Paschal is getting tired of district play.
The Panthers (3-1, 0-1) haven’t won a district game since 2009 and have been the bottom feeder of District 3-5A since realignment before the 2010 season.
Tonight, they look for that elusive district victory against Arlington Bowie (3-1, 1-0), a team that beat the Panthers 63-3 a year ago. This year, though, they’re a different team.
Coming off a 61-51 shootout loss to Arlington Sam Houston, Paschal is looking for their defense to step up against another high-powered offense. A balanced attack fuels the Volunteer offense, which has tallied more than 50 points twice this season.
To illustrate the balance on offense, Bowie has two players over 200 yards rushing and two quarterbacks over 170 yards passing this season.
Hybrid player Tony James had three TD’s through the air last week against Dallas Skyline in a losing effort, and racked up 144 yards and 4 TD’s on the ground the week before in a win against Mesquite.
For Paschal, their offense has had no problem scoring points in their first four games. Averaging over 48 points per game, the offense excels via the breakout performances of sophomore quarterback Dylan Thomas and star wideout Darrell James.
Defensively, the Panthers were solid through the first three games, posting a shutout and only allowing three touchdowns. In the district opener last week, however, it was a familiar scene for Paschal fans as they allowed 61 points to Sam Houston. QB Ervin Hill accounted for eight TD’s and stumped the Panther defense all night.
But this week is a new week for Paschal.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Arlington Bowie will have their hands full with the most potent offense Paschal has fielded in recent history. The Panthers have been able to spread the scoring around in the first four games, so stopping either the run or pass game isn’t necessarily the answer. So far this year, it seems the only way to beat the Panthers is to outscore them.
Unfortunately for the Paschal defense, they are facing a statistically more potent offense this week than they did last week. No one player has racked up impressive yardage through four games for Bowie, and they have a playmaker-by-committee mentality. When one person goes down, like starting quarterback Keaton Perry in the second game, the backup can step in and can lead the team to victory. For the Panthers, it might be as simple as outscoring the Volunteers by once again letting the offense shine.
Prediction: The Panther defense will step in and force a key stop or turnover late in the game to seal victory for Paschal. The Panthers will top the Volunteers, 48-42, for their first district win since 2009.