The Van Alstyne Panthers could not hold off a four-quarter rally at Whitesboro on Oct. 7, dropping the District 5-3A(I) opener to the Bearcats, 30-21.
Van Alstyne (4-2,0-1) scored 21 unanswered points over the second and third quarters to rebound from a 17-0 start by the Bearcats.
Sophomore Gage Proctor capped a 75-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring run midway through the second quarter to get the Panthers on the board.
Proctor finished with 42 yards rushing on eight carries, and he completed 12-of-16 pass attempts for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Whitesboro had jumped out to the early lead, taking advantage of a pair of Panther turnovers.
Van Alstyne took the second half kickoff and wasted little time in adding points.
A Proctor to senior De’Angelo Alexander scoring pass of 43 yards narrowed the Whitesboro margin to 3 after junior Scott Taylor’s point-after kick. Taylor was successful on all three attempts for the night.
Alexander finished the night with two catches for 61 yards. He also had 10 tackles in the contest.
Five minutes after that initial, second-half tally, the Panthers were on the prowl again.
Senior Mason Adams caught his first touchdown pass of the season, a 13-yard completion from Proctor that put the Panthers on top, 21-17.
Adams, who also plays defense for the Panthers, had 10 tackles in the game.
The visitors could not holf off Whitesboro in the fourth quarter, however, as two long drives culminated in short scoring runs for the Bearcats.
Sophomore Justin Barnes finished with 15 tackles and senior Koi Beck had 10 stops for the Panthers.
Van Alstyne will host Howe on Oct. 14 in a renewal of the Silver Spike rivalry.
Sub-varsity notes: After overcoming two fumbles that led to short field touchdown drives by Whitesboro, and taking a 14-12 lead, the Panther junior varsity lost its district opener to the Bearcats, 32-30. A Zach Smith pass to Justin Keathly and Smith’s two-point conversion run gave Van Alstyne a 14-12 halftime lead in an Oct. 6 game at Panther Stadium.
After Whitesboro had taken the lead, 26-14, Van Alstyne scored on a Smith pass to Kobe Hunter to get within four points.
The Panthers could never regain the lead, scoring on a 64-yard kickoff return by Taylor Jones with 1:40 left in the contest.