The Panthers lost their first district game, 40-10, Friday against the New Caney Eagles. The Eagles (6-1, 4-0) assumed the top spot in the district with a blowout victory against the Panthers (4-3, 3-1) who now sit second in the district.
The Panthers started hot, putting together a quick, high-tempo drive that resulted in a 41-yard touchdown pass from QB Sam Johansen to WR Canen Adrian. The Panther defense came out riding the momentum, getting two sacks on Eagles QB Zion Childress and holding New Caney to zero points in the first quarter.
The Panthers offense continued to gain yards and make big plays, but couldn’t finish drives to tack onto their lead. The defense remained strong until the Eagles busted open the field on a big play. The teams entered halftime in a 7-7 tie.
The second half of Friday night’s game belonged to New Caney, as they forced four turnovers and capitalized on each opportunity, scoring on each drive. Childress threw for 110 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Eagles scored 26 points in the fourth quarter, intercepting Johansen once and forcing fumbles from Johansen and RB Dalton Roger, handing the Panthers their first loss in district play this season.
The Eagles remain undefeated in district, with their next game against Austin this Friday. The Panthers play Port Arthur Memorial on Saturday at Turner Stadium.