PHOTO / RICK MENDER
Carter Hewitt makes a TD grab in Sept. 15 action against Laredo Martin. Medina Valley will be back at home this Friday, when the Panthers host Eagle Pass Winn.
Cards’ late defensive stop seals loss for Panthers
By Jeff Stivors
Anvil Herald Correspondent
San Antonio -- “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is the old adage attesting to the need for time to create great things.
If the Panthers had more time this past Friday night, Sept. 22, at Southside Stadium, they might agree. The Panthers 4th-and-goal play was stopped on the Cardinals’ 8-yard line. After that, Southside ran out the clock for a 21-17 victory over the Panthers and an early District 13-5A-I lead.
It took 1229 years to build Rome. It took Southside only five minutes to score as they put up back-to-back touchdowns to open the game. The opening 66-yard drive was capped by a 41-yard pass completion. The extra point was missed, and Southside led 6-0.
Medina Valley went threeand-out on their first possession, and Southside got the ball back at the MV 47. On their third play, they scored on yet another 41-yard touchdown, this time on the ground. The two-point conversion was good to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 6:51 remaining in the first quarter.
The Panthers struggled a early to find a groove on offense, but with good punting from senior punter Brennan Butler, they were able to keep the field position in their favor for most of the first half. Medina Valley started on their own 48. On second down, junior quarterback Michael Newton found his favorite target on the night, junior receiver Cade Galyon, on a 50-yard TD pass to give the Panthers their first score. The extra point was good, and the Panthers had cut the score in half, 14-7 with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
The Panther defense would bend and not break, forcing Southside to punt. The offense, however, bogged down on the Panthers again and were forced to punt. After another exchange of punts, the halftime score remained 14-7.
MV got the ball to open the second half. Newton passed to Galyon, Carter Hewitt, and Daniel Reza, mixed with a couple of hard runs by Ryan Rincon. But the Panthers hit a roadblock and turned the ball over on downs deep inside Cardinal territory.
The defense continued playing well, forcing Southside to punt on their next possession. MV got the ball back at the 1:46 mark of the third quarter, and on the third play from scrimmage, Newton hit Hewitt for a 70-yard TD pass. Gavin Ripps’ PAT tied the score at 14-14 going into the fourth quarter.
James Vallejo’s interception and give the ball to the Panthers at the Cardinal 40.
Ripps’ 33-yard field goal gave the Panthers a lead for the first time with 9:58 to play.
Southside answered, marching for their own score on a 74-yard drive, capped by a 45-yard hook-and-lateral, to take a 21-17 lead with 4:17 remaining.
The Panthers drove to the 8-yard line, where they lost the ball on downs in the final moments.
The loss gives the Panthers their first loss in district, with a 2-1 league mark and a 2-3 season record.
MV will host Eagle Pass Winn this Friday night, Sept. 29, at Panther Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m.