a fumble at the Weatherford 15-yard line on the Kangaroos’ next possession. Weatherford then forced the Panthers turn the ball over on downs.

The Kangaroos turned the ball over again on a bad snap on their own 14-yard line. James converted the turnover into a touchdown on a 2-yard run to tie the game early in the fourth quarter.

James rushed 26 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

On the Weatherford’s next drive, Wertz scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run to give the Kangaroos a 28-21 lead with five minutes to go in the game,

The Panthers then mounted an 11-play drive, which ended with a game-tying touchdown pass from Floyd to senior running back Matt Armendarez. The score came with1:39 left in the game.

Floyd grew up a lot on that drive, Cook said.

Floyd completed 21 of 35 passes for 184 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Weatherford then took its final drive to the Paschal 12-yard line and junior kicker Trey Rich kicked the game-winning 29-yard field goal with 6 seconds left.

Paschal’s next game is against Arlington on Thursday at Clark Stadium.

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