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Panthers hit speed bump at Colleyville

MHS grabs early lead, but can’t slow opposing QB in first loss of year

Mirror report

GRAPEVINE — Things got off to a great start for the Midlothian Panthers on Friday night at Mustang-Panther Stadium. But the Panthers couldn’t sustain the early momentum, and it resulted in the team’s first loss of the season.

The Panthers (3-1, 1-1) found themselves playing catch-up all night long against Colleyville Heritage, and the Panthers went on to a 45-21 setback in District 4-5A (I) action.

MHS found it hard to match the output of Colleyville quarterback AJ Smith-Shawver, who completed 19 of 27 pass attempts for 407 yards and five touchdowns. Leon Covington (4-173) and Mason Murdock (5-147) each caught two scoring passes.

Eight different rushers touched the ball for the Panthers, but the team managed only 250 yards on the night. De’ago Benson led the way with nine carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, and Ethan Hill ran 10 times for 37 yards and a score. Quarterback Nick de los Santos was 8-of-17 for 107 yards and a touchdown pass to Will Blevins, who finished with four catches for 75 yards.

MHS opened the game by driving 79 yards in 12 plays, a signature Midlothian drive. De los Santos and Blevins connected twice on the drive, the second of which was a 22-yard TD pass at the 5:38 mark of the first quarter. Nicolas Arenare’s PAT made it 7-0.

But Colleyville (3-0, 2-0) needed just one play to tie the game as Smith-Shawver completed a 64-yard pass to Covington. Then, after an interception near midfield, Colleyville used two plays to take the lead, this time on a 31-yard pass to Murdock.

After an exchange of possessions, CHS made it 21-7 early in the second quarter before MHS pulled back to within seven on Hill’s 14-yard score. But with 1:47 remaining, a pair of first-down passes set up Braxton Ash’s 3-yard plunge, and Colleyville led 28-14 at intermission.

Every time MHS put points on the board, Colleyville had an answer, and the same held true in the second half. A 61-yard Dillon Lampkins kick return set up Benson’s 29-yard run, cutting the deficit to 35-21 with 3:36 to go in the third. But that was it for the Panthers as Colleyville added a touchdown and a field goal.

The Panthers will stay on the road this Friday night, traveling to Burleson to take on Centennial in another 4-5A (I) key battle. MHS trails Colleyville and Red Oak by a full game, and Centennial and Mansfield Summit by a half-game in the standings.