The Van Alstyne Panthers had too many weapons firing in their arsenal last Friday night in Caddo Mills as they kicked off the District 6-2A (I) season with a 35-27 win over the Foxes.
Caddo Mills came into this game on the heels of its first win of the season, a 20-14 victory over Nevada Community. After losing 2012 all-district performer Daxx Hill to injury, the Foxes’ offense was in the capable hands of senior quarterback Eric Richards. Richards had his best game of the season against the Panthers, or at least the best three quarters.
The Foxes ran off 54 plays in this contest and Richards had a hand in 46 of those efforts, completing 14-of-22 passes and running the ball 24 times. His offensive numbers for the night were an impressive 320 yards. But Richards had thrown at least one interception in each of the teams’ first four games and that trend continued.
Van Alstyne got two fourth-quarter interceptions by Kearon Redmon — one supremely athletic play returned for a touchdown — on its way to the win.
The Panthers also got a pair of rushing touchdowns from quarterback Alex Phillips. Running backs Terry Lawrence and Dont’e Kehler each found the end zone, while Matt Perez booted five extra-point kicks.
While Richards was the one-trick pony on the home side, Van Alstyne got impressive running games from both Phillips and Lawrence to go with strong defensive play when it mattered most. Trent Alexander and Adam White each had seven tackles in the game. White is the team’s leading tackler with 36 through five games.
In five games this season, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 119-68 in the second half and 27 of those 68 points came in the Lone Star game. Apparently, the staff is sending a message and the players are responding in the final 24 minutes.
The Panthers will host Commerce Friday in the home opener in district play, with the Tigers coming off of their bye week.
Van Alstyne - 35
Caddo Mills - 27
Van Alstyne Statistics:
Rushing yards 349
Passing yards 29
Rushing: Alex Phillips 24-128, Terry Lawrence 15-123, Dont’e Kehler 6-69,Kearon Redmon 3-29.
Passing: Phillips 3-8-0 29
Receiving: Shawn Wheeler 2-16, Trey Burden 1-13.
October 4 Schedule
Commerce at Van Alstyne
Farmersville at Pottsboro
Caddo Mills at Sunnyvale
Standings Dist. Year PF PA
Van Alstyne 1-0 3-2 167 160
Pottsboro 1-0 4-1 112 75
Farmersville 1-0 3-2 135 176
Commerce 0-0 1-3 69 123
Sunnyvale 0-1 4-1 212 109
Howe 0-1 2-3 73 96
Caddo Mills 0-1 1-4 119 139