Coming into Friday night’s battle at Excalibur Stadium, the Austin Panthers were hungry to not only get their first win of the season, but to find some answers to correct their chemistry to have things click on all sides of the football. They lost the first two games by last-minute Field Goals and were blanked by Canutillo last week. Austin definitely wanted to find some sort of momentum as they begin district play in 3 weeks and they face a familiar rival next week.
The Panthers wasted no time scoring, as they started the game with an emphatic 22-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
The Knights answered back early in the 2nd Quarter with a touchdown, to trim the Panther lead, 22-7. Austin wanted to make sure Hanks did get anything started offensively, as the Panthers went into halftime with a resounding 42-14 lead.
The Knights have proven that their offense can be explosive, as they scored 70 points against Irvin last week. However, the Panthers kept the Knights scoreless in the 2nd half with some clutch defense, including 2 key interceptions by Oscar Azpeitia.
The Panthers added a couple of more scores in the 2nd half to secure their first victory of the season, 56-14.
The Panther offense was led by Marc Saenz and Israel Luna – who had 3 scores each.
After the game, Panthers Coach Eric Pichardo talked about the win:
Next week, the Knights (2-2), will have their final tuneup game before district play begins, as they will travel to Burges to take on the Mustangs next Thursday. The Panthers (1-3), will host their rivals, the El Paso High Tigers, for Homecoming night next Friday at R.E. McKee Stadium.
Paul David Oliver Reporting