Benson, Panthers run past Centennial
Junior running back accounts for 2 touchdowns as MHS bounces back strongly after near-upset
The Midlothian Panthers played turnover-free football, were solid on defense and turned junior running back De’ago Benson loose. It all added up to a District 4-5A (I) victory on Friday night at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.
Benson ran for 157 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown and added a receiving score as the Panthers topped Burleson Centennial, 29-7, to put themselves solidly in the playoff chase following a near-upset of Colleyville Heritage the week before.
Kaden Smith and Jordon Richburg added a rushing TD each for MHS, and Carsen Bates added a TD pass on a trick play to Benson.
On defense, the Panthers (3-3, 2-1) held the Spartans to 214 total yards and had three takeaways. Tylor Knighton led the team with eight tackles, and
sophomore Bradyn Smith recorded a sack and two tackles for losses.
The Panthers forced an interception on the game’s opening series that was returned to the 25-yard line, setting up Smith’s 8-yard touchdown six plays later for a 6-0 lead after the PAT was blocked.
After an exchange of punts, the Panthers put together an 80-yard, 12-play drive and made it a 12-0 advantage early in the second quarter as Benson did the honors on a 14-yard run. The 2-point conversion attempt was stopped.
Centennial (1-5, 0-3) answered on the following drive, with quarterback Iverson Moore throwing to Kwab Agyei for a 20-yard touchdown to put the Spartans on the scoreboard.
But a 73-yard return of the ensuing kickoff by Xavionte Jackson set up MHS nicely, and with 30 seconds left in the half, wide receiver Bates took a pitch and threw it to Benson for an 18-yard scoring play. The point-after by Tyson Williams sent the Panthers into halftime on top, 19-7.
The second half was a defensive battle, but the Panthers were still able to widen the winning gap. Williams kicked a 25-yard field goal late in the third quarter; and a Centennial fumble at its own 41 set up Richburg’s 5-yard touchdown run to close out the night.
The Panthers will travel to rival Red Oak on Friday for another key district contest. The Hawks (1-5, 1-2) are coming off a 48-21 loss to Colleyville Heritage. Kickoff at Billy Goodloe Stadium is set for 7 p.m.