Duncanville Panthers Go 8-0 and Ground the DeSoto Eagles 24-14

Filed under: DISD,Sports |

It is a cliché, and some would say an overused cliché, “offense wins games, but defense wins championships.” With the 24-14 defeat of DeSoto on Friday the Duncanville Panther defense put the rest of Texas football on notice that it has the ability and the desire to make a very deep playoff run this year.

September 2008 was the last time Duncanville defeated DeSoto. It had been 23 games since DeSoto lost a game, which was in 2015. The Panther defense went into Eagle stadium and spent more time behind the DeSoto line of scrimmage than the Eagles did. So much in fact, that the Eagles began using designed quarterback rollouts to give Courtney Douglas more time to try and find a downfield receiver. That is a HUGE emphasis on trying to find an open receiver.

The Panther defense was so strong in the first half that the Eagles were limited to less than 90 total offensive yards in the first half. As a team, DeSoto had been averaging almost 200 passing yards a game and over 200 rushing yards a game. Duncanville held the Eagles to 114 yards passing and allowed only 64 yards rushing.

Duncanville did allow their emotions to get the best of them several times during the game, flagged for 13 penalties for 121 yards. This included a personal foul in the fourth quarter that gave DeSoto a first down on a third and long incomplete pass. The penalty allowed the Eagle drive to continue and it ultimately allowed DeSoto to pull within 3 points, 17-14. Duncanville head coach Reggie Samples will need to address the over zealousness of the Panthers heading into the final regular season games and playoffs.

On DeSoto’s opening drive, the Duncanville defense forced a three and out with the punt giving the Panthers the ball on the Duncanville 49-yard line.

The Panther drive culminated in a 37-yard touchdown when Trazon Connley found receiver Gyasi Smith completely uncovered down the right sideline. The Josh Delgado PAT was good and Duncanville took the lead with 9:02 left in the first quarter.

On the Eagles’ ensuing 10-play drive, Courtney Douglas rushed for the last 3 yards to the end zone. The Gerrit Blodgett PAT was good and the game was tied 7-7 with 5:51 left in the first.

Both teams traded possessions the rest of the first, until Duncanville took the last drive of the first, extending into the second quarter, that led to a Josh Delgado 27-yard field goal that put Duncanville up 10-7 with 9:59 remaining in the first half.

For the remainder of the half, and through the third quarter, both defensed tightened and neither team was able to score. The Duncanville defense did force two fumbles that thwarted DeSoto drives, but the Panthers could not capitalize on the turnovers.

In the final period, Duncanville began a drive on their own 22-yard line and JaQuinden Jackson ran for 72-yards to the DeSoto 4-yard line on the second play from scrimmage. Connley hit Bryce Walker with a 7-yard pass as Walker crossed just behind the linebackers and into the end zone to put the Panthers up 17-7 after the Delgado PAT.

DeSoto did all they could to remain in the game. On their next drive the Eagles responded with a 12-play, 72-yard drive when Kelan Walker ran for the last four yards. Blodgett was good with the PAT and DeSoto was once again within three points as Duncanville clung to a 17-14 lead with 5:37 left in the game.

Duncanville’s James Johnson took the ensuing kickoff on a 40-yard return, taking the ball to the Panther 47-yard line. The Panthers began eating the clock away, including a Jackson rush for 26 yards along the left sideline. Jackson forced the Eagles to tackle him in bounds as he refused to go out of bounds to stop the clock. The final play of the 10-play drive was a Jackson run, carrying defenders into the end zone with only six seconds remaining in the game. The Delgado PAT was good and the Panthers held a 24-14 lead.

With only six seconds remaining the Eagles attempted a pass to the left sidelines in what appeared to be the beginning of a lateral fest, but the ball fell incomplete as time ran out on the clock.

Duncanville finished with 15 first downs and 374 total yards of offense, with 151 passing yards and 223 rushing yards. DeSoto had 14 first downs on 178 total yards with 114 passing yards and only 64 rushing yards.

While Duncanville had 13 penalties for 121 yards, DeSoto was only flagged five times for 40 yards. The Panthers had no turnovers and the Eagles had the two lost fumbles.

For the Panthers, Connley was 9 of 19 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The leading rusher was Jackson with 146 yards on 14 carries and one rushing touchdown. Jackson was the leading receiver with 3 catches for 47 yards, while Gyasi Smith had 2 catches for 36 yards and a touchdown and Bryce Walker with the other receiving touchdown on his one catch for seven yards.

The Eagles Courtney Douglas was 11 of 26 for 114 yards passing. Kelan Walker had 44 yards on 13 attempts and a touchdown, and Douglas had the other rushing touchdown on his single carry. Lawrence Reynolds had 3 catches for 48-yards to lead Eagles receivers.

The Panthers will finish out the regular season with a home game against Irving MacArthur (1-7) on Fri., Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and an away game against Grand Prairie High (3-5) on Fri., Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Grand Prairie’s Gopher-Warrior Bowl.

District 7-6A

Team Season District Streak Differential
Duncanville 8 0 0 5 0 0 W8 +245
DeSoto 7 1 0 4 1 0 L1 +168
South Grand Prairie 5 3 0 4 1 0 W1 +58
Cedar Hill 4 4 0 3 2 0 W3 +34
Grand Prairie 3 5 0 2 3 0 L1 -83
Irving 3 5 0 2 3 0 W1 -125
Irving MacArthur 1 7 0 0 5 0 L7 -181
Irving Nimitz 1 7 0 0 5 0 L5 -155