Photo: James Ellis/TexasHSFootball

WACO, Texas — Lead by Oklahoma commit Tanner Mordecai and his five touchdown performance, the Midway Panthers defeated Southlake Carroll 42-28 Saturday night at McLane Stadium.

The Panthers were facing 3rd and 8 with 33 seconds left in the game, when Mordecai went nine yards on run to the left corner of the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game and the dagger.

“I’m just like, hell yeah we’re going to the fourth round, that was my thought process,” Tanner Mordecai said about his final rushing touchdown.

Southlake Carroll struggled to move the ball against an athletic Midway defense, but after getting the ball across midfield, the Dragons lined up and ran a trick play that seemed to be drawn up in the dirt.

Cade Barger took a reverse and threw it to quarterback Will Bowers, who found Cade Bell open in the Midway secondary for a 30-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Midway lead 21-7. The Dragons had made it into the Panthers red zone early on in the first half, but Neal Koskay missed a 33-yard field goal. The Panthers were unable to capitalize on the miss, as the Southlake Carroll defense forced them to punt.

Midway had no problem moving the ball against the Dragons early in the game and after two Tanner Mordecai rushing touchdowns and when they held a 14-0 lead with 5:20 in the first quarter. Mordecai found Demarcus Degrate (5 rec, 93 yards, TD) for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 8:09 in the second quarter and they would take a 21-0 lead into halftime.

Southlake Carroll seemed to find its groove after halftime, managing to score 14 unanswered points and tie the game at 21-21.

Tanner Mordecai would go to work with nine seconds remaining in the third quarter, as he cut through the Dragons defense on a 46-yard touchdown run that put his team back in front 28-21. Jack Hicks was able to pick off Will Bowers and after a short return Midway’s offense would take over from the Dragon’s 20-yard line. Midway powered their way down to the one-yard line and James Fullbright (29 car,158 yards,1td) was able to maneuver his way in for a touchdown, that put the Panthers up 35-21.

Southlake Carroll cut the lead once more 35-28 when Will Bowers dove for the corner of the end zone and the ball was able to cross the goal line. The effort displayed by Bowers was a perfect example of the heart and determination that Carroll expressed, but it just wasn’t their night.

The Midway Panthers will continue their road to the championship next week when they meet the Longview Lobos in the semifinals.

“We’re going to have another great week of practice and go over our game plan,” Mordecai said. “We have to come out prepared for Longview.”

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