MAYPEARL — In some football games, it's hard to find the negatives needed to improve for the next week.
The Friday season-opener that pitted Maypearl and Diamond Hill-Jarvis High Schools against each other and ended in a 67-0 defeat of the visiting Eagles at W.G. Roesler Field was one of those games.
"I am not sure winning by such a large margin helps you in the long run," said Tal Sanders, the Maypearl Panthers head football coach. "It does give you confidence, though. Players were overjoyed. Every player wants at least one win like that in their career."
The loss for DHJ, however, was the proverbial other side of the coin. Dating back to last season, the Eagles had lost 10 straight games — five in District 5-4A — before meeting Maypearl on Friday. By falling to the Panthers, the team not only lost game No. 11, they also suffered the eighth straight scoreless loss of 40 points or more.
The last time they scored a touchdown or field goal was on Sept. 25 during a 57-14 loss to Chico High School. Their last win came via a one-point victory against Polytechnic High School in 2012.
The Panthers gained 314 yards of total offense against DHJ, including six touchdowns by six different offensive players. Quarterback Gunner Petty added six of those yards as well as 3-for-7 passing for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
The Panther defense accumulated 38 total tackles, including six tackles for loss. Juniors Chase Reeher, Lonnie Brooks and Tyler Provins led Maypearl in tackles with nine, seven and five each.
"We always try to have the players prepared but we had no idea it would turn out like that," Sanders said. "You always prepare like its is your first game and you get to celebrate over the weekend, but when Monday comes that's over. It is a new day. "Even when you win big, you can always make improvements. When watching video you find where you missed blocking assignment on offense and alignments on defense. You can always get better."
The Panthers will face a tougher opponent when they welcome Grace Preparatory Academy (0-0) to Maypearl at 7:30 p.m. Friday at W.G. Roesler Field. The Lions finished 7-3 overall in 2015 (3-3 in TAPPS District 1) and earned four of their seven victories by margins of 40 points or greater.