Panthers Tougher Than the Elements, Beat Tigers 29-6
Hewitt, Tx. – The JV White Tigers took on the Midway Panthers Thursday in the final game of the season. A victory over the Panthers would have given the Tigers a district championship but the Panthers defended their turf well while outscoring the Tigers 29-6. The Tigers tried hard and got some gutsy performances from several young men but the Panthers were a bit too much.
The Tigers won the toss and under the direction of Hunter Warren, chose to defer their choice to the second half. Midway received the kickoff and began working down the field with mostly the run game. A few passes mixed in and the Panthers took the lead with a touchdown. The try for two was successful and put the Panthers up 8-0. The Tigers had a couple of offensive possessions and moved the ball a little bit to end the quarter.
The second quarter started with the Tigers at their own 40-yard line. A good drive began to take shape with some good runs from Zavier Barnes and Ryan Mckenzie. The big play on the drive came on a short pass to Josh Burrola, who caught the ball and ran it down to around the Midway 10 for a 30-yard gainer. Mckenzie then faked the run and hit Inaky Teran in the short left flat for the touchdown bringing the Tigers to within two points of a tie. The extra point kick was blocked and the score held at 8-6 in favor of Midway.
Against the strong north wind and rain pelting them in the face, the Panthers shook off many would-be tacklers and drove the length of the field for a touchdown to raise the score to 14-6. Adding insult to injury, the Panthers found it necessary to try something this sportscaster has never seen performed live in a game. The Panthers lined up as to kick an extra point but with no holder. The ball was directly snapped to the kicker and “the old drop kick” was attempted. The point after touchdown was unsuccessful and ended the half with a one score lead.
The good news for the Tigers was that they were going to be receiving the second half kickoff and after some adjustments the Tigers were feeling confident about the first drive. It was going to be tough going against the wind and with a well-played kickoff by Midway, the Tigers started around the 15-yard line. First down was a success for 8 yards. Excited about the result of the play, the Tigers went to the run game again but some mishandling of the football resulted in a Panther takeaway. The Panthers wasted no time pushing through the defense to a score and a 21-6 lead.
The final quarter was more of the same with some stalled out drives for the Tigers on offense and a grueling ground game from the Panthers. The Panthers scored a touchdown again and a two-point conversion, must have lost confidence in the drop kick, pushing the score to 29-6. Another drive for the Tigers ended on downs and the Panthers were gracious enough to take a knee deep down in Tiger territory to end the game.
Key players and performances:
Offense: Josh Burrola, Hunter Miles, Scott Butler, Tristan Wolff, Elijah Molano
Defense: Edmond Williams, Jason Blank, Trenton Newby, Riyan Moore, Jacob Samarippa
The JV White Tigers conclude the season with a 5-5 record and 4-2 in district. A huge thank you to all the parents and fans for the support during the season. GO TIGERS!