The final season for the Midlothian Panthers in the "district of doom" was encouraging, to say the least.
Invest a little more stock into upsets of Lancaster and Mansfield Timberview, as well as a strong 7-on-7 campaign that ended late in the state tournament and a profound off-the-field unity, and it'd be easy to say the Panthers laid quite the foundation for one heck of a 2018 campaign.
Midlothian opens the season at 7:30 p.m Friday at home against Carrollton Creekview at Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium. The game — and every game this season — will be broadcasted heard live by the crew of Midlothian Panther radio at www.mhsradio.com or viewed online at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
The NFHS stream does carry a nominal subscription fee and will not air until sometime after 11 p.m. on Friday nights, per UIL rules. Subscriptions will allow fans to watch both Midlothian ISD teams, as well as many others across the state.
The Midlothian Panthers finished last season 4-6 overall and 2-4 in District 10-5A. They were outscored 365 to 456 on the year, but recorded keystone home wins against Lancaster (36-35) and Mansfield Timberview (29-22/OT).
Tate Corbin (26-55, 372 yards, 2 TDs) and Austen Thomas (9-26, 173 yards, 2 TDs) return as the two leading passers from last season.
Though the Panthers are certainly a run-first offense and that much has not changed.
Despite Landry Songer (137-761, 13 TDs) and Marco Peters (97-473, 3 TDs) lost to graduation, the Panthers still return plenty of experience toting the rock. Thomas (127-734, 6 TDs) is the leading ball carrier from one year ago, while Nolan Samek (77-610, 4 TDs) brings back plenty to experience as well. Samek was also the Panthers leading receiver in 2017 with nine catches for 173 yards and one touchdown.
JT Cavender will continue to anchor the Panther defense after he led the team with 76 total tackles and five tackles for loss. Cavender and Austin Adams led the team with three sacks last season.