Lexington Tops Blanco 23-14
Two of the top 2A teams in the state took to the field last Friday in Blanco. The Lexington Eagles won the toughly contested contest 23-14. The reason for the Eagle win? The “X-factor.” Xavier Ward rushed through the vaunted Blanco defense for 120 yards. When he needed a rest, Josh Murray slashed the Panthers for 70 more yards.
In the first quarter of the contest, the two powerhouses probed each other’s defense trying to find a weakness. Neither really did a very good job as the punters for both teams did an excellent job of pinning the opponent in their end of the field. Late in the first period, the Panthers intercepted an Eagle aerial at their own 35-yard line. They could do little with the ball and punted to the Eagles. The punt was ruled touched by an Eagle and Blanco recovered at the Lexington 43. From there it took Blanco six plays to find the end zone. With the PAT kick the Panthers led 7-0 with 11:19 to go in the first quarter.
Lexington suffered another turnover on the second play after the kick off. An Eagle fumble was recovered by the Panthers at the 46-yard line. Again the two teams played tough defense, allowing a first down or two but stopping the other offense with outstanding defense. Just as it looked like the halftime score would be 7-0, the Eagles awoke. Kogan Garrett hit Murray on a swing pass. A great clearing block by Ward allowed Murray to move the ball forward 39 yards. Ward rushed for 11 and eight. Garrett ran a quarterback sneak for four and a first down. Ward blasted for five more yards to the one. From there Garrett followed his blocking into the end zone for the Eagles’ first score. Antonio Martinez added the PAT and the score was tied at seven. The score came with 1:05 left in the first quarter. The Eagles took six plays to go the 68 yards.
With all the adversities Lexington endured in the first half, they were ready for the second half. Chace Sherrill punted the ball 38-yards to the Blanco 10. After some stifling Killer Bee D, the Panthers had to punt from their own 13-yardline. A shanked punt put Lexington in good position at the Blanco 31. Ward rushed for five-yards on first down. Murray then threw an option pass to Anthony Robbins. Robbins’ catch was nothing short of spectacular. He and the Blanco defender went up for the ball, the ball was batted into the air, as both players fell to the ground. The falling ball was grabbed from the air by Robbins as he lay on his back in the end zone. The Blanco defender tried to wrestle the ball away to no avail. Eagle touchdown was the ruling. Martinez toed the PAT to give Lexington a 14-7 lead.
After the Eagle defense stopped Blanco following the TD, the Eagle offense worked from the Wishbone offense. Chace Sherrill for five, Ward for 12, Murray for21, Ward for five, Garrett for eight, Murray for 19, and Ward the final three for the score. The PAT failed leaving Lexington with a 20-7 lead.
Any thought of a quality team like Blanco giving up, was erased on the first play after the kick off. A 51-yard pass play put the Panthers right back in the game at 20-14.
After the quick score, The Lexington offense moved the ball but was hampered by two penalties. Sherrill busted a 48 yard punt that rolled dead at the Panther 35. A false start penalty moved the ball back to the 30. A no gain run was followed by a fumble which was recovered by Brandon Meyer at the 29. Two Ward rushes netted six yards. An incomplete pass set up a Martinez field goal try from the 30. Antonio was true with his kick giving Lexington a 23-14 lead with 2:23 left in the game. Blanco had another possession but four incomplete passes ended their night.
Once again the Eagles’ Killer Bee defense was in top form. Blanco rushed 28 times for minus two yards. The Panthers were able to pass for 138 yards, mainly on two plays. Many other Panther pass attempts were stymied by a blitzing Sherrill, or Ward. Tyler Moerbe sacked the quarterback on two passing attempts. The center of the Eagle defense was held down by Donn Miller, Will Holcomb, and Robbins. Lexington’s quickness and understanding of the Blanco offense allowed them to destroy the Panther offense most of the night.
Lexington is now 2-0 for the season and heading for Academy Friday night.