Panthers win first district game
Posted by : October 16, 2013| On :
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–The Mabank Panthers are undefeated in district play.
Sure, the team’s record is only 1-0, but athletic director Jared Wingfield is optimistic about what his Panthers can accomplish this year after defeating the Brownsboro Bears 17-6 on Oct. 11 during the first game in district play at Panther Stadium.
Mabank showed that a solid defense is the strength of the team, raising their record to 2-4 for the season. Brownsboro’s record dropped to 2-4 with the loss.
“Everyone is surprised about the win except us, Wingfield said. “We have always believed we can win, and are not listening to people that say we can’t.”
Wingfield is especially proud of the Panthers stingy defense. They allowed just 33 rushing yards on 25 Bear carries.
“We could have had a shutout,” Wingfield said. “We turned the ball over in our red zone and set them up for an easy score.”
Wingfield awarded the game ball to the defense for their extraordinary effort that included forcing three turnovers, as well as two additional fumbles that coaches say were not ruled as lose balls by referees. Combine those totals and the stellar and stout defense could have given the Panther offense five more possessions.
Offensively the Panthers were lead by running back Clay Gaddis, who ran for 98 yards.
It’s still early in district play, but another Mabank win this week against Canton could be enough to propel the Panthers to their first playoff birth since 2007.
“Well, we try to take everything one week at a time and not get ahead of ourselves,” Wingfield said. “But if we start 2-0 in district, we are nearly guaranteed a spot in the playoffs this year, which would be a major accomplishment for these boys.”
At first glance, Canton’s 1-5 record makes them look like a rather easy opponent. Wingfield, however, knows better.
“A team’s record doesn’t always show how good they are,” he said. “Canton is extremely well-coached and have been playing without their top quarterback, an exciting playmaker that helped the team go 9-2 last year. He will be back in the lineup this Friday. It comes down to the kids playing hard. We believe we can win.”