KERENS — The Maypearl Panther football team was in Kerens Friday night where they took on the fleet of foot Bobcats.
The Panther effort was hampered by injuries. And, the team suffered the unfortunate failure of some key personnel to return to the gridiron this season. But, the Panthers played hard for 48 minutes and acquitted themselves well in the 33-14 loss in their season opener.
The Bobcats scored at the first rattle of the box. After the opening kick they lost two yards on first down and went on a 65-yard touchdown romp to take a 7-0 lead with 11:08 still to go in the first quarter.
The Panthers ran the ball pretty well on their first possession. A flag cost them 10 yards and after Darrel Ashlock gained 17 yards on three carries the Panthers had to punt.
The Bobcats failed to move the ball after the Panther punt and Ashlock blocked the Kerens’ punt to give Maypearl possession at the Bobcat 22-yard line. The Panthers tried a 37-yard field goal that failed.
In business at their own 20-yard line, the Bobcats took off on a 80 yard touchdown drive to take a 13-0 lead after the Panthers blocked the extra point attempt with 2:53 left in the first quarter.
After that the Panthers went on a 62-yard drive. The big play was a 37-yard pass completion from freshman Conner Vaughan to wide-out Brett Salter.
Taylor Beck had a 14-yard Panther run. After a punt, the Panthers were in business at their own 7-yard line.
Beck ran for 23-yards and Ashlock ran for 13. Time was the enemy of Maypearl and the first half ended with Kerens leading 13-0.
The Panthers came our to start the second half with a new resolve. After the kickoff Maypearl went on a touchdown drive with Beck and Ashlock sharing the load. The big boys up front - Blake Hodge, Austin Weatherford, Max Boston, Tyler Meranda and Jacob Cooper cleared the way for the 67-yard drive, all on the ground. Beck did the honors with a nine-yard dash to paydirt. The Patrick Hughes extra point kick cut the Bobcat lead to 13-7 with 5:55 left in the third quarter.
Kerens scored quickly and led 19-7 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
Again the Panthers started a touchdown drive after the ensuing kickoff. From their own 37-yard line Beck and Ashlock found holes in the Bobcat line and the Panthers scored with 8:17 left in the game to trail just 19-14.
This time Ashlock crashed into the end zone from six yards out. Another Hughes extra point cut the Bobcat lead to five points.
Kerens scored quickly against a tired Panther defense.
They were good on a two point conversion and after another touchdown late the Panthers blocked the extra point attempt. And the game soon came to an end with Kerens winning 33-14.
The Panthers played hard and the way and put a 30-point underdog prediction to rest.
Maypearl will travel again next Friday when they visit Waco Reicher.