VAN ALSTYNE — The Van Alstyne Panther defense was able to keep the Pilot Point Bearcats offense quiet for a, 29-11, victory on Friday, Nov. 10 for their final game of District 5-3A (1) competition before they head for the playoffs.
The Bearcats drew first blood after a 15 play 86-yard drive that ended in a 38-yard field goal by kicker Jaime Tavera.
Van Alstyne would answer back two possessions later with a 76-yard drive on 4 plays, after a Rhett Gallagher pass to Austin Moore in the end zone and a two point conversion completed by Moore, the Panthers took the lead, 8-3.
The Panthers would pour some more on during a second quarter drive that ended with a 22-yard Gallagher run that found the goal line. After a Moore kick for the extra point, Van Alstyne took a commanding 15-3 lead going into half time.
During the third quarter of play the Bearcats would make it a close game again after a steady drive that saw a Quincy Kemp pass fall into Ty Hellman’s hands for a 7-yard touch down reception. A quick two point conversion run by Kemp put Pilot Point back in the hunt, 15-11.
The Panthers wouldn’t allow it to happen again, rattling off two more unanswered touchdowns which came courtesy of Gallagher runs. Moore would finish the night perfect on extra point attempts and the score would be out of reach at 29-11 to end the game.
“They started the first half a little sluggish and drew some penalties,” Coach Miller said of the offense, “but we challenged them to come out the second half with more fire and emotion, and they did, I’m proud of the way they responded.”
The Van Alstyne defense was impressive racking up 63 tackles as a team. Cayson Miller and Austin Moore kept pressure on Kemp and finished the night with one sack a piece. Junior Gage Proctor also put on a show with two passes defended and making any receiver he covered a non-factor for the Pilot Point passing game.
“Until that third quarter drive, we were able to keep them off balance,” Coach Miller commented on his defense. “We needed them to play, and I’m really proud of those guys for stepping up.”
The win places the Panthers as second in their district. Van Alstyne hopes to keep this momentum going against Sunnyvale in a neutral playoff game Friday, Nov. 17.