The Panthers traveled to Sunnyvale and let one slip away as the Raiders broke into the end zone with just 48 seconds left on the clock for a 28-21 win on Oct. 18.
An 85-yard catch and run by Demetrius Gray sealed the win for Sunnyvale as it evened its district record at 2-2.
For Van Alstyne, now 2-1 in league play, an outstanding rushing night by quarterback Alex Phillips was for naught.
Phillips carried 32 times for 206 yards, and sophomore running back Dont’e Kehler added 149 steps on the ground. This was Kehler’s second 100-plus yard game as he fills in for a recovering Terry Lawrence.
The Panthers got on the board in the first quarter as Phllips got the first of his two touchdown runs, both from six yards out. Matt Perez added to the score as he booted the first of his three extra-point kicks.
Kehler had an 85-yard scoring run in the third quarter, while a Phillips’ scoring run from six yards out gave the Panthers a 21-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
An interesting note: the Panthers were penalized 13 times for 95 yards, while Sunnyvale was tagged three times for 25 yards. Now we were, according to google maps, 70 miles and several zip codes north, but that looks like home-cooking to me.
Late in the third period, Abdul Kahlaf capped a Sunnyvale scoring drive, sending the teams to the final 12 minutes deadlocked at 21-21.
As someone wrote last week, Sunnyvale quarterback Ryan Cottingame is the real deal. The 6-4, 200-pound senior connected on 23-of-39 pass attempts for 447 yards. Cottingame had two touchdown tosses, the 85-yard connection with Gray that was the back-breaker and an 89-yard pass to Lawson Ayo.
It doesn’t get any easier for Van Alstyne as the Panthers get an even tougher test this week, hosting the league-leading Pottsboro Cardinals.
We always enjoy visiting with former VA coaches Bart Williams and Randy Matthews, who are on the Pottsboro staff. We will enjoy it a lot more if the Panthers hand the visitors their first district loss.
By the Numbers:
Van Alstyne 7 0 14 0 — 21
Sunnyvale 14 0 7 7 — 28
Rushing: Van Alstyne-Alex Phillips 32-206, Dont’e Kehler 15-149, Terry Lawerence 2-10.
Passing: Van Alstyne- Phillips 7-8 75 yards
Receiving: Van Alstyne- Trey Burden 3-42, Will Jones 1-18, Shawn Wheeler 1-11, Kehler 2-4.