The Duncanville Panthers have advanced to the regional playoffs for the first time since 2010 by defeating Harker Heights 24-7 Friday night at Panther Stadium.
In 2010 the Panthers defeated Irving Nimitz 31-24 in overtime in the bi-district round, only to fall 35-10 to Coppell the following week.
The Harker Heights Knights came into Duncanville on Friday on the backs of their running game, having one of the top rushing offenses in their area. The Panther defense stepped up to the challenge and held the Knights to only 152 yards rushing, and 114 passing yards.
The Panther offense did their part, racking up 292 total yards, 136 passing and 156 yards rushing. Duncanville also limited their mistakes against Harker Heights, with only 7 penalties for 65 yards, and not recording a single turnover.
Duncanville scored in the first quarter on a 7-yard Trezon Connley to Isaiah Upshaw pass into the end zone. The Josh Delgado PAT put Duncanville up 7-0.
The Knights answered back in the second, on a Madu Enili 4-yard run. The Seth Bodolus PAT was good and the game was tied with 11:10 remaining in the first half.
It didn’t take long for the Panthers to take the lead again. With 7:19 left in the half, Connely found Odell Smith on a 38-yard pass that Smith took into the end zone and with the Delgado PAT the Panthers were up 14-7.
The scoring for the remainder of the game was all Duncanville, with Delgado booting a 33-yard field goal and Keilon Elder scoring on an 18-yard run to put the Panthers up 24-7.
The Panthers’ Connley was 12-18 passing for 136 yards and two touchdowns while Elder led all rushers with 6 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown. Upshaw recorded 5 catches for 45 yards and a touchdown to lead Duncanville receivers.
For the Knights, Robert Gray was 7-14 for 63 yards passing and Daniel Cole was 1-1 for 51 yards. Eneli had 11 runs for 71 yards and a touchdown, and Jaquan Tillis had 3 receptions for 73 yards.
On the defensive side for Duncanville, Miquan Mayes and Keyshawn Johnson both recorded 11 tackles for the game. Marcus Mosely had 2 sacks, and Javion Adams, Jamarcus Roberson, Mayes, and Michael Williams recorded a sack each.
Duncanville will now face Hebron on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Pennington Field in Bedford.
However, Hebron is now facing the same situation that Duncanville faced earlier in the year; the loss of a starting quarterback.
Hebron downed Plano East 40-35 in bi-district play, but lost starting quarterback Clayton Tune late in the game to a knee injury. Tune finished the game with 214 passing yards on 16-22 passing for 4 touchdowns and 139 yards rushing. According to Hebron coach Brian Brazil, Tune doesn’t appear to be available for Friday’s game against Duncanville.
Tune had thrown for 2,445 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season, and rushing for 512 yards and 8 touchdowns. If Tune can’t play on Friday, then Cole Jamison is expected to get the start. Jamison is 6-6 for 51 yards and a touchdown on the season.
In other 7-6A playoff action; DeSoto downed Killeen 51-7, South Grand Prairie lost to Belton 38-30, and Cedar Hill ousted Waco Midway from the playoffs 52-17.