The Duncanville Panthers secured their spot in the playoffs with a 30-20 victory over the Grand Prairie Gophers on Thursday night, taking the #3 spot in district 7-6A. Finishing in the top spot was DeSoto, followed by Cedar Hill, and in front of South Grand Prairie. SGP fell to DeSoto 37-31 in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.
The last winning season was in 2011 when the Panthers went 7-4 under the leadership of Jeff Dicus.
In just his second season, head coach Reginald Samples has the Panthers in the playoffs and a winning 8-2 season with a 5-2-district record. The two losses came and the hands of DeSoto and Cedar Hill.
The Panthers took their first possession and marched 80-yards down the field and Trezon Connley hit Mackendrick Jackson for a 10-yard touchdown. The Josh Delgado PAT gave the Panthers the 7-0 lead and they never looked back. Although, Grand Prairie did everything possible to make it close and find a way into the playoffs.
Jalin Mclin rushed for a 5-yard touchdown with 10:35 left in the second quarter; the Delgado PAT put the game at 14-0 in favor of the Panthers. The Gophers did score with just 10 seconds left in the first half to close the gap to 14-7.
Keilon Elder scored on a 1-yard run and the PAT moved the score to 21-7 with 9:19 left in the third. The Gophers responded quickly and on a 71-yard pass from Joe Reyes to Demarcus Rakestraw to cut the lead to 21-14.
A 39-yard Kameron Peterson punt for Duncanville pinned the Gophers at their own 1-yard line. The Duncanville defense responded when Panther’s M.J. Onadele tackled Grand Prairie’s Jordan McGuire in the end zone for a safety and a 23-14 lead.
Elder scored again with 6:32 left in the game on another 1-yard run and the Delgado PAT moved the score to 30-14.
Grand Prairie responded with another Reyes to Rakestraw pass, this time for 63-yards, with 5:38 left in the game. The Gophers elected to go for the two-point conversion and the Reyes pass fell incomplete and the score sat at 30-20.
The Panthers finished with 380 yards of offense, 116 yards through the air and 264 yards rushing. While the Gophers had 270 yards passing and 54 yards rushing, for a total of 324 yards.
Although the Panthers defense allowed a couple of big plays, the Onadele safety, along with three interceptions recorded by Treshone Devones, played a big part in Duncanville securing the victory.
The Panther defense also recorded 4 sacks for the game, Jamarcus Roberson, Daveon Walker, Milquan Mayes, and Javion Adams. The leading tackler was Tre Siggers with 5 tackles, followed by Devones and Marcus Mosley with 4 tackles each.
The Panthers will host next week’s playoff game at Panther Stadium, with the opponent coming out of district 8-6A. The game will be held Friday, Nov. 11, with a 7:30 p.m. start. The opponent will be decided after the games this weekend.