MESQUITE — Midlothian High School, despite more than 300 yards rushing, fell 46-37 in its season opener against Mesquite Poteet High School Friday at E.H. Hanby Stadium.
Poteet (1-0), which entered the game ranked No. 12 by Dave Cambell's Texas Football, gained an early first quarter advantage after Seth McGowan scored on a 2-yard run that closed an 11-play touchdown drive.
Two series later, though, Midlothian deadlocked the score at 7-7 after Thomas Kirk scooped up McGowan's fumble and returned it 93 yards to the end zone.
After the Panther defense held the Pirates to a Dylan Brown 22-yard field goal, Midlothian struck again — this time on an 11-play drive capped by Nolan Samek's second quarter 12-yard touchdown run.
While John Rodgers' 19-yard rumble — his only run of the game — whittled the deficit to five points, and quarterback Cam Lampkin's 11-yard strike to Tristan Golightly extended it.
Karl Andrews Jr.'s interception of Austen Thomas and 3-yard pick-6 made it 39-21 in favor of Mesquite Poteet. Thomas had a hand in both scores that brought Midlothian within nine points of tying the game.
Both touchdowns, a 9-yard run and 6-yard pass to Marco Peters, came during the fourth quarter.
The Panthers rushed for 342 yards on 57 carries and picked up 22 first downs during the loss. Thomas (21 rush, 104 yds) Samek (10 rush, 104 yards) were responsible for two of Midlothian's four offensive touchdowns.
Defensively, 14 players recorded at least one tackle for Midlothian during the matchup. While J.T. Cavender led with 17 tackles (14 solo), Morgan Michalka (7) and junior Logan Adams (4) added 11 of the team's total of 48.
Tyger Barnes, Corbin Bagby and Marshall Hodges had three apiece. Samek, who operated as the team's primary kicker, hit all three of his extra-point attempts.
The Panthers were without starting fullback and leading leading rusher Landry Songer, who missed the season opener due to an injury. He rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries and scored both of Midlothian's touchdowns during last season's 32-16 loss to the Pirates.
The (0-1) Panthers are scheduled to face Richardson High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday at MISD Multi-Purpose Stadium during its home opener.
The Panthers won last year's matchup — their only victory of the season — 52-15 on Sept. 2 at Eagle-Mustang Stadium. Richardson (0-1) lost 48-6 to Naaman Forest on Friday.
Marcus S. Marion is the sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror. He can be reached by phone at (469) 517-1456 or across social media platforms @MarcusSMarion.