For the second year in a row, the Midlothian Panthers blew out their opponent in the first game of the season.
Now the Panthers will look to build on that momentum Friday night when they host Keller Timber Creek.
Midlothian rolled Waxahachie to the tune of 49-14 last week, but its head coach wasn’t 100 percent pleased with the performance.
“The game might have looked clean up in the stands, but we saw a couple things that still need a little bit more work,” Midlothian head coach Lee Wiginton said. “But that’s what the first game is for. We won, but our goal these first few games is to get better for district and go win a district title.”
What worked almost 100 percent of the time was the Panther ground game. Midlothian racked up 365 yards on the ground thanks to big plays from Victor Williams (140 yards) and Najee Mustafaa (109 yards).
“When things are going that well for those guys, the blocking must be doing something right,” Wiginton said. “If you come to our practices, you’ll see a lot more of our guys working on blocking than catching passes.”
That week of blocking practice helped the Panthers get ready to face the Keller Timber Creek Falcons at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
While Midlothian may not have been perfect, it was more successful than Timber Creek was last week. The Falcons were shut out in the first half, but rallied to take a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Then a long touchdown pass and a safety resulted in a 16-13 loss to Byron Nelson.
Timber Creek struggled to move the ball, as it only mustered 244 yards of offense, 161 of which came on the ground. The Falcons averaged less than four yards per play.
While four yards per play would generally mean a first down every drive, Midlothian mustered 9.8 yards per play last week while rolling against Waxahachie.
This will be the first home game of the season for Midlothian. It will also be the first time the Panthers have been at home since the regular season finale last year, a one-point loss to Cedar Hill.
Midlothian went to Keller last year and came away with a 42-34 victory in a back-and-forth game. The Panthers never trailed, but their lead was threatened several times, especially late in the game. Timber Creek’s possible game-tying drive in the final minutes stalled as Midlothian got the win.
Last year, Timber Creek accumulated 454 yards of offense, 282 yards on the ground.
Midlothian had 471 yards of offense, 425 on the ground. Look for another rushing heavy game this week.
Timber Creek’s team last year suffered a big loss when star running back Cedric Dale transferred schools to Lewisville Hebron. A similar situation happened to Waxahachie this summer when its star running back moved to Lewisville.
But don’t expect any sympathy from the Panthers, who graduated their top running back and quarterback. Their leading wide receiver Brendan Cornell was injured last week and didn’t participate in the Waxahachie game, so that’s another hit to the offense.