Panthers stay perfect with another blowout win

Carrie Johnson
For the Herald Democrat
Van Alstyne's Jaden Mahan ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers' victory over Bonham.

VAN ALSTYNE — After a big win to open the season the Van Alstyne Panthers continued that trend with a 48-7 victory against the Bonham Warriors in non-district action.

The Panthers ran for more than 350 yards as Jaden Mahan led the way with 134 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Gavin Montgomery finished with nine carries for 104 yards and three scores and also completed 6-of-13 passes for 99 yards and a TD, which was a 57-yard to Gavin Bybee for VA (2-0), which hosts Anna on Friday.

“Always get excited to win. I wish we could have been more disciplined. The little mistakes we made will cost us if we don’t get them fixed," Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller said. "I thought our kids played hard and did some really good things throughout the game so there are definitely some positives but our lack of discipline is a concern for us right now.”

Mason Rodriguez threw for 172 yards and a touchdown but was picked off three times while Dustan Sewell had two catches for 90 yards and a score for Bonham (1-1), which followed up 47 points in its opening win with just a single trip to the end zone against the Panthers.

Van Alstyne started the game on defense and Bonham tried a long field goal that fell short. The Panthers then marched down the field despite several flags, but their first possession ended with a fumble that rolled out of the end zone for a touchback. Bonham fumbled on the ensuing drive and Nick Loya recovered for VA at its 47-yard line.

The Panthers finally took control late in the first quarter when Montgomery scored on a counter play to the right for a 19-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-four. A fumble on the two-point conversion make it 6-0 with 23 seconds left in frame.

Nine seconds into the second quarter, Van Alstyne scored when senior Cade Milroy returned an interception 27 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. Mahan ran in the two-point conversion for a 14-0 advantaged.

The Warriors came up with a big play when Rodriguez completed a deep post route to Sewell for an 80-yard touchdown and the deficit was cut in half to 14-7 with 11:40 left in the second quarter.

With sprint out and power runs from Montgomery and junior Foster Cataldie, Van Alstyne extended its lead on Montgomery's three-yard TD run at the 8:15 mark of the quarter.

Bonham couldn't keep pace, losing another fumble on the following drive that Keagan Dailey jumped on in the red zone and the Warriors made a final push to get something going before the break when they held VA in the closing minutes. But Jackson Allen came up with an interception off a botched catch at the Bonham 35 and returned it to the eight-yard line with 41 seconds left.

On a zone read, Montgomery scored for the 28-7 half-time lead.

Van Alstyne starts the third quarter strong when Montgomery hit Bybee on a wheel route down the right sideline for a 57- yard touchdown with 10:50 left and it was 34-7 after the failed two-point conversion.

Van Alstyne came up with its final interception, this one by Caden Whitley, to take over at its 11-yard line. Mahan scored on an unbalanced right outside zone and the Panthers stretched the margin to 41-7 with 9:19 left in the third.

The Panthers closed out the scoring after recovering a bad snap on a punt at the Bonham 17-yard line. Mahan punched it in from a yard out with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter.