The Van Alstyne Panthers continued their dominance over the Bonham Warriors with a 34-21 non-district win at Panther Stadium on Sept. 2.
This was Van Alstyne's seventh win over the Warriors since 2008 and Head Coach Mikeal Miller's 50th win of his career, all at Van Alstyne.
Senior Levi Jones scored three times for the Panthers, rushing for 135 yards in his 21 carries for the night. Sophomore quarterback Gage Proctor completed 10-of-21 pass attempts for 160 yards including a pair of touchdown tosses to Grayson Leinart.
“Our execution in the passing game was much better tonight than last week,” Miller said after the game. “We saw some pluses tonight, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
For a coach whose seniors have only participated in two wins in their high school career, Bonham coach Tony Johnson saw some positives as well.
“A year ago this team would have quit after falling behind the way we did, but I am extremely proud of our fourth-quarter effort,” he said. “Getting back on the winning track is all about the mindset and we are getting there.”
There were some good signs for the Warriors. Bonham trailed 34-14 with 2:55 left in the game before sophomore quarterback Tyler Rodriguez engineered a 78-yard drive, scoring from nine yards out as time expired in the contest.
Van Alstyne was in control for most of the game, scoring on its first possession as Jones capped a 69-yard march with a nine-yard run.
Bonham took advantage of a short field following the ensuing kickoff and put together a 13-play 57-yard scoring drive.
Xavion Epps, a 210-pound running back who gained 152 yards in the opener against Ferris, scored from nine yards away, and a two-point conversion run by Austin Simmerman put the Warriors on top 8-7.
Van Alstyne added two touchdowns in the second quarter as Proctor and Leinart connected on a 44-yard scoring toss midway through the period, and Jones scored on a 29-yard scamper for the second one.
Jones had a 64-yard run called back by penalty to open the second half and the Warriors intercepted a Proctor pass to stop that drive at the Bonham 3 yard line.
Leinart returned that favor, collecting his second pick of the season at the Bonham 25, and he finished it off by scoring again on a 14-yard toss from Proctor.
Michael Hensley and Mason Adams had sacks to spoil Bonham drives early in the game. Sophomore linebacker Justin Barnes, who led the Panthers in tackles in the season opener last week, turned in another impressive performance against the Warriors.
“I'm getting some good experience out there, keep working hard, our defense plays really well together,” Barnes said after the game.
That defense will be tested in week three as the Panthers visit unbeaten Anna, which is coming off of a 33-0 win over Callisburg.
Bonham 8 0 0 13 -- 21
Van Alstyne 7 13 6 8 -- 34
VA: Levi Jones 9 run (Scott Taylor kick)7:11
B: Xavion Epps 5 run (Austin Simmerman run) :09
VA: Grayson Leinart 44 pass from Gage Proctor (pass failed) 6:44
VA: Jones 29 run (Taylor kick) 4:14
VA: Leinart 14 pass from Proctor (kick failed) 4:48
B: Simmerman 8 run (run failed) 5:08
VA: Jones 4 run (Proctor run) 2:55
B:Tyler Rodriguez 9 run (Oscar Gandara kick) :00
Bonham - Van Alstyne
First downs 17 16
Rushes-yards 50-199 29-162
Passing yards 62 160
C-A-I 7-15-2 10-13-1
Punts-average 3-23 2-47
Penalties-yards 5-25 5-30
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Rushing—Bonham:Austin Simmerman 22-105, Xavion Epps 16-67,Evan Wilson 6-18,Tyler Rodriguez 2-12, Cory Hartwell 3-2, Kade Trompler 1-(-5); Van Alstyne: Levi Jones 21-135, Scott Taylor 3-35, Gage Proctor 5- (-8).
Passing—Bonham:Simmerman 6-13-2 50, Rodriguez 1-2-0 12; Van Alstyne:Proctor 10-13-1 160.
Receiving—Bonham:Trompler 2-38, Hartwell 3-26, Epps 1-10, Jonathan Uland 1- (-12); Van Alstyne:
Leinart 2-58, DeAngelo Alexander 2-41, Rhett Gallagher 2-19, Zach Wright 1-11,Landon Pardee 1-11,
Michael Hensley Jr 1-10,Ty Cosper 1-10.