Paschal High School’s freshman football team lit up the scoreboard during the team’s opening game of the season.

The Panthers lined up against the South Hills Scorpions for the first game, which began at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Paschal High and ended with a final score of 54-0 in favor of the Panthers.

The home team’s bleachers filled with spectators and banners proclaimed, among other things, “Stomp on the Scorps” as the game kicked off.  Meanwhile, purple clad cheerleaders shook pom-poms and built human pyramids near the sidelines.

MaryJane Martinez was in the crowd.

“My son is a freshman,” she said. “I told him I’d be here for his first game.”

Martinez said her son, Adam Bushey, #51, is the team’s starting center, and her daughter helps manage the team. Martinez said the two are usually at the school by 6:15 a.m.

By half-time, the Panthers led the Scorpions 44-0.

“This is my son’s first year,” Latisha Cornelius said. “He’s on the Paschal team.”

Cornelius' son, Rodney Stubbs, wears the #40 jersey.

Cornelius commented on the huge show of support Paschal had compared to the sparseness of fans seated on the opposing team’s bleachers.

“Bless their hearts,” she said.

Paschal’s head coach, Matt Cook, wrote in an email that the team played well defensively and was also very productive throwing the ball.

“We played as a team,” he wrote. “[We] worked very hard in the offseason, and it paid off.”

The school's junior varsity team played following the freshmen and were also victorious, Cook wrote, with a final score of 42-0.