Two touchdowns: That's all the Midlothian Panthers allowed Friday night in a rain-soaked homecoming win against Arlington Seguin.
It is also about what the Panther defense has allowed per game so far this season en route to a 4-0 record and 2-0 start to District 5-5A.
Midlothian, behind 417 total yards of offense and 41 points in the second and third quarters, blew out the Seguin Cougars at Midlothian ISD Stadium on Friday night after several lightning delays, 55-14.
After the game, Midlothian head football coach Doug Wendell said the focus of the Panthers all week was just that — "focus," which was paramount during the almost two-hour rain delay.
"We handled that type of adversity pretty good," Wendell said. "Our execution on offense, for the most part, was pretty good with the exception of the high-low on, I think, the second play of the game and we had to punt that series. I was really pleased with our offense and I thought the defense really came around and settled in.
"We still have a ways to go with our kicking game a little bit but, overall, I am really pleased with where we are at. The games will get harder and harder each week and we have a big opponent next week. We have to keep getting better."
The Panthers carried the football 48 times for 328 yards (6.8 yards-per-carry) and only lost one fumble during the rainy conditions during the victory.
Nolan Samek led the way for the Panthers with 72 yards on five carries and one touchdown, while quarterback Austen Thomas scored three times on his eight carries for 37 yards.
Ethan Hill (8-44) and Jeremy Mccoy (5-42) also scored on the ground for Midlothian. Laine Martin led the team with 13 carries and picked up 67 yards on the evening.
"With the weather that we had, we still handled the ball really well," Wendell said. "I thought Austen and our center, Brandon Weis, who had his first start tonight, did a good job. Really, everyone on offense did what they were supposed to do."
Thomas finished 3-of-4 through the air for 29 yards and Tate Corbin completed his two passes for 60 yards and one touchdown to Wesley Lowe (1-32).
On defense, JT Cavender again led the Panthers with 10 total tackles. Kaleb Tompkins added seven total tackles, which included two for a loss, but it was the four tackles for loss tallied by junior Nick Pollard that led the Midlothian "Blue Storm" against Seguin.
Branton Huffman recorded the lone Panther sack (6-yard loss), Avery Gibson pulled down an interception and Jonathan Cox recovered a fumble.
Riley Angel also blocked one Cougar field goal.
Samek was a perfect 7-for-7 on his point-after-touchdown attempts.
The victory against Seguin also continued the first undefeated mark for the Panthers through the opening four weeks since 2012 when Midlothian started 5-0. The Panthers finished that season 7-4 after a bi-district loss to Hewitt Midway under now-Midlothian Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton.
The Panthers face (3-1, 1-1) Burleson Centennial in a matchup of flexbone offenses at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The Spartans enter the game having averaged 32.8 points per game while surrendering 36.5. Their defense has allowed opponents 232.2 yards per contest and the offense has mustered just 187.5.
Burleson Centennial lost its first district ballgame to Aledo (63-16) and then defeated Everman (35-8). The Spartans have also defeated Corsicana (28-26) and Denison (52-49) during their non-district schedule.
In his weekly newsletter, Wendell said the game against Centennial is one the coaches have eyed since the district pairings were released.
"This game is going to be critical to our postseason goals," he explained. "Offensively, the Spartans run the same offense we do, the flexbone. They have some speed and are very efficient in running the offense. Defensively, they have based out of a four-man front, and have really good defensive ends that we will need to account for to find success on offense. This game will be a true test of our playoff caliber!."
LAST TIME OUT
The Midlothian Panthers ran for over 300 yards in a dominating road win Friday against Joshua to open the district schedule.
Isaac Houston led the Panthers with 99 yards on six carries and Nolan Samek added 98 more yards on eight carries during the 48-30 win.
Both Houston and Samek scored rushing touchdowns for the Panthers. The two were joined in the rushing-touchdown department by Austen Thomas (20-40) and Ethan Hill (9-63).
Thomas also completed two passes — both for touchdowns — to Samek (1-74) and Caleb Mosier (1-15).
JT Cavender led the Panthers defense with 12 total tackles, while Avery Gibson, Nate Humpherys added eight.
Gibson, Cavender, Jayton Deleon, Riley Angel, Isaac Brown and Humpherys all added one tackle-for-loss, while Angel recorded a blocked field goal and a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Nolan Samek was a perfect 6-for-6 on extra point attempts.
Midlothian is now 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in District 5-5A.
It is the first undefeated mark for the Panthers through the opening three weeks since 2012 when Midlothian started 5-0. The Panthers finished that season 7-4 after a bi-district loss to Hewitt Midway under now-Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton.
In his weekly newsletter, Midlothian head football coach Doug Wendell said the victory "was not pretty." He added the Saturday film session gave the Panthers a "renewed sense of urgency."
"We talk to our team a lot about what we want our opponents to say about us. We want them to say the Panthers played hard, played together as a team, and were a tough team. I can say that about Joshua. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the game plan they had as well as how hard the Owls played," Wendell stated. "Even with all the mistakes, we scored 48 points, the defense gave up 23 and has only given up 37 for the year.
"[...] Obviously, there were plenty of positives as well. The most important being we accomplished the second of our team goals, which was to win the first district ball game."
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.