No. 6 Colleyville holds Panthers at arm’s length

Upset bid on home field falls short as Panthers endure first district loss

Mirror report
Colleyville Heritage senior running back Isaac Shabay (3) stiff-arms a Midlothian defender during Friday night's District 4-5A (I) game at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.

The Midlothian Panthers gave a yeoman effort on defense against state-ranked Colleyville Heritage on Friday night in front of a crowd of pink at Don Floyd Field at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.

The visitors, though, were just as solid against the hosts’ triple-option run attack.

Colleyville scored the winning touchdown on Weston Smith’s 25-yard pass to Braden Blueitt with about 5 minutes left to cap an 11-play, 67-yard drive to lead the 5A Division I No. 6 tourists to a 10-7 win over MHS.

“What an exciting game Friday night (against) Colleyville Heritage,“ MHS head coach Doug Wendel said Sunday night in his Inside the Huddle newsletter. “I was so proud of the Panthers effort, resilience, and the way we continued to fight together as a team! The defense had a special performance (against) a prolific offense.”

The battle of Panthers in a District 4-5A (I) contest was billed as MHS’ “Pink Out” game in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The American flag leads the Midlothian Panthers onto the field before the start of the Panthers' "Pink Out" football game against Colleyville Heritage at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.

The end result leaves Colleyville and 2020 state semifinalist Mansfield Summit as the only 2-0 teams in district play, with MHS (2-3, 1-1) in a four-team jumble in the middle.

Midlothian took a 7-3 lead early in the fourth quarter on junior prospect De’ago Benson’s run before Colleyville’s winning drive. On MHS’ final drive, the homestanding blue Panthers turned the ball over on downs at the Colleyville 43-yard line.

MHS completed only one pass all night, to Michael Garber for 34 yards from Chad Ragle.

Benson, who was injured two weeks ago scoring a touchdown and sat out last week’s 31-7 rout at Birdville, returned to the lineup and gained 101 yards and a TD on 18 carries.

Colleyville opened the night with a decent drive that ended with a 21-yard Bryan Hansen field goal with less than three minutes elapsed.  Little would anyone know this would be the halftime score as the game settled into trench warfare.

MHS crossed midfield once in the first half on a 12-yard Kaden Smith run, but the Panthers turned the ball over on the next play.

The good guys got the ball to start the second half and drove all the way to the 4-yard line, but an incomplete pass, a rushing loss and a bad field-goal snap to tie the contest ended the threat.

A recovered fumble near midfield on the penultimate play of the third stanza gave MHS new life, and the Panthers finally were able to cash in. Ragle hit Garber for the only MHS aerial completion of the night, and two rushes later, Benson stood in the promised land for the first Midlo lead, 7-3, in the fourth quarter.

Colleyville, though, drove 67 yards on 11 plays for the game-winning pass. Midlothian’s last-gasp drive crossed midfield on a 27-yard Benson gainer, but ran out of steam at the Colleyville 43 in the final minute on a fourth-and-6 incompletion.

The Panthers will remain at the soon-to-be-expanded MISD Multipurpose Stadium against rebuilding Burleson Centennial at 7 p.m. this Friday.

The Spartans are on a four-game slide and lost a homecoming stunner last week to Birdville, which rallied from 19 points down in the second half to pull out a 40-39 win. Centennial scored in the final minute, but missed the game-tying extra point.

“We have lost to 3 teams by a combined 12 points,” Wendel said. “All three of those teams currently sit in first place in their districts. We have played good teams. We have to learn from our loss and own it. But, we believe we are a good team too!!”