Friday night’s matchup between the Austin Panthers and Riverside Rangers locked in who is the front-runner in District 1-4A Division 1. The game had to be relocated to Bowie’s Baty-Simang Stadium, due to lighting issues at Austin’s R.E. McKee Stadium.
With this much-anticipated matchup, both teams knew this was by far the biggest game of their season. The first score of the game came with 1:08 remaining in the opening quarter when Austin’s Jayden Wilson had a monstrous and powered 16-yard Touchdown run to put the Panthers up, 7-0.
Riverside answered back at the start of the 2nd Quarter to tie the game, 7-7.
With penalties and turnovers haunting both teams in the first half, Riverside’s Angel Munoz connected with Adrian Estrada in the latter part of the 2nd Quarter and sent the Rangers in with a slim 14-7 lead at halftime.
The 3rd Quarter also was a defensive battle between both teams and key penalties held them out of the endzone for the majority of the quarter. Then, with 49 seconds left in the 3rd, Austin’s Jayden Wilson had a spectacular Touchdown as he ran the ball, had it knocked out of his hands, it bounced off a defender right back into his hands, he got the ball and ran it in for a jaw-dropping 28-yard Touchdown run. The Panthers attempted a 2-point conversion, but missed, leaving the Panthers with a 14-13 deficit.
With a little less than 1 minute into the 4th Quarter, Riverside’s Adrian Estrada answered back with an explosive 63-yard dash to the endzone to make it 20-13, Rangers. Riverside was able to hold the Panthers on their next drive. It took Riverside less than 2 minutes to score, once again, when Ian Montion found Jose Guardado for a 36-yard Touchdown pass to give the Rangers the 27-13 lead.
The final score of the game came with 1:33 left in the game, when Riverside’s Adrian Estrada found paydirt with a 3-yard Touchdown run. The Rangers were victorious in this key District 1-4A Division 1 matchup, 33-13.
The Rangers (8-1, 3-0), will have a Bye next week. The Panthers (3-5, 1-1), will look to bounce back next week, as they will visit the Bowie Bears.
Story by Paul David Oliver