VAN ALSTYNE – Last year, Anna snapped an 18-year losing streak at the paws of the Panthers and was hoping to get a streak of its own started this year. However, Van Alstyne was able to amass nearly 450-yards as it got a 35-14 homecoming win on Friday the 13th.
"This was our payback week," Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller said. "Anna beat us last year and we really challenged our kids all week long to come out and get some payback for what happened last year."
Alex Phillips had a standout game for the Panthers, contributing on four of the team’s five scoring plays and more than 280 yards of offense.
Anna started the game with the ball, and after a three and out the Panthers took over, drove the ball 53-yards and scored on a 1-yard Phillips run. On the drive, Anna had stopped Van Alstyne and forced a field goal but an offside penalty on that play gave the Panthers a first down and new life.
In the second quarter, the Panthers had a 50-yard touchdown pass called back because of a holding penalty but was able to regroup. Bryce Moody connected with Lane Morgan for a 45-yard screen pass and score, and Van Alstyne went up 14-0.
"We played good in spurts and not good in spurts — that’s one thing we need to work on is consistency," Miller said. "We were able to move the ball, and we opened up our passing game in the second half which helped us out a bunch in [that] half."
Midway through the second quarter, Anna got on the board when Isaac Armijo capped off a 70-yard drive with a sweep to the right from eight yards out to cut the Panther lead to seven.
The Coyotes had a chance to tie the score after recovering a fumble on the second-half kickoff; but after driving inside the 10 yard line Anna stalled and the Panthers took over on downs. Three of the five second-half Coyote drives ended the same way.
"We showed that we can do it," Anna head coach Jason Heath said. "We were efficient many times on offense and defense we just couldn’t put back to back plays and back to back series’ together. We had many opportunities, it comes down to we didn’t make the plays [and] they did. We got to go to work, work on those little things — that’s the difference in these ball games."
Van Alstyne took its biggest lead of the game in the fourth quarter when Phillips scampered in from 25-yards out to put his team up 28-7.
Anna answered the Panthers scoring drive with a scoring drive of it own. However, the Panthers immediately scored to put a nail in the coffin and come away with the victory on their homecoming night.
Van Alstyne 35,
Anna 0 7 0 7 — 14
7 7 7 14— 35
VA — Alex Phillips 1-yard run (Matt Perez kick)
VA — Bryce Moody 45-yard pass to Lane Morgan (Matt Perez kick)
AN — Issac Armijo 8-yard run (Alan Segura kick)
VA — Alex Phillips 57-yard pass to Terry Lawrence (Matt Perez kick)
VA — Alex Phillips 25-yard run (Matt Perez kick)
AN — Isaac Armjo 1-yard run (Alan Segura kick)
VA — Alex Phillips 22-yard pass to Kearon Redmon (Matt Perez kick)