Going into Friday night’s matchup against the Bowie Bears, the Austin Panthers knew that they must lock in a win in order to solidify a share of the District 2-5A title.
With a little more than 2 minutes into the game, the Panthers made sure they did not let that opportunity pass them by as they started their season finale with a 32-yard Jayden Wilson Touchdown run to make it 7-0, Panthers.
On their very next drive, Israel Luna got into the scoring mix with a 10-yard Touchdown run with 6:55 left in the opening quarter to make it 14-0, Panthers.Austin had its third straight score with 3:53 left in the First Quarter, this time with a 6-yard Gabriel Lugo Touchdown run to make it 21-0, Panthers.
Still in the 1st Quarter, the Panthers had a fourth player make it into the endzone, as Ivan Gonzalez had the 9-yard Touchdown run to end the 1st Quarter with a commanding 28-0 lead for Austin.
The 2nd Quarter’s sole score came with 5.5 seconds left when Irving Cortinas connected with Oscar Aspeitia for a 27-yard Touchdown pass to send the Panthers with an emphatic 35-0 lead into halftime.
The Panthers suffocated and had an answer for anything the Bear offense attempted. Bowie was very limited on yardage and any sort of big plays that they tried against a stingy Panther defense.
The Panthers had a couple of scores in the 3rd Quarter. The first score came with 7:39 left in the quarter with a 33-yard Ivan Gonzalez run to make it 41-0, Panthers. The other score in the 3rd Quarter for Austin came with a minute and a half left when Jared Gonzalez made a 25-yard Field Goal to give the Panthers a 44-0 advantage.
The game’s final score came with 3:56 left with a 20-yard Diego Coronado Touchdown run to give the Panthers a 51-0 victory.After the game, Austin Head Coach Eric Pichardo was showered with a Gatorade bath when his Panthers celebrated their win.
After Coach Pichardo talked with his team, he obtained a bag and in it was a trophy signifying to his team they earned a share of the District 2-5A title.The Bowie Bears’ season came to an end with an overall record of 1-9 and a district record of 1-5.
The Panthers (7-3, 5-1) will play some more football, as they enter the Bi-District round of the playoffs next week. When asked who they may play next week, Coach Pichardo only hinted by saying, “we have a feeling, it’s the Northeast team, but we will see.”
Here is the full interview with Coach Pichardo:
Here is Panthers player Oscar Aspeitia after the big win:
Paul David Oliver Reporting